Champions League

UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Preview: Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund

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The 2022/23 UEFA Champions League took a hiatus in early November, shortly before the start of the World Cup and there has been a lull for more than two months now. The Champions League, inarguably Europe’s greatest competition returns to almost half a billion viewers and millions of screens in less than a month from now.

A tournament which never fails to deliver, the Champions League has always been full of surprises and no doubt, this current spell is no exception.

So far in this edition of the Champions League, the back of the net has been found 304 times in 96 matches, averaging 3.17 goals per game, with Paris Saint Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah sitting at the top of the goalscoring charts with seven goals each.

On the back of a quite interesting Round of 16 draw in November, the entire football universe is set to experience some sensational match-ups in February and March. A couple of heavyweight fixtures have been thrown up for this round of Europe’s most illustrious tournament.

Defending champions and 14-time winners, Real Madrid, are heavily in the mix, as they look to add the quinzième UEFA Champions League to their trophy gallery in either Real Madrid City or the Santiago Bernabeu when they take on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, a remake of the 2022 final in Saint-Denis.

This series will look at the next round of matchups!

AC Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur

Club Brugge vs Benfica

Eintrach Frankfurt vs SSC Napoli

Inter Milan vs Porto

PSG vs Bayern Munich

RB Leipzig vs Manchester City

Real Madrid vs Liverpool

Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund

Graham Potter’s Chelsea and Edin Terzic’s Borussia Dortmund slug it out in another fixture of this Champions League’s last-16, both sides set to meet for the first time ever in the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea topped their group, qualifying ahead of AC Milan, Red Bull Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb exactly in that order while Borussia Dortmund secured the second spot in Manchester City’s group ahead of Sevilla and Copenhagen.

Chelsea

The Blues are definitely not where they want to be at the moment, in deep waters in the Premier League. Ever since Graham Potter took hold of the reins at Stamford Bridge, things have gone from bad to a bit worse for Todd Boehly’s enterprise. Under the former Brighton man, Chelsea have lost seven games out of twenty fixtures, not the kind of performance they’re expecting.

The Blues are in tenth place on the Premier League table and it’s certain they won’t be playing Champions league football next spell via league qualification as fourth position is quite a long way up. What’s left to secure qualification next year? Beat Dortmund, win the Champions League.

Which London club will finish highest in the table?

Arsenal

Arsenal

Chelsea

Chelsea

Tottenham

Tottenham

But that’s quite an Herculean task, considering how short-staffed they are at the moment. The Londoners are deep in injury crisis. Ngolo Kante, Armando Broja, Denis Zakaria, Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling, Edouard Mendy, Reece James, Wesley Fofana and Ben Chilwell are all unavailable to play for the Blues due to injury issues.

The Blues have got their backs pinned to the wall here and really have to take on a backbreaking task to make it past Dortmund and into the quarter-finals.

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund are the kind of team that have rarely made waves in the past few years but that doesn’t downplay the fact that they’re completely capable of doing so. Ever since Erling Haaland left the German side for Manchester City, Dortmund have undoubtedly felt the absence of their star player. But they’ll be thankful they have a more docile opponent to face in Chelsea and they should take the task doggedly.

Players to watch for

Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)

He’s just a teenager but Bellingham is already making a name for himself at the Signal Iduna Park, the kind contributory in making him a starter in Gareth Southgate’s England. Bellingham has found the back of the net ten times this season which includes four in the Champions League and is number one for Edin Terzic’s side in terms of goals scored.

He has already eclipsed Giovanni Reyna(who looked to be next to Erling Haaland while the latter was at the German club) as the main man for Borussia Dortmund. Bellingham would come face to face with some of his compatriots like Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling and infact in front of country crowd.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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Jesuyemi is an avid fan of sports, especially football. He also enjoys WWE and athletics. He's been writing for a few years now and is a supporter of FC Barcelona.

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