Things are looking up at Brammall Lane these days, figuratively and literally as well.
Sheffield United, just one of six teams in action this winter break weekend, are doing by far the best of all the promoted teams: Sunday’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth has closed the gap to Chelsea in fourth place to just two points.
And that has all the players looking up in the table, as captain Billy Sharp spelled out after the game.
“We’re doing fantastically well. We’re just looking above us, trying to catch [Chelsea] now, grinding out performances and results like we did today.”
-Billy Sharp; source: BT Sport
With the league’s second stingiest defense — just 24 conceded — but one of the least prolific attacks, Sheffield United have indeed been grinding out the points, and as we begin the last trimester of the season, they are fully in the conversation for the top-four/top-six race.
Whether that race turns into the former or the latter will depend entirely on Chelsea. Our next two games are at home against Manchester United (next Monday) and Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday after). Win those, and we likely create a bit of separation from the chasing pack once again. Fail to win those, and suddenly we’re drawn into the muck and mire of six teams — now including Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton, too! — all trying to stumble into the final Champions League spot.