EletiofeSheffield United v Chelsea: Premier League – live!

Sheffield United v Chelsea: Premier League – live!

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Sheffield United make one change to the team that beat Wolves midweek. David McGoldrick replaces Billy Sharp up front; Sharp drops to the bench.

Chelsea make two changes to the side that won at Crystal Palace a few days back. Tammy Abraham and Jorginho replace Olivier Giroud, a sub today, and the injured Billy Gilmour.

The teams

Sheffield United: Henderson, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Osborn, Stevens, McBurnie, McGoldrick.

Subs: Lundstram, Sharp, Jagielka, Kieron Freeman, Robinson, Mousset, Moore, Rodwell, Zivkovic.

Chelsea: Kepa, James, Christensen, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Barkley, Jorginho, Mount, Willian, Abraham, Pulisic.

Subs: Rudiger, Alonso, Loftus-Cheek, Caballero, Kovacic, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, Bate.

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands).

Preamble

Chelsea away was Sheffield United’s first statement result this season. Two goals down to Tammy Abraham’s first-half double in late August, Chris WIlder’s newly promoted side rallied in the second half and secured a richly deserved 2-2 draw, Callum Robinson scoring one and teasing a late own goal out of Kurt Zouma. After the game, Chris Wilder made his intentions for the season clear: “Three years ago we were bottom of League One and now we have come away from Chelsea with a result. We are not day trippers getting autographs and collecting shirts.”

Nearly a year down the line, poor United still have no autographs or shirts. But they have collected quite a lot of points, and as such remain a good bet for European qualification next season. It’s been the best performance from a newly promoted side since Ipswich Town wheelspun around the country in their tractor back in 2000-01. Since the restart, they’ve been diddled by technology at Aston Villa, and have recovered from back-to-back three-goal setbacks to pick up seven of the last nine points on offer. John Egan’s last-gasp winner against Wolves on Wednesday could be the reinvigorating boost that sends them continent-bound next season.

Chelsea have wants and desires of their own, mind. Since the resumption, they’ve moved into third spot, their Champions League chances for next season looking none too shabby right now. But they do have a couple of tricky games to end the season in Liverpool and Wolves, so could be doing with getting the full quota of six points from today’s match and Tuesday’s visit of Norwich. Easier said than done against a side who have lost just one of their last nine at Bramall Lane, and Chelsea don’t boast the most dependable defence in the division. But they are a lot of fun to watch, so this could be a doozy. It’s on!

Kick off: 5.30pm BST.

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