Chelsea vs Sheffield United | Saturday 7th November 2020, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Victory for Chelsea could see them go within a point of leaders Liverpool as they welcome struggling Sheffield United to the Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
Frank Lampard's side are unbeaten in their last 10, winning their last three on the spin scoring 10 and haven't conceded a goal in their last seven-and-a-half hours of football. However, navigating past Chris Wilder's winless Blades may pose more of a threat then the form books suggest.
The Blades come into this one of the back of two spirited performances against Liverpool and Manchester City losing by just a goal in each. Defeat at the Emitrates early on this season meant their unbeaten run of 10 EPL games vs London foe came to an end. Nevertheless, Wilder will take positives from the fact that his side took four points off the Blues last campaign, scoring five goals in the process.
The betting angles
I cover the Blades most weeks and try to keep the angles fresh, that been said I am going to persist with some of the bets I proposed last weekend, the first of which is Sander Berge to be carded.
The fact that he wasn't carded vs Man City means the ex-Genk man has got slightly longer since his last appearance. You can back him at 13/2 (Bet 365) to receive a booking at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. There is an unbelievable disparity in price across the different bookmakers, with the shortest price available been a slim 2/1 with Betfair and Paddy Power!
Sticking with Sheffield United and cards in central midfield, John Lundstrum also represents some value. Despite been one of the Blades stand out performers last season, Lundstrum's relationship with Blades has not been so rosy off the pitch stemming from quarrels over his contract. This could explain why the ex-Oxford man has been playing with a vengeance this campaign.
Lundstrum has accumulating a card in 50% of his six starts. This makes his price of 5/1 with William Hill take some appeal. Usually about 7/2 for a card, his current odds imply the probability of him receiving a card are 16.7%. However, over the course of his Premier League career he has averaged a card every 0.25 games; 0.50 this season and 0.19 last season.
The only snag with this angle is that Lundstrum will most likely play second fiddle to Ben Osborn or John Fleck (depending on who is fit) until he can re-locate in January following his snubbing of Sheff Utd's contract offer. This means that Osborn is most likely to get the nod at LCM in London, despite Wilder's best efforts to keep his team selection clandestine.
Therefore, if it is the latter lining up in the Blades starting XI I suggest you consider him to have a shot, priced at 6/5 with Ladbrokes. Ladbrokes and Betfair seem to have priced Osborn as a wing-back in the shots market. SkyBet have him considerably shorter – 8/15 for one- implying they have wised up too his flurry of starts in the middle of the park.
At a glance, his statistics from this season are not that impressive with him managing just one shot in four EPL starts from centre-midfield. However, last season he had three in five and the season before that with Nottingham Forest in the Championship he had 14 shots in 14 appearances playing in midfield.
Statistics aside, last season, a lot of Sheffield United's shots and goals came from their more advanced CMs; Fleck and Lundstrum. Their attacking contribution is best epitomised by the latter's price for one shot; 1.11 with Betfair. A large part of the Blades success has to be credited to the pair, who were excellent at breaking through the lines with the ball and running beyond the strikers without.
This potency from midfield is something that has been lacking this season and Wilder will be keen for Osborn and Berge to rectify this void in Sheff U's play this weekend.
It's difficult to chose out of the pair who represents the better bet. On one hand, Osborn is the longer price and has the more consistent statistics. However, he has lasted the full 90 in just two of his four EPL starts this season.
I wouldn't put anyone of Sander Berge shots either (best price is 5/6 for one and 4/1 for two with Sky Bet). I don't want to tip the same things every week but you cannot overlook the Norwegan at Sky's prices.
Berge has played every minute of the Blades last six EPL fixtures, having at least a shot in all three of his last appearances, averaging a shot a game over the season. He has accumulated two shots on two occasions and has recently been assigned too all dead ball duties.
Chelsea vs Sheffield United – Sander Berge to be Booked (13/2 Bet365)
Chelsea vs Sheffield United – Sander Berge to have 1+ shot (5/6 SkyBet)
Chelsea vs Sheffield United – Ben Osborn to have 1+ shot (6/5 Ladbrokes)
Chelsea vs Sheffield United – John Lundstrum to be Booked (5/1 William Hill)