As we arrive back home from cloud nine, we once again look forward to the upcoming game, and this time, the opponents are forged in steel, as we face Sheffield United in the FA Cup Quarter Finals. Despite the calamitous season the Blades are having, they are in the Quarter Finals for a reason, and must not be overlooked. Former manager Chris Wilder should have a lot to be proud of, after guiding Sheffield United to this stage of the illustrious FA Cup.
However, judging by performances and current form, the Blues should certainly have the edge in this encounter, as their unbeaten run under Thomas Tuchel is now 13 games long, and does not look to be under any sort of threat, given Chelsea’s upcoming fixtures. But the FA Cup never ceases to disappoint, and will be sure to provide an enticing game in South West London.
Chelsea head into this game coming off the back of an incredible victory against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, so the momentum lies in the hands of Tuchel’s men. Sheffield United on the other hand, have won just once in their last five games, having conceded 10, and scoring just one. The Blades have also lost their last four away fixtures, which doesn’t fill the red and white faithful with much hope. Chelsea haven’t lost at Stamford Bridge since Manchester City defeated the Blues on January 3rd.
Player updates and news:
Finally, my preview will not be bad news for Tammy Abraham, as Thomas Tuchel has revealed that the striker could be in contention for some minutes against the Blades, which would be a perfect game to try and ease Tammy back into action, given the expected slow pace that the opposition will bring.
As expected, Thiago Silva is unavailable for the game, but this isn’t the end of the world, as it would be too risky to play him in a game like this, as he will be very much needed for our two Champions League Quarter Final games against Porto. Thiago covered enough ground on Wednesday night from the stands to earn himself a rest until Porto anyway.
Kepa, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Gilmour, Emerson, Hudson Odoi, Mount, Giroud.
This one is a bit fantasy, as I would just absolutely love to see Billy start. I’m not overly convinced he will, but we may see him get some minutes in the game. Tuchel has recently stated that it was his own choice not to send Gilmour out on loan, which could mean he sees a quality player in the Scotsman, which wouldn’t be surprising, he is fantastic. If it isn’t Billy, I expect it to be Kovacic.
Players to watch:
Callum Hudson Odoi: This game could be absolutely huge for Cal, who has struggled to hit the ground running in recent weeks. Up against a struggling Sheffield United side, Cal could have a field day if he shows the quality we all know he is capable of. Whether its up against George Baldock or Enda Stevens, Hudson Odoi will have the pace advantage to drive through the United defence and create some real chances for Chelsea.
David McGoldrick: The Irish Ronaldo. McGoldrick just loves scoring against Chelsea, so expect to see him up for it against Chelsea. The Blades will hope they can get the ball to him as quickly as possible, as they will need something special to get through Chelsea’s ever-present defence. Despite the odds not particularly being in Sheffield United’s favour, you can always expect to see McGoldrick pop up with a goal.
Written by @mashgreaves