In a first-ever Stamford Bridge meeting, Chelsea host Borussia Dortmund for this much-anticipated second leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie.
In need of an inspirational performance to progress after losing the first leg 1-0, capturing ‘Old Big Ears’ represents both the Blues’ only realistic hope of a trophy and their likeliest route into this competition next season after a stuttering Premier League campaign.
A 1-0 league win over Leeds last time out may have broken a six-game winless streak (D3, L3), but Graham Potter’s side have only managed four goals from their last 11 contests (W2, D3, L6) so doubts remain over their trophy-winning credentials.
Considering those goal scoring issues, Chelsea might have to lean on an impressive historical record of dealing with European adversity, having progressed four times across their last seven UCL knockout-stage ties when losing the first leg on their travels.
The battling Londoners could be boosted by looking at Dortmund’s recent away record in England, as the German club have lost on their last five trips there.
Such a stat is unlikely to be at the forefront of manager Edin Terzić’s mind though, especially with his side containing talent such as the highly-sought after Jude Bellingham, who has helped orchestrate Dortmund’s best-ever start to a calendar year (W10), bookended by a 2-1 win over RB Leipzig.
Whether that’s enough to see them secure progression here and continue their mission to emulate BVB’s UCL-winning 1996/97 side remains to be seen.
Yet whilst a club-record seventh successive tournament proper appearance means Dortmund are comfortable amongst Europe’s elite, they won’t be at full strength for this contest with first-leg match-winner Karim Adeyemi ruled out as part of a growing injury list.
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