Following a dramatic win over Manchester United in midweek, Mauricio Pochettino will hope his side can secure another three points this weekend. We look ahead to Sheffield United vs Chelsea with our prediction and preview.

Sheffield United vs Chelsea Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer predicts Chelsea overcoming Sheffield United in 60.2% of pre-match simulations.
  • Cole Palmer has been involved in 11 goals in his last 11 away top-flight appearances for Chelsea.
  • Sheffield United have shipped 45 goals in 15 home league matches this term, only Watford in 2021-22 have conceded more home goals in a Premier League season (46).

Match Preview

Cole Palmer may still be the toast of west London as a buoyant Chelsea hope to carry on momentum when they visit relegation-doomed Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side climbed up to 10th in the Premier League table after Palmer starred in a chaotic 4-3 triumph over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Thursday. The Chelsea forward scored a hat-trick, including two stoppage-time goals, as Chelsea battled from 3-2 down to secure the most unlikely of victories.

Alejandro Garnacho’s double either side of Bruno Fernandes’ first-half leveller had earlier dragged United into the lead, after Erik ten Hag’s side fell two goals behind to Conor Gallagher’s fourth-minute opener and the first of two penalty strikes for Palmer.

Chelsea hero Palmer’s hat-trick goal, timed at 100:39, was the latest winning goal on record (since 2006-07) in a Premier League game. He has also scored eight top-flight penalties this season, with only Frank Lampard (10 in 2009-10) netting more from the spot for the Blues in a single season in the competition.

Yet Palmer has delivered on the road this season, too, having been involved in 11 goals in his last 11 away Premier League appearances (five goals, six assists). He’s the first player aged 21 or younger to both score 5+ goals and assist 5+ goals away from home in a season since Dele Alli for Spurs in 2016-17, which was also under Pochettino.

The former Manchester City youngster will fancy his chances here against Sheffield United, who have shipped 45 goals in 15 home Premier League matches this season. In the competition’s history, only Watford in 2021-22 have conceded more home goals in a season (46).

Chris Wilder’s Blades are heading for Championship football next season, sitting bottom of the league table and 10 points adrift of safety going into the weekend’s action. They still gave a good account of themselves at Liverpool on Thursday, despite a 3-1 defeat.

Ivo Grbic’s comical error when smashing the ball against Darwin Núñez afforded Liverpool’s opener, though Conor Bradley’s own goal levelled proceedings after the interval. However, an Alexis Mac Allister rocket and Cody Gakpo’s header ensured more top-flight misery for Sheffield United at Anfield.

If Sunday’s hosts are to manage an unlikely result against Chelsea, Wilder may look towards Oli McBurnie, who has been involved in seven goals in his last seven home Premier League appearances.

However, in the five games McBurnie has found the net at Bramall Lane he hasn’t ended on the winning side (D2 L3), with only Dougie Freedman in 1998-99 scoring in more home games in a season without winning (six).

Both managers have extensive injury lists to contend with as well. Wilder’s lineup will remain without Rhian Brewster, Tom Davies, George Baldock, John Egan, Chris Basham, Rhys Norrington-Davies and Max Lowe. Daniel Jebbison and Cameron Archer could return, though.

Barring having to deal with a headache from the carnage after defeating United, Pochettino’s team news remains largely the same. Lesley Ugochukwu, Levi Colwill, Christopher Nkunku, Reece James, Roméo Lavia and Wesley Fofana are all sidelined, though there will be hope that Ben Chilwell and Robert Sánchez are fit enough to make the Chelsea squad.

Sheffield United vs Chelsea Head-to-Head

Sheffield United lost 2-1 the last time they hosted Chelsea in the Premier League but they have not suffered back-to-back home league defeats against the Blues since way back in October 1965.

Pochettino’s side were 2-0 victors in the reverse meeting this term, too, as Palmer and Nicolas Jackson were on target in the space of seven second-half minutes at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea 2-0 Sheffield United

That December victory in west London means Chelsea have won six of their last eight Premier League games against Sheff Utd (D1 L1), having lost each of their first three against the Blades in the competition.

This will also be Pochettino’s first-ever Premier League visit to Bramall Lane – the Argentinian has a 100%-win ratio in Yorkshire, winning all five games by an aggregate score of 16-2 after three wins against Hull City and two over Huddersfield Town.

Recent Form

Chelsea haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 11 away Premier League matches, their worst run without a shutout on the road since going 12 in a row between December 2019 and September 2020.

Pochettino’s new-look Blues are still unbeaten in their last four away matches across all competitions (W2 D2), last enjoying a longer such unbeaten streak in Graham Potter’s first five away games during October 2022 (W4 D1).

That run could continue here given United have conceded 50 goals on home soil in all competitions this season, becoming just the second Premier League club to do so after Derby County in 2007-08 (51).

Sheffield United have also conceded 26 goals in eight home Premier League games since Chris Wilder took charge in December. That average of 3.3 per game marks the worst goals conceded ratio by a permanent manager in a season on home soil in Premier League history.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off at Bramall Lane this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Sheffield United vs Chelsea Predicted Lineups

Sheffield United vs Chelsea Predicted Lineups
Chelsea Predicted Lineup vs Sheffield United

Sheffield United vs Chelsea Prediction

The Opta supercomputer predicts the visitors as heavy favourites for this one, with Chelsea winning 60.2% of 10,000 pre-match simulations against Sheffield United.

Wilder’s men managed an unlikely triumph in just 15.8%, while the draw – perhaps United’s best hope – ranked at 24.0% in the same data-led forecasts.

Chelsea now have a 36.6% chance of finishing inside the top seven in the league table in Opta’s end-of-season simulations, while the Blades are favourites to go down to the Championship at 99.3%. 

Sheffield United vs Chelsea Prediction

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