Chelsea will be looking to overturn a 1-0 aggregate deficit when they take on Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of this Champions League last-16 tie.
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Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund predictions
Graham Potter needed that.
After a six-match winless run in all competitions, the Chelsea manager was under severe pressure ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Leeds United.
A 1-0 victory, secured thanks to a Wesley Fofana header early in the second half, has given Potter a bit of breathing space. But another poor result on Tuesday night would lead to more questions being asked of the under-fire Blues boss.
The Champions League is the only thing Chelsea have left to play for this season. With an 11-point deficit to overturn, a top-four finish in the Premier League is highly improbable.
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Chelsea are also out of the FA Cup, having been demolished by Manchester City in the third round. Tuesday’s meeting with Borussia Dortmund is therefore additionally significant.
Potter’s team trail 1-0 at the midway point of this last-16 tie. They actually turned in a decent performance at Signal Iduna Park last month, but wasteful finishing let them down. On the balance of play, a draw would have been a fairer result.
Yet Borussia Dortmund have done nothing but win since the World Cup. Edin Terzic’s men have strung together 10 victories on the bounce across the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League, which shows that Chelsea face a daunting task on Tuesday.
Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund betting tips
Chelsea might only be 1-0 down in this tie, but they will find it tough to secure progression at the expense of an in-form Borussia Dortmund side.
Borussia Dortmund or draw – 87/100 (Spreadex)
Dortmund signed off for the World Cup in the worst way possible.
Back-to-back defeats by Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach left them sixth in the standings as the Bundesliga paused for the action in Qatar. After just 15 rounds of fixtures, it looked like BVB’s title hopes were over.
Not so. As the business end of the campaign approaches, Dortmund are up to second spot. They are level on points with Bayern Munich and only trail the defending champions on goal difference.
Bayern remain strong favourites to finish atop the table, but it is by no means a foregone conclusion after Dortmund’s eight wins on the bounce in the top flight.
The latest of those was a hard-fought 2-1 defeat of RB Leipzig, another potential title contender, on Friday.
Dortmund played some fantastic football in the first half of that clash, before showing no shortage of grit and resolve as Leipzig attempted to mount a comeback after the break.
This is now a well-rounded team and Dortmund have the character, as well as the quality, to get the job done at Stamford Bridge.
Under 2.5 goals – 10/11 (Spreadex)
Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Leeds was much needed, but it is far too early to suggest they have turned a corner. After all, you have to go back to October to find the last time they won back-to-back games.
The Blues have largely been dismal in 2023. Their 12 matches in all competitions have yielded just two wins, and both were slender victories over teams in the bottom half of the Premier League (Crystal Palace and Leeds).
Their principal problem has been scoring goals. Chelsea have done so just five times since the turn of the year.
They have drawn a blank in a majority of those dozen contests, and have not scored more than one goal in a game since a 2-0 triumph over Bournemouth on December 27.
Borussia Dortmund will be well aware of this shortcoming. There is no need for Terzic’s team to open up and risk creating an end-to-end encounter.
If they defend with discipline and organisation, there is a good chance that Dortmund will keep a clean sheet on Tuesday.
Even if they do not, it is hard to envisage a high-scoring encounter. Fifteen of Chelsea’s last 17 encounters have featured under 2.5 goals, and there is good reason to believe this game will follow that pattern.
0-0 at half-time – 2/1 (Spreadex)
To say that Chelsea have been slow starters this term would be an understatement.
Their Premier League games have featured just 21 first-half goals, the joint-lowest number in the division.
The issue is even more pronounced when Chelsea play in front of their own fans. In 12 home games in England’s top flight, they have scored just four goals and conceded only one.
Visitors to Stamford Bridge usually aim to keep things tight at the back in the opening 45 minutes.
They know that Chelsea struggle to break down well-organised defences, so getting to half-time at 0-0 is often their primary objective.
Eight of those 12 matches have been goalless at the interval. Borussia Dortmund, you feel, would settle for that scoreline at the midway point of Tuesday’s contest.
Chelsea will have to take more risks the longer the game goes on, which could allow Dortmund to do damage on the counter-attack.
But in the opening period Terzic’s side will prioritise defensive solidity against opponents that have lacked a cutting edge for most of the campaign.
There will be some quality attacking players on show in this game, but that does not mean this will be a goal-laden affair.
How to watch Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund
- Location: Stamford Bridge, London, England.
- Date and time: Tuesday 7 March 2023, 8pm.
- How to watch: BT Sport 1.
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