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Chelsea vs. Sheffield United: Odds, Live Stream, TV Schedule and Preview

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: Mason Mount of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on August 18, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea welcome promoted Sheffield United on Saturday in the Premier League, with Frank Lampard seeking a first home win since returning to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues drew their opening home game with Leicester City 1-1, and the Blades will offer similar resilience. Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is famed for innovative tactics, and he regularly deploys overlapping centre-backs during matches.

The method could surprise home fans at the Bridge unfamiliar with Wilder's team.

                                                  

Date: Saturday, August 31

Time: 3 p.m. BST, 10 a.m. ET

TV: NBCSN (U.S.)

StreamNBC Sportsfubo.tv

Odds: Chelsea 9-25, Sheffield United 17-2, draw 15-4 (per Caesars)

                                    

Preview

A 4-0 loss to Manchester United was not how Lampard wanted to begin his tenure at Chelsea, but the defeat quickly reset expectations. The Blues have been unable to make signings this summer due to a transfer ban, and Lampard must mould a team from the remaining squad and their burgeoning youngsters.

Luckily for Chelsea, they possess hungry talent desperate to prove they can fight anyone in the English top-flight.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Frank Lampard manager of Chelsea celebrates the win after the Premier League match between Norwich City and Chelsea FC at Carrow Road on August 24, 2019 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Mason Mount played under Lampard at Derby County on loan last term, and the 20-year-old's early-season impact has been spotted by England manager Gareth Southgate. Mount has been called up to the national squad, and the Portsmouth-born forward might develop into Chelsea's biggest success story of the campaign.

According to Dan Kilpatrick of the Evening Standard, Southgate gave his thoughts about Mount's England selection:

"Mason Mount's been one of the outstanding players in the league already this season, so we brought both [him and James Maddison] in last October as much for the experience as anything This time in particular, in Mason's case, as the younger one, he's in on merit. Simple as that.

"He looks like he's threatening the goal every game he plays. I've watched him develop through our youth teams since he was 16 and he's been an outstanding player at every age group.

"He's not in on the back of three games at Chelsea. He's in on the back of a year in the Eredivisie, which was outstanding; a very successful year with Derby; European Under-19 champion with us. So he keeps improving and achieving at every level he is tested at, and that has been the same at the beginning of this season."

Tammy Abraham also returned from a successful Championship loan spell last season at Aston Villa. The striker has impressed as Lampard's No. 9, and he looks ready to be a consistent starter this season. Callum Hudson-Odoi is closing in on a return from injury, potentially giving Lampard one of the most exciting attacks in England. Christian Pulisic appears to be adjusting well to life in the capital after arriving from Borussia Dortmund during pre-season.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Chris Wilder, Manager of Sheffield United reacts during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Leicester City at Bramall Lane on August 24, 2019 in Sheffield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Image
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Sheffield United haven't appeared intimidated on their return to the Premier League after coming second to Norwich City in the EFL Championship last season. Wilder's ability to overload the opponent's box with marauding centre-backs is unique, dangerous and entertaining. The style has brought the coach success, and as a determined character, he will not change his tactics now he's duelling in the big leagues.

A visit to the Bridge is always difficult for any side, and Sheffield United might have to further acclimatise for a number of weeks in order to take points from the elite. Chelsea's youth and energy could be Lampard's biggest strength over the next 12 months, but their lack of experience could force them to trip up into Wilder's hands.

The hosts will have to be fully prepared for Sheffield United's approach, and Chelsea's senior players must guide the younger members through the challenging encounter.