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UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg Preview: Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund

We’re up and running already in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. After a bit of a lengthy vacation from Europe’s top flight, sixteen teams from all walks of the world’s equatorial continent privileged to have made it through the preliminaries contested in what served as the first leg of the competition’s last 16.

You can view all second round previews here!

AC Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur

Club Brugge vs Benfica

Eintracht Frankfurt vs SSC Napoli

Inter Milan vs Porto

PSG vs Bayern Munich

RB Leipzig vs Manchester City

Real Madrid vs Liverpool

Where Things Stand

It was of course eventful in every way. RB Leipzig held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at home ground in Germany, Inter Milan secured a 1-0 home victory over Portuguese FC Porto, Bayern Munich came out on top against Paris Saint German in arguably the ‘biggest, colossal tie of the season", Chelsea fell to a 1-0 loss at the hands of Borussia Dortmund.

Club Brugge conceded a 2-0 loss to Benfica, Milan were victorious over Tottenham Hotspur, their Italian counterparts and Serie A leaders, Napoli posted a 2-0 away win over Eintracht Frankfurt. And last but not the least, in fact the greatest, Real Madrid pulled big rabbits out of their hats to defeat Jurgen Klopp"s Liverpool 5-2 at the Anfield Stadium.

All sixteen teams have a short break to take. Some have to get their backs into grinding hard for a spectacular result if progression into the quarter-finals of the competition is anything to go by. Some, speaking of clubs like Madrid, simply have to defend a stellar first-leg result, play out a decent game. But phase-two would be upon us in less than a week"s time. Liverpool make the return trip to the magical, spell binding Santiago Bernabeu. Messi, Mbappe and the rest of the PSG pack touch down in Munich as they look to write their home errors wrong and keep their Champions League hopes alive.

We"re trusting this to be more scintillating, intriguing and exhilarating than it was in the first. And so, we delve into, half hastily, half detailedly, the match-ups slated for the next two weeks and how exactly we see them pan out.

BIG DISCLAIMER: The predictions are not to be taken score for score, verbatim. They"re just meant to give a picture of the final outcome we expect in the match-ups.

Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund

Seemingly an odd fixture to start this list with, but the urgency of a resuscitation for Graham Potter and his side is perhaps mirrored in this fixture opening the series. When Chelsea supporters remember that the former Brighton man won five of his first six games in charge of the London side, they"d probably wonder where all the potential has gone to.

Chelsea have been notorious for losing game after game in the past couple of weeks and despite their heavy spending in the winter transfer window, one that accrued up to £323m, the two time Champions League winners have not been able to find a way out of their disturbing predicament.

New Blue Faces

The induction of Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk, Enzo Fernandez has done next to nothing to better the condition of the Blues this season. They currently sit in tenth on the Premier League table with 31 points in 24 games and are ten points away from the relegation zone. The Blues are definitely not getting demoted to second tier English football, are they?

But for a team of Chelsea"s class, slipping into the second half of the table is infact reproachful. It"s just like wallowing in the mire. Potter looked very much like a saviour upon taking charge of the club. Out of his first six games, five resulted in wins for The Blues, racking an 83.3% win record. However, calamitous and turbulent times have seen this figure plummet to 34.6%. Infact, the Blues are on a three game losing streak and a six game winless streak.

A Sudden Rocky Road

It"s safe to say that the Blues are all caught up between a rock and a hard place.

Does Potter have the experience a demanding job like “Chelsea head coach" commands? Isn"t it wrong to evaluate his competence and ability to handle the huge task based on how he performed at Brighton?

Well, we will see for sure as the season keeps unfolding.

Familiar Place in Germany

Dortmund, on the other hand are having a fine run this season, where they currently occupy second on the Bundesliga table, behind Bayern Munich. They"re on a nine game winning streak, unbeaten this year and a win for them at the Signal Iduna Park(where they"ve lost just once this season) looks more probable than a win for Chelsea(who can"t settle for a draw if they are to progress)

Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Players to watch:

Dortmund: Jude Bellingham, Karim Adeyemi

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