Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea: Champions League Preview & Potential Line-ups
Signal Iduna Park is the venue as Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea go head-to-head in the first leg of their handsomely-looking Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.
Borussia Dortmund claimed a runner-up spot in a competitive Group G behind Manchester City despite registering only two wins from six group matches (D3, L1).
However, Edin Terzic's men have enjoyed a sublime start to 2023, winning all six games in domestic competitions by an aggregate score of 17-6, including five straight Bundesliga triumphs.
After closing the gap on perennial champions Bayern Munich to three points, Die Borussen switch their attention to the Champions League, looking to reach the quarter-finals for the second time in three years.
Standing between them and that achievement will be an out-of-sorts Chelsea side, who, after falling ten points behind the Premier League top-four pace, have to make amends on the European scene.
Under-fire boss Graham Potter has come under heavy scrutiny following the Penisoners' wasteful run of three winless league outings (D3), highlighting the importance of progressing from this tie.
While he's experienced a faltering start to the new calendar year as a Chelsea manager (W1, D4, L3), Potter can draw confidence from going unbeaten in his first five Champions League games in charge (W4, D1).
Dortmund went winless in both group matches against Man City (D1, L1), extending their embarrassing European run without beating English opponents to ten fixtures (D2, L8).
However, after only losing four of their last 21 home outings in the Champions League (W10, D7), Die Borussen should brim with confidence on Wednesday.
Even though each of those four defeats came against Premier League clubs, Dortmund can draw inspiration from having gone unbeaten in their last ten competitive home games (W7, D3).
Potter's standout Champions League record at the helm of Chelsea is under serious threat, with the Blues registering just three wins on their 11 previous trips to take on German sides in European football (D3, L5).
If that's not enough to dampen the spirits in the traveling camp, an abysmal return of four scoring blanks across their last seven competitive fixtures may do the trick.
Despite all the negatives, Potter is on the verge of making history, as he could become the first English manager to win five consecutive matches in the Champions League.
Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea Potential Line-ups
Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Gregor Kobel; Julian Ryerson, Niklas Sule, Nico Schlotterbeck, Raphael Guerreiro; Salih Ozcan, Jude Bellingham; Karim Adeyemi, Marco Reus, Julian Brandt; Sebastien Haller.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Reece James, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Marc Cucurella; Enzo Fernandez, Mateo Kovacic; Joao Felix, Mason Mount, Mykhailo Mudryk; Kai Havertz.