TV channel, the form, the referee and the key men: Your indispensible guide to Sheffield United FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea

Sheffield United will enter their FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge attempting to become the first team to beat the eight time holder since Thomas Tuchel’s appointment two months ago.

By James Shield
Saturday, 20th March 2021, 11:00 am

James Shield, The Star’s United writer, analyses tomorrow’s game between two Premier League clubs - identifying some of the major characters set to be involved and examining the statistical trends surrounding the contest.

The Teams: Chelsea - Mendy, Alonso, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Kante, Gilmour, Kovacic, Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Werner. United - Ramsdale, Baldock, Basham, Jagielka, Stevens, Norwood, Osborn, Fleck, Ndiaye, Sharp, Brewster.

The Referee: Andley Madley, who averages 2.52 cautions per game this term, will be overseeing a match involving United for the third time since September. He averages during the two previous games - a 3-0 defeat by Southampton and 1-0 win over Newcastle - is 3.5. The only red card he has shown in domestic football this season came during that match at Bramall Lane, when Ryan Fraser was dismissed. Peter Bankes, who refereed United’s 5-0 defeat by Leicester City on Sunday, is the VAR. The only time Madley has taken charge of a fixture involving Chelsea during the present campaign came in January. That fixture, a goalless draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers, was Thomas Tuchel’s first in charge of the hosts.

Chelsea's Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on March 17, 2021: BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

The Form Guide: United have lost five and won one of their six games since beating Bristol City in the previous round, scoring once and conceding 13 in the process. Chelsea have returned four victories and drawn two of their matches across the same period, also beating Newcastle and sharing the spoils with Southampton following their last appearance in the competition.

The Money: The winners of this tie will receive £360,000 in prize money, and are guaranteed at least another £450,000 for reaching the semi-finals. Whoever lifts the cup at Wembley pockets £1.8m, with the losing finalists receiving half that amount.

The Route: United have beaten Bristol Rovers, Plymouth Argyle and Bristol City en route to the last eight of the competition. Chelsea dispatched Morecamble, Luton Town and Barnsley in the previous rounds, meaning this is the first time tboth clubs have faced top-flight opposition in this season’s competition.

The Past Meetings: This will be the 85th meeting between these two sides, with Chelsea chasing their 41st victory over United and United their 29th over the Londoners. They have met five times before in the FA Cup, with Chelsea progressing on four occasions and United beating them in 3-0 in the 1915 final.

Paul Heckingbottom takes charge of Sheffield United against Chelsea: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The Honours: Chelsea have lifted the FA Cup eight times in total, with seven of those successes coming since 1997. They have also finished as runners-up on seven occasions, making them the joint fourth most successful club in the competition’s history. United have won the FACup four times, with the first of those triumphs coming in 1899 and the last in 1925. They have been beaten in the final twice with the most recent of those defeats coming in 1936.

The Details: Chelsea versus United, kick-off 1.30pm tomorrow. The match is on BBC1. Pre-match, in-game and post-match analysis is available via The Star.

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Sheffield United visit Stamford Bridge this weekend: Adam Davy/PA Wire.