Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Sheffield United vs. Chelsea (Saturday, Nov. 7)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Chelsea star Timo Werner.
- Chelsea hosts Sheffield United in Premier League action Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
- Dillon Essma breaks down the match and tells us why he likes the Blades in a low-scoring affair.
Chelsea vs. Sheffield United Odds
|Chelsea Odds||-265 [BET NOW]|
|Sheffield United Odds||+750 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+380 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-134/+108) [BET NOW]|
|Time||12:30 p.m. ET|
Chelsea hosts Sheffield United on Saturday in an intriguing Premier League showdown at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are on a superb run of form, going unbeaten in their last seven matches. On the other side, the Blades are struggling and currently sit on a single point thus far this season.
Despite that terrible run of form for the visitor, I expect this to be a competitive match. Let’s take a look to see what might be in store:
The Blues have picked up steam over their last few fixtures, showing the potential we all expected to see this season.
Domestically, Chelsea really excelled in a 3-0 win against Burnley at Turf Moor, where road teams usually have a hard time securing victories. The expected goals were a little less flattering (1.23-0.41 margin in Chelsea’s favor), but the eye test showed a dominant performance. Burnley was really no match for the quality in the final third, creating few chances.
The Blues have been solid in Champions League action as well. Chelsea has picked up seven points through three games, most recently cruising to a 3-0 shutout win against Rennes. The Blues held an 3.14 to 0.60 xG edge in the game, which ended in a rare clean sheet under manager Frank Lampard.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Last season, Chelsea finished second in xG (2.00/game) and was actually fifth in xGA at 1.08 per match. It’s difficult to say what caused the large discrepancy in goals allowed (54) vs xGA (41), yet the simplest answer would be its goalkeeper. Current starter Edouard Mendy has been a fantastic addition at Chelsea, drastically improving its defensive numbers.
Offensively, the Blues have looked better the last few games and should continue that pattern. Timo Werner is a natural and will score a lot of goals this season. Playmaker Kai Havertz is still a work in progress, but I would give him more time to find his proper role in the midfield. Finally, Hakim Ziyech has simply been phenomenal.
So far this season, Chelsea have generated 1.50 xG/game and conceded 1.09 xGA/game. I think it will improve on those numbers as the season progresses.
The Blades are off to a tough start this season, with its only positive result coming in a draw against Fulham.
Last season, Sheffield United was a newly promoted club that impressed everyone. The Blades ended up finishing ninth after fading a bit down the stretch. Sheffield United defended really well, had a solid goalkeeper, smart manager and was able to score timely goals when needed.
The club’s 1.21 xG/game and 1.37 xGA/game aren’t superb, but they’re enough to get it safely in the middle of the table. So far this season, the numbers are a bit worse, but greatly underperforming in advanced data (1.03 xG and 1.46 xGA).
Sheffield United’s negative differential of -0.43 should not get you to bottom of the table. Of its six losses, only one was by more than a goal. The losses to Aston Villa, Leeds United and Arsenal were about even in expected goals.
On top of that, the Blades just played back-to-back games against Manchester City and Liverpool, which were close one-goal defeats. Needless to say, Sheffield United will make it difficult to beat it. However, the struggle always seems to be around the Blades getting enough headers on set pieces and corners to get them enough results
Defensively, Sheffield United will continue have it as its main strength in my opinion. The Blades have only conceded two goals in three of seven league matches, coming against Wolverhampton, Arsenal and Liverpool.
I really hate fading Chelsea in any way coming into this match, but that’s my current lean. Sheffield United has lost just one game by more than a goal, which is leading me toward the underdog.
Also, five of the Blades’ seven games have featured two goals or less, with the other two matches finishing with a combined three goals. On top of that, Chelsea has five clean sheets in a row across all competitions.
That said, I like Sheffield United at +1.5 goals and will back the total to stay under the alternative number of 2.75 goals as well.
Picks: Sheffield United +1.5 (-129) | Total Under 2.75 Goals (-113)