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Qualification for the Champions League and Europa League spots are usually quite straightforward in the English Premier League. The top 4 teams automatically qualify for the UCL, while #5 goes to the Europa League. The 6th place finisher goes into the Europa League qualification round. That has all been somewhat thrown into disarray this season, at least for the time being, as Manchester City are on the process of appealing a 2-year European ban handed down by UEFA. At this point, we are not sure how things will play out if UEFA decides to uphold that ban, as City would definitely be in the UCL next season under normal circumstances. For now, teams just have to play as they would when going for those spots without the ban, which should make for an interesting final couple of weeks. Chelsea are currently holding onto one of the 4 UCL spots, but things are tightening up. Meanwhile, Sheffield United are making a late push for a Europa League spot, which would be a fantastic achievement for a newly promoted side. Chelsea come into this one favored by 1, with the goal total set at 2 ½.
When: Friday, July 10 at 12:30 PM EST
Where: Bramall Lane, Sheffield
EPL Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on Sheffield United
If you asked the average Premier League fan who they believed would be relegated at the end of the season, you can bet that Sheffield United would have picked up a lot of votes. They were given very little chance of survival, but they have proven to be one of the pleasant surprises of the season. They are coming off an absolutely massive 1-0 win over Wolves, a victory that now has them sitting in 7th, just 1 point back of Wolves for the Europa League qualification spot. This is likely to be a much tougher game, though, as Chelsea are playing some good football and picking up wins against some very good teams, including a recent win over Manchester City. These two teams tied 2-2 in their earlier meeting this season. At home, Sheffield United are 9-3-5, scoring 21 and surrendering 14.
Why bet on Chelsea
Chelsea are currently sitting in one of the four available UCL spots, but they are absolutely not guaranteed to stay there, such is the tight nature of the race. They bounced back from a disappointing 3-2 London derby loss to West Ham with a 3-0 win over Watford, which they followed up with a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace earlier this week. This is a team capable of scoring goals, but as you can see from those results, they do have some defensive frailties to contend with. That was very much in evidence with their 2-2 home draw with Sheffield United earlier this season. Chelsea have the second best road record in the EPL this season, going 9-3-5, while scoring 36 and surrendering 30.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
One thing that we have come to expect when watching Chelsea is a lot of goals, so I would certainly be leaning towards the OVER in this one. I think we get a pretty open game here with lots of goals.
Sheffield United 2 Chelsea 2