The Lowdown on Sheffield United's battle against Chelsea
Sheffield United and Chelsea meet for the 84th time in all competitions at Bramall Lane tomorrow, for a match of huge importance to both club’s seasons.
Chris Wilder’s side are fighting for survival at the bottom of the Premier League table, while the visitors from west London are hoping to qualify for the Champions League following Thomas Tuchel’s appointment last month.
The Star’s James Shield identifies some of the key figures set to be involved and analyses the statistics surrounding the contest.
The Teams: United - Ramsdale, Basham, Egan, Bryan, Bogle, Lowe, Norwood, Fleck, Lundstram, Sharp, McGoldrick. Chelsea - Mendy, Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount, Werner, Havertz, Pulisic.
The Referee: Kevin Friend, from Leicestershire, takes charge of the game while Simon Hooper is the VAR official. Friend averages 2.2 cautions per game this season. He produced two yellow cards when he last oversaw a game involving United, when Wilder’s men beat Reading in the FA Cup 11 months ago. He also booked two players when Chelsea beat Leeds at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.
The Form Guide: United enter the fixture having won five of their last seven outings in all competitions. They have scored 11 goals during that run and conceded nine.
The Last Time: Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Timo Werner scored for Chelsea when United travelled to Stamford Bridge in November, after David McGoldrick had given them the lead. Chelsea returned a possession percentage of 70 per cent during that game, enjoying nine shots on target compared to United’s six. Frank Lampard, who took charge of the former champions during that match, was sacked last month.
The History Lesson: United have won one, drawn one and lost one of their last three meetings with Chelsea, who boast a win percentage of 47 per cent from their previous 83 clashes. The last draw between these two clubs at Bramall Lane came in August 1963, when Brian Richardson scored for the hosts.
The Details: Sheffield United versus Chelsea, kick-off 7.15pm tomorrow. Full pre, post and in-game coverage is available via The Star, with further analysis in print on Monday.