Following a weekend of high drama in the English Premier League, football fans focus on the midweek Champions League fixtures beginning on Tuesday. Games from UEFA’s flagship tournament will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, with each game shown live on television. Some mouth-watering clashes are included in the line-up, including Bayern Munich v PSG and Tottenham v AC Milan, both on Wednesday.
We aren’t prepared to wait that long to get stuck into the best the week has to offer, and on Tuesday, there’s a huge clash from London that caught the eye of our team. English Premier League side Chelsea welcomes German Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund to Stamford Bridge for the Round of 16 second leg. The aggregate score is locked at 1-0 Borussia following the first leg in Dortmund, but there’s still plenty to play for in the UK capital.
Which team will come out on top and secure a place in the quarter-finals? That remains to be seen, but our team of football writers aims to crack the code and help you bag a profit from your midweek predictions. We bring you the stats, form, and team news that matters needed to make a well-researched and reliably-informed pick on Tuesday’s main event.
Chelsea is under pressure
Chelsea may hold the home advantage for Tuesday’s knockout game, but the locals are under pressure following a poor run of results. They were beaten in Dortmund by a Borussia team who are great on their own patch and capable of beating any opponent at this level with the backing of the famous red wall. But the Blues would have hoped to be more competitive than they were, failing to score a goal or create too many chances. A lack of cutting-edge in attack has haunted the club all season, but the players are showing no signs of turning things around any time soon.
The board has invested heavily in the playing staff, higher than in most seasons under former owner Roman Abramovich who was forced to sell his beloved EPL team after enjoying many successful seasons in charge. The money splashed during the winter transfer window would put most other teams to shame, but it hasn’t translated into success on the football pitch, not yet, anyway. That could change, and it would be no shock to see Chelsea win this trophy, but they must improve on last time. The home team is a goal behind, but this fixture could change in the blink of an eye.
Do you plan to support Chelsea on Tuesday, backing them to find a way through to the next round? Their recent form does little to inspire confidence, with the Blues winning just one game since a narrow 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at this venue in January. The spare result was a 1-0 against Leeds United at the weekend, but the same problems in the attack were obvious. They must start shooting and scoring rather than trying to net the perfect goal. That’s something most regulars at Stamford Bridge would agree with.
Dortmund holds the advantage
Borussia Dortmund went into the first leg of this tie knowing their best chance of progressing came from making their home advantage count. And that’s exactly what they did when earning a hard-fought 1-0 over the London side in the first leg. It was a competitive match, with both sides creating their fair share of chances, but the Germans found the net. As a result, they are now potentially just 90 minutes away from securing a place in the next round, keeping their dreams of winning this season’s UCL trophy alive.
Adeyemi scored the winning goal in the first leg just after the hour mark in Dortmund, but that game was almost a month ago. A lot can and has changed at both clubs since, but that won’t deter Borussia, who arrive in London knowing they are in complete control of this tie. A win or draw would see them safely through, meaning their low-scoring opponents must go on the attack from the first whistle.
We last saw Borussia Dortmund in action at the weekend when they beat RB Leipzig 2-1 at home. The goals that day were scored by Reus and Can, with both coming inside the opening 40 minutes. It was a strong start by the side, who freshened things up with this game in mind. After taking the lead, Dortmund showed their experience to see it out and earn the three points. That was the perfect dress rehearsal for Tuesday’s challenge, as the visitors will be asked to try and defend their lead again.
Chelsea v Borussia Dortmund Prediction
Chelsea is the pre-match favourites to win this game with most pundits, but their lack of goals in 2023 is worrying. In the opinion of fans, they must go on the front foot, create chances and score two or more goals, something they haven’t done in the Premier League or Champions League for too long. We must see the Blues be more clinical in the final third, as a failure to beat their opponents by at least two clear goals will send them out of the running. Fans wouldn’t take that failure lightly.
Borussia Dortmund knows what they must do to keep their Champions League adventure alive. They must keep a clean sheet, as they did against Chelsea last month, or score in London. The home team has a great defensive record but are poor going forward. That may encourage the Germans to sit deep and try to protect their lead. Expect a slow, nervy evening with not a lot of clearcut chances on show.
Champions League odds
According to the market, the pre-match betting odds available on this game at 22bet have Chelsea priced at 1.832 for the win, making them the favourites. Borussia Dortmund to do the double over Chelsea by winning at Stamford Bridge is 4.18 while the draw trades at 3.72.
Make sure to bet on Chelsea v Borussia Dortmund with 22Bet!