Chelsea vs. Sheffield United: Odds, Picks and Best Bets (Saturday, July 11)
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Pulisic
- Chelsea are -150 favorites to beat Sheffield United in their Premier League match on Saturday afternoon (12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
- The Blues have been flying offensively during Project Restart but their defense has left something to be desired.
- Anthony Dabbundo previews today's action from Bramall Lane.
Chelsea at Sheffield United Updated Odds, Pick
|Chelsea odds||-150 [BET NOW]|
|Sheffield United odds||+440 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+280 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-103/-121) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET|
Chelsea visits Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon with a chance to extend their lead over Leicester City and Manchester United and continue their push for one of the Champions League places.
Sheffield United are the darlings of this Premier League season, sitting in seventh place with a chance for European football next season through the Europa League.
While I don’t see a ton of value in either the spread, moneylines, or total, I do have a prop bet that sticks out to me given recent trends by both teams. Chelsea, led by Christian Pulisic’s and Olivier Giroud’s goal-scoring form, have scored at least two goals in every game since the restart.
The Blues have struggled defending corners the entire season, conceding nine in total on 7.33 xGA. Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is statistically the league’s second-worst keeper based on post-shot expected goals, which measures the chances of a shot going in based on where it was taken from and where it ended up on target.
Chelsea’s road defensive woes are well-documented at this point, as only six teams have conceded more goals (30) away from home in the 2019-20 season.
While Chelsea manager Frank Lampard loves to play attacking, high-press football, the Blues haven’t been sound at all in the midfield or the backline all season. He’s tinkered with the center back pairing, even benched Kepa briefly, but the numbers haven’t improved.
Tactically, I’m expecting this to be a match where Chelsea are on the front foot and attacking, but are left vulnerable on the counter. Few teams have been more efficient with their limited scoring opportunities then Sheffield United this season, and it will only take one Kepa error or one good attacking move to get Sheffield on the board and win the bet.
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.
Contrast Chelsea’s set piece defensive woes with Sheffield’s strength, there is a potential nightmare for the Blues’ defense. Sheffield has scored seven goals off corners this season, including a 94th minute winner to beat Wolves in the midweek.
Sheffield have conceded goals in four of their six matches since the restart and allowed at least one xG in four of those matches as well. They’ve conceded more “big scoring chances” (11) than any team in the PL since the restart, and Chelsea rank fifth in the same metric, per InfoGol.
I’m expecting a wide-open match where both teams need to get all three points, thus the goals will come. I’ll back both teams to score at slightly worse odds than even money.