Anyone who ‘expects’ Sheffield United to beat Chelsea this afternoon is probably living more in hope than reality.
The Blades have put together a decent run of form but Chelsea are unbeaten under new manager, Thomas Tuchel. Further, the size of their squad and the talent on display is quite frigthening.
United, meanwhile, continue to have a number of players out, including two nailed on startets in Sander Berge and Jack O’Connell. Oli McBurnie is still not 100%, while Enda Stevens, who caused Chelsea problems last season, is touch and go as well.
At Stamford Bridge, Tuchel has walked into an embarrassment of riches in terms of his squad. It’s a notion showcased by the fact he’s been able to drop £50m man Ben Chilwell, casually bring in Marcos Alonso from the wilderness, and see no dip in performances or results.
And that’s the task facing up to Sheffield United today. Once again, it highlights the sheer gulf in class Chris Wilder’s men are faced up with in a high percentage of Premier League fixtures.
Sheffield United v Chelsea – Writing on the wall? Maybe not
The Blues are one of the few teams to really open United up this season and put us to bed with ease. But it’s easy to forget that for 20 minutes in that game we were by far the best side, and went 1-0 up.
Hark back to the summer, too, and the Blades saw off Chelsea at Bramall Lane with considerable ease. Surely something for Chris Wilder to ram home to his players ahead of this evening?
Of course, Chelsea’s options are frightening. Werner or Abraham up top. Ziyceh, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, or Havertz in attacking areas. Kante, Kovacic, or Mount in midfield? The options are endless.
But rather than be intimidated, United can take heart from the last few weeks and their summer showing against the Blues. There’s nothing to fear for the Blades players. They know what Chelsea are all about.
Wilder will be hoping United impose themselves on the game and if we can nick the first goal again, expect a massively different outcome to that we saw at The Bridge earlier in the campaign.