Sheffield United vs Chelsea:  The Chelsea VAVEL predicted starting XI
 (Photo by Visionhaus)

Following on from a nervy yet crucial win at Selhurst Park on Tuesday night, Frank Lampard’s side face arguably their biggest away test since returning to top-flight action, visiting Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United - a side that defeated Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur in their previous outing at home.

Both sides are in contention for European competition next term, albeit different competitions, with the Blues in third-place and chasing Champions League qualification, whilst the Blades are on the cusp of qualifying for next season’s Europa League with four games to go, as they currently reside in 7th, one point and one place above Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal

There is likely to be a couple of changes to Lampard’s side for tomorrow afternoon, mainly due to the fact that young Scottish midfielder, Billy Gilmour, will miss the rest of this campaign, owing to a knee injury. 

Here is our guess at who’s in and who’s out for the Blues. 

GK- Kepa Arrazabalaga

The Blues number is arguably the first name on the team-sheet for tomorrow afternoon as his performance between the sticks saved the Blues from what could’ve been another abject away result in a London-derby.

He denied Crystal Palace striker, Christian Benteke late-on from close range, with his boss commenting how pleased he was with the Spaniard’s performance in his post-match press call. 

RB- Reece James

Chelsea’s arguable second-choice right-back will likely remind their first choice between now and the end of the season as Lampard looks to use his captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, in the left full-back position, to send a clear message to the underperforming Marcos Alonso.

The young Englishman played well last time out also and will look to help his team to another victory, making it two wins from two since his return to the starting line-up. 

CB- Kurt Zouma

The Frenchman put in arguably a man of the match performance last time out against Crystal Palace, with him being used as the Blues last line of defence on several occasions, as the Eagles chased an equaliser.

The two-goals conceded away at Selhurst Park were also the first the Blues had conceded with Kurt Zouma in the side since February 17th, with clean sheets against both Everton and most recently Watford.

CB- Antonio Rudiger

The German international will likely be rotated back into the Blues starting eleven, replacing his Danish colleague, Andreas Christensen.

Although Christensen wasn’t necessarily the reason for the two-goals conceded at Selhurst Park last time out, his manager, Frank Lampard will want to shake things up at the back in order to get a response from his defence, given that Tuesday night’s performance, just wasn’t good enough. 

LB- Cesar Azpilicueta

Chelsea’s captain is the bedrock of his defence and will not be going anywhere tomorrow afternoon.

The solid performances he has offered the Blues this campaign, echo similarities with the consistency that former right-back, Branislav Ivanovic used to show.

The skipper will be all too aware of how important three points are to his side’s hopes of finishing in a Champions League position. 

CM- Ross Barkley

The combative and creative English midfielder has performed well since being reintroduced to the starting line-up, even scoring against London-rival Watford in the Blues last game at Stamford Bridge, before these two consecutive away fixtures.

His ability to act as the linkman in the final third of the pitch will also be crucial to unlocking the Sheffield United defence tomorrow afternoon. 

CM- Ruben Loftus-Cheek 

Many a Chelsea fan will be happy to see this, as we predict fan-favourite Ruben Loftus-Cheek to be in line for his first Premier League start since his return from an injury to his achilles tendon.

The midfielder, who stands at six foot, two inches, will be key to winning any aerial battle in the middle of the park, before using his fantastic dribbling ability to make a nuisance of himself in the final-third. 

CM- Mason Mount 

Mount, who incidentally will make his 48th appearance for the Blues in all competitions tomorrow, should he feature, four more than he made at Derby County under Lampard last season.

The skilful youngster is a favourite of the Blues manager, who sees him as crucial to both the present and the future in SW6. 

RW - Willian 

The Brazilian has turned up the heat on his performances in recent weeks, none more so than last time out against Crystal Palace.

He registered two assists to help his sides to another win, with his manager, Lampard, no doubt now urging him to put pen to paper on a new deal at Stamford Bridge, beyond the end of this current campaign. 

ST - Olivier Giroud 

The French frontman has been in scintillating form since domestic football has resumed in England, scoring two times in as many games in the past ten days.

His manager will be hoping that this rich vein of form continues in a match that could go a long way to securing Champions League football next season.

His place in the side should be retained purely because of the link-up play he offers in the final third as well as his clear goalscoring ability. His fellow striker, Tammy Abraham, although scoring last time out, only warrants a place on the Blues bench. 

LW - Christian Pulisic 

The American International has arguably been the Blues best player since the resumptions of topflight action, with him tearing teams apart by himself at times during the games thus far.

His ability to move quickly with the ball at his feet and get an early shot away will be invaluable against a Sheffield United side that will likely employ five defenders at the back, like they have for the majority of this campaign. 

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