Chelsea-Borussia Dortmund: Champions League (Round of 16) preview
After spending heavily on new players in the winter window, the ‘Blues’ sit 11 points from a UCL place in the Premier League table.
“When you win, you get your smile back,” said Graham Potter at the press conference prior to the match against Borussia Dortmund. The Blues beat Leeds United last weekend in the last Premier League but despite this respite the English coach and his expensively assembled squad are under increasing pressure due to the lack of positive results. The side from South West London sit in 10th place in the Premier League table and are currently 11 points away from a fourth place that would secure a Champions League place next season. Progression in this season’s competition is essential for the club after heavy investment and offers the only avenue to silverware. Dortmund hold a slender 1-0 first leg win going into Tuesday’s game at Stamford Bridge in a contest that was dominated by the English side.
Dortmund are, however on the crest of a wave as they briefly topped the Bundesliga table over the weekend and currently sit level on 49 points with Bayern Munich after a ten game winning streak.
One of Chelsea’s many new faces João Félix spoke to the media yesterday and confirmed that he was “very happy” in London and as a Chelsea player he feels “free”. Blues boss Potter has doubts about Reece James and Christian Pulisic, while N‘Golo Kanté, despite already training with the group, is still not 100% ready to join the squad. Thiago Silva’s injury and Benoit Badiashile’s non-registration have forced the English coach to reinvent himself once again in defense.
For the Bundesliga side, Gregor Kobel, Donny Malen and Marius Wolf have traveled with the team but BVB will be without Karim Adeyemi, the man who scored the only goal in the first leg against Chelsea who sustained an injury two weeks ago against Hertha Berlin.