Sheffield United vs Chelsea – Preview

After a battling performance with no reward against Liverpool in midweek, Sheffield United have an opportunity to put some more points on the board when they host Chelsea on Sunday.

Despite facing an early setback caused by an error from Ivo Grbic on Thursday evening, the Blades demonstrated resilience and challenged their title-contending hosts. They successfully leveled the score before the hour mark thanks to Conor Bradley’s own-goal, after James McAtee found Gustavo Hamer at the far post. Nevertheless, late goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Cody Gakpo ultimately defeated the Blades.

Chelsea demonstrated resilience themselves during their game at Stamford Bridge against Manchester United on Thursday evening.

After first half goals from Conor Gallagher and Cole Palmer, Manchester United pegged the Blues back through Alejandro Garnacho and Bruno Fernandes. The Red Devils then took the lead in the second half via Garnacho again.

But Chelsea had Cole Palmer to thank for stepping up in the crucial moments. The perpetually composed Palmer equalised from the penalty spot deep into added time, before the ex-Manchester City player and lifelong supporter of the Red Devils scored the latest winning goal ever recorded in the competition.

Sheffield United have a break in order to eat at sunset during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Sheffield United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 4, 2024. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Team news

After his efforts in United’s equaliser at Anfield, Gustavo Hamer injured himself and Chris Wilder is hopeful that the midfielder will be fit to play against Chelsea. Meanwhile, Cameron Archer is back in the running after recuperating from a recent calf issue.

For Chelsea, Carney Chukwuemeka and Trevor Chalobah made their return to action in Thursday’s victory against Manchester United, and Robert Sanchez has resumed training this week. Additionally, left-back Ben Chilwell has been dealing with an illness and will be assessed accordingly.

Players to watch

My player to watch for Sheffield United this week is the Blades number nine Oli McBurnie. He was benched for James McAtee in midweek with Chris Wilder possibly managing his fitness ahead of this quick turnaround on Sunday.

McBurnie’s presence and hold up play was missed against Liverpool as the ball kept coming back towards United’s goal, and eventually the pressure reaped rewards.

The 28-year-old can cause this Chelsea back line problems, and especially from set pieces. Djordje Petrovic is likely in goal for the Blues and he does not seem comfortable when a cross comes in. I fully expect the Blades to rain crosses in when given the opportunity. They should have plenty of those opportunities given Chelsea conceded an average of 21 crosses per game away.

In recent weeks, Palmer has increasingly shouldered the away team’s burden. He has scored six goals in his last three Premier League matches, bringing his season’s league total to 16. The young talent is coming up against the league’s worst defence after scoring a hat-trick in his previous game. The 21-year-old will certainly fancy his chances.


The Blades have topped the league with nine errors resulting in opposition goals this season, six of which were committed by goalkeepers (five by Wes Foderingham and one by Ivo Grbic).

Since Chris Wilder’s return to Sheffield United in December, the team has conceded 26 goals in eight home Premier League games, averaging 3.3 goals per match. This stands as the poorest goals conceded ratio at home by a permanent manager in a single Premier League season, per BBC.

The Blues have emerged victorious in their last four encounters against Sheffield United.

Chelsea have allowed at least one goal in each of their previous 11 away matches in the league.

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