Facing the possibility of enduring three consecutive Premier League defeats for the first time under Mauricio Pochettino’s management, Chelsea are set to return to Stamford Bridge to face a resurgent Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea’s struggles persisted with a 2-0 loss to Everton last weekend, adding to their winter woes.
Another disheartening defeat on Saturday would signify the first time in a decade that Mauricio Pochettino has witnessed three consecutive Premier League losses. The last instance was in December 2013 when his Southampton team endured such a run. Additionally, Chelsea’s 18 defeats in 2023 rank them just above Bournemouth, who have 19 losses.
Meanwhile, Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United secured a 1-0 victory against an injury-hit Brentford in their latest outing, marking their second successful attempt.
Upon his return, Chris Wilder expressed frustration during Liverpool’s visit to Bramall Lane, feeling aggrieved at what he perceived as an injustice. However, the 56-year-old was in high spirits as he successfully guided the Blades to a crucial victory in his second attempt.
Facing Brentford at what could be considered an opportune moment, especially with Bryan Mbeumo and several other key players sidelined, Sheffield United managed to control the game against Thomas Frank’s team. Securing just their second win of the season, the Blades were propelled to victory courtesy of a remarkable goal from James McAtee.
Chelsea will be without captain Reece James after he suffered yet another hamstring injury, while Marc Cucurella suffered a twisted ankle in their previous match. Their shot-stopper Robert Sanchez us dealing with knee issues, and he joins Trevoh Chalobah, Lesley Ugochukwu, Wesley Fofana, Ben Chilwell and Carney Chukwuemeka on the treatment table.
While Christopher Nkunku, Romeo Lavia, Malo Gusto and Noni Madueke will be assessed closer to kick-off.
Sheffield United still have Chris Basham, Rhys Norrington-Davies, John Egan, Tom Davies and Daniel Jebbison sidelined. While George Baldock might be in the mix to start. The Blades will welcome back Oli McBurnie and Oliver Norwood to the team after serving their suspensions, but in contrast they’ll miss Jack Robinson who’s serving his one-match ban.
For the home team I’m looking at two players in particular that could cause the Blades problems. Nicolas Jackson and Raheem Sterling have been standout performers for the Blues this season, showcasing their goal-scoring prowess with six and five goals, respectively. And they have something that every defender fears: pace.
If any player is to have a huge impact on the game for Chelsea I’m picking this duo.
For United, I know I picked him last week but I’m going for Cameron Archer again. Why? Well, if the reports are true then I have no idea who he’ll be coming up against on the left wing on Saturday. And given his recent performances, I’d back him to cause anybody problems at the minute.
The statistical analysis suggests that the most probable outcome for this match is a Chelsea victory, with a calculated probability of 68.21%. A draw appears to be the second most likely result, with a probability of 18.4%, while a Sheffield United win is considered less likely, with a probability of 13.42%.
However, these stats don’t take into consideration the excessive injuries Chelsea are carrying at the minute.