FA Cup journey continues!
Chelsea welcome Sheffield United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the FA Cup quarter-final. Sheffield United’s domestic season might be in tatters but they have managed to put together a decent FA Cup campaign. The Blades beat Bristol City 1-0 in the last round have since won 1, and lost 5. In that process they have managed to score 1 goal and concede 13. On top of that the Chris Wilder left the club a couple of weeks ago leaving them with academy manager Heckingbottom as the interim for now. A stark contrast to last year’s season.
Chelsea go into this game having beaten Barnsley 0-1 in the last round. Since then Chelsea have won 5 and drawn 3, scoring 9 and conceding 1. Defensively Chelsea have been brilliant under Tuchel and Minamino remains the only opposition player to score against us since Tuchel arrived. Offensively is where Tuchel still needs to see the team click. The 2nd leg against Atletico was a good outing for Werner, Havertz, and Ziyech and it showed that they are gaining some form. The next step under Tuchel very much seems to be scoring more than 2 goals in a game. It would be a positive thing to do that against Sheffield United and head into the international break finally having gained a big win. First and foremost though is progression to the semi-final’s.
Chelsea Team Preview
Thiago Silva still seems to be out and Tuchel said he won’t be risked. The Brazilian will be available post the international break. Tammy is back and available although he suffered a small knock in training although as of Friday it looks like he could start. Kepa should start in goal for this game with Zouma, Christensen, and Rudiger making up the back four. Hudson-Odoi, and Chilwell should start as the wing-backs with Jorginho, and Gilmour in the middle of the park. Gilmour has been patiently waiting and this might be a good chance to give him a start. Pulisic, and Mount should start behind Tammy up front. Mount will be well rested for this game while Pulisic should be raring to go and willing to take advantage. We could see Giroud start if Tammy isn’t ready to because Sheffield will most likely sit back. If things go well we could see an appearance from Anjorin as well. It’s going to be game where our finishing needs to be on point and we need to pass quick in and around the Sheffield box to create space.
Sheffield United Team Preview
Ampadu will not be available for Sheffield United as he can’t play against his parent club which is Chelsea. Sheffield United’s 3-5-2 is staple and it will be setup to frustrate Chelsea. Ramsdale is a good keeper while Basham, Jagielka, and Bryan should make up the back 3. Stevens and Baldock provide the width via wing backs while Fleck, Norwood, and Lundstram make up a physical midfield. Burke and McBurnie should start with Sharp, McGoldrick, Mousset, and Brewster all available from the bench. Sheffield United will rely on the counter and crosses to try and get a goal in this game.
Starting XI Prediction
Our final game before the international break and it would be great to cap off this initial period with a win for Tuchel. It will be a tricky game as many FA Cup games are but Chelsea will have enough quality on the pitch and on the bench to win it. The key is to be lethal in front of goal. Big game. COME ON CHELSEA!!!