Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea – Best players to look out for and predicted XI for their Champions League round of 16 clash
Chelsea begin their Champions League round of 16 journey with a mouth-watering clash against Borussia Dortmund on February 15.
Dortmund have been in impressive form, having not lost a single game since the turn of the new year. They will welcome back star youngster Karim Adeyemi back to their squad after serving his suspension for the Bundesliga game at the weekend prior to Champions League midweek.
Here’s who we think will make a huge impact in the high octane two-legged clash between Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund:
An obvious first pick, Jude Bellingham is in the form of his life and will have another chance to prove himself at the highest level against Chelsea.
The Blues are currently struggling to maintain their spot in the first half of the Premier League table and will be alert to Bellingham’s presence on the ball.
The English midfielder has been sensational ever since he began playing for Dortmund and his quality on the ball is something that could give the Yellow Brigade from Germany an upper hand heading into this clash.
Partnering Niklas Sule in Borussia Dortmund’s central defence, Nico Schlotterbeck has been a revelation this season.
The defender is ranked third in the percentage of defensive challenges won in the Bundesliga this season. Additionally, he is ranked among the top five Bundesliga players in the number of successful passes, top ten in most number of successful tackles, dribbles, one-touch passes, blocked shots and 1v1 situations.
However, he seems to lose his cool on regular occasions and commits errors that lead to goals for opponents. If things go to plan, Schlotterbeck could single-handedly turn the tide in Dortmund’s favour.
Havertz will be part of one Chelsea’s trio of attackers against Dortmund, alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling.
The German forward has been in scintillating form recently and is expected to carry it in this all-important Champions League clash.
While he hasn’t racked up high numbers in goals and assists, Havertz’s impact in Chelsea’s build-up play cannot be undermined and will be crucial if Graham Potter is to succeed against Dortmund.
Chelsea’s new recruit in January, Enzo Fernandez has instantly become one of the most important players.
The 2022 World Cup winner arrived for a huge fee and has seamlessly transitioned into his deep midfield role at the club.
Fernandez will face the daunting task of limiting the impact of Dortmund players like Jude Bellingham, Marco Reus and Julian Brandt. An absolutely enthralling midfield battle awaits us in this game!
Mr. Borussia Dortmund, Marco Reus is still going strong at the top level.
The attacking midfielder is at the center of everything positive there is to notice about the Yellow Submarine. We feel one of his key objectives coming into this game will be to get Kalidou Koulibaly booked so the Senegalese defender misses the second leg.
While his impact in goalscoring may not be as huge as it was in the past, his leadership on the field adds another dimension to Borussia Dortmund’s game, a dimension that could hurt Chelsea over two legs.
Borussia Dortmund predicted starting XI: Kobel; Ryerson, Sule, Schlotterbeck; Guerreiro, Can, Bellingham; Reus, Brandt, Adeyemi; Haller
Chelsea predicted starting XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Chilwell; Mount, Enzo Fernandez, Jorginho, Sterling; Aubameyang, Havertz
Which players from each team will miss the second leg if they get a yellow card in this game?
Borussia Dortmund: Ryerson
Chelsea: Gallagher, Koulibaly, Mount, Mudryk
Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea’s results in their last six games in all competitions (most recent first)
Borussia Dortmund – W W W W W L
Chelsea – D D W L L L