Sheffield United’s dream return to the Premier League faces its next big test this weekend as Frank Lampard’s in-form Chelsea side visit Bramall Lane.
Chris Wilder has overseen an outstanding first season back in the top flight for the Blades, who have given themselves a huge opportunity of competing in Europe next term. The Blades currently occupy seventh in the standings and could leapfrog Wolves into the top six with a victory here.
Sheffield United have already enjoyed a record Premier League season, ensuring their highest ever finish – which had stood at 14th – and a record points total from a 38-game season, which initially stood at 38, and now they’re on the verge of making Europe for the first time in their history.
Chelsea have been outstanding since the restart, with the only blemish being their 3-2 defeat at West Ham, and are looking good for a top-four finish with four matches still to play in 19/20.
The Blues’ win over Crystal Palace earlier in the week ensured they leapfrogged Leicester City into 3rd and while catching 2nd placed Manchester City might be too much of an ask with four games left, victory at Bramall Lane will strengthen their position in the top four as they head into final run of fixtures.
Despite their lofty league position and continued hopes of a top-six finish, Sheffield United have been a bit unpredictable since the restart. Launching with a goalless draw at Aston Villa, Wilder’s side then suffered back-to-back 3-0 defeats to Newcastle and Manchester United respectively. But they’ve since found their feet to reignite their dreams with wins over Tottenham and Wolves sandwiching a respectable away point at Burnley.
Chelsea are indeed one of the form teams in the Premier League right now, having lost just one of their previous eight league outings. Since the restart, they’ve been difficult to beat and look devastating in attack, averaging 2.4 goals-per-game.
Interestingly enough, the Blues’ away form has been impressive this season. Chelsea have scored a league-high 37 away goals this term and have secured 30 points on the road, with only Liverpool winning more on their travels.
John Fleck and David McGoldrick will both undergo late fitness tests after missing the Blades’ midweek victory over Wolves, while Oli McBurnie’s place in the starting XI could be reconsidered after fatigue forced him off after just 49 minutes in midweek.
Billy Gilmour (knee) and N’Golo Kante (hamstring) are both doubts for Chelsea but Mateo Kovacic has returned to first-team training. Fikayo Tomori is still unavailable for selection.
Sheffield United’s bid for glory continues against Chelsea on Saturday 11 July, witch kick-off scheduled for 5:30pm at Bramall Lane.
Fans can make sure they don’t miss a kick by tuning in to live streams online or flicking over to Sky Sports Main Event.