Another poor week for Chelsea, with losses away to Manchester United and Everton, has done a lot to pile the pressure back on both manager Mauricio Pochettino and the board at Stamford Bridge.
Those results have seen the west London club fall to 12th spot in the Premier League ahead of this weekend’s action and, remarkably, the Blues begin this matchday closer to the relegation spots then the champions League qualification positions.
But there’s a silver lining for Chelsea and that comes in the form of their opposition here, Sheffield United.
The South Yorkshire side became the first English top-flight side to sack their manager this season as Paul Heckingbottom departed Bramall Lane and even though they grabbed a 1-0 win over Brentford last time out under Chris Wilder, they remain rock bottom of the standings ahead of this clash.
The Sporting News previews the game below with our prediction and best bets.
Chelsea vs Sheff United match facts
- Date: Saturday, December 16, 2023
- Kickoff time: 3:00 p.m. local (10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 a.m. PT)
- Location: Stamford Bridge (London, England)
- Last meeting: Chelsea 2-0 Sheffield United (March 21, 2023 | FA Cup Quarterfinals)
Chelsea vs Sheff United prediction, odds
- Moneyline lean: Chelsea (-400)
- Score prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Sheffield United
to score Y / N
|Over / Under
|+105 / -135
|-195 / +150
*Odds correct as on December 12.
Chelsea vs Sheff United best bet
- Pick: Under 2.5 goals scored
- Odds: +150 (DraftKings)
Although many will be predicting a simple win for Chelsea here, despite their recent Premier League struggles, at +150 with DraftKings, the value that the under 2.5 goals scored market carries here is hard to ignore.
Granted, the Blues have looked strong at Stamford Bridge of late, hitting Brighton for three last time out and Manchester City for four prior to the last international break. However, confidence will be low following their successive defeats to Manchester United and Everton last week and although Sheffield United sit bottom, they could frustrate the hosts here.
In fairness to the Blades, they’ve responded since the sacking of manager Heckingbottom following their embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Burnley. Although they lost 2-0 to Liverpool in their match after that, they largely played well and they frustrated the title hopefuls for large spells of the match.
Wilder’s men then backed that up by keeping a clean sheet against Brentford at home last weekend to grab just their second win of the campaign. They could surprise here, but even if not, they look well placed to at least keep this scoreline respectable.
Chelsea vs Sheff United flier bet
- Pick: Cole Palmer to score first
- Odds: ADD (DraftKings)
While it’s been a disappointing season so far, Chelsea’s acquisition of Cole Palmer from Manchester City has proved to be a shrewd bit of business.
So far this campaign, the 21-year-old has struck five times in 13 Premier League outings for his new side and at +ADD with DraftKings to score first, he’s well worth another punt here.
The main reason for placing this bet is the fact that Palmer remains Chelsea’s chief penalty taker, scoring four times from the spot so far in the league. Two of his five goals have also come at Stamford Bridge against tough opposition in Arsenal and former employers Manchester City so backing him to get on the scoresheet here against Sheffield United seems a good option.