Premiership preview: Chelsea v. Sheffield United

The third of four games in nine hectic days.

Wednesday’s insipid but effective 1-0 win over Manchester City closed the gap on Manchester United to six points.

By the time this game kicks off Jose Mourinho will know the result of United’s lunchtime clash with Bolton Wanderers. If all goes to plan, three points could be all that separates Chelsea and Alex Ferguson’s side come 5pm this evening.

Mourinho is expected to be without Michael Essien after the Ghanian suffered a knee injury in the FA Cup quarter-final draw with Tottenham. Wayne Bridge is out for a few weeks with a similar problem while John Obi Mikel is suspended.

Michael Tonge and Nick Montgomery both return for Sheffield United after serving one-match suspensions, but Neil Warnock will have to do without Chris Lucketti and Mikele Leigertwood because of injury.

The Blades have faced Chelsea five times in the Premiership, and lead by three wins to two. But the last time they visited Stamford Bridge on 7th May 1994 they lost 3-2 and were relegated following two goals from Mark Stein in the last 15 minutes.

Chelsea are undefeated in 12 in all competitions and are looking to take their unbeaten Premiership run at the Bridge to 59 games.

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