Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund predictions: In-form Dortmund expected to advance
Borussia Dortmund lead Chelsea 1-0 at the halfway point in their Champions League last-16 tie, bringing golden form to Stamford Bridge ahead of a crucial second leg on Tuesday evening.
- Dortmund have won all 10 competitive games since the World Cup
- Chelsea have scored just two goals in seven matches
- Recommended bet: Borussia Dortmund to win the first half — 7/2
Reece James missed the weekend's Premier League action but could return in a major plus for the hosts, although Cesar Azpilicueta, Armando Broja, Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva remain out.
Mason Mount is suspended, though may have missed out through fitness anyway, while N'Golo Kante has returned to training but a return is unlikely as he comes back from a six-month lay-off.
Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel was injured prior to Dortmund's weekend action and could miss out again, with Alexander Meyer on standby to play between the posts. Karim Adeyemi, whose goal won the first leg, is a doubt, as is Donyell Malen.
Youssoufa Moukoko, Julien Duranville and Mateu Morey are unavailable for the German outfit,
Chelsea's narrow win over Leeds on Saturday bucked a recent trend at long last — the 1-0 victory was their first win in seven games in all competitions and just their second in 12 fixtures in 2023.
By contrast, Dortmund have fired their way to second in the Bundesliga and are now challenging Bayern Munich's dynastic reign, all thanks to a perfect record of 10 wins from 10 since the World Cup restart.
There is a similar story where goals are concerned. When Wesley Fofana found the net at the weekend, it marked an end to a run of three scoreless performances, with Chelsea's only goal in the six matches prior to that coming in a 1-1 draw at West Ham.
Where their midweek hosts have faltered, Dortmund have excelled.
Their 2-1 win over RB Leipzig on Saturday saw them notch their 24th and 25th goals in competitive action this year, while BVB have also hit seven goals in their three games since the last meeting between the pair, letting in just two.
The threat of elimination from the Champions League for effectively two seasons, given their lowly league position, should be motivation enough for Chelsea to get into gear and threaten Dortmund.
But motivation alone is unlikely to tip the balance in Graham Potter's favour as his side welcome a rampant opponent, who have brushed aside every team they have faced in 2023 and are known for their strong starts.
With Chelsea markedly slow out of the blocks this season, the first period is likely to be Dortmund's strongest and they are likely to capitalise before the hosts can build up a decent head of steam.
The German team certainly have goals in their side and with the tie still not put to bed, they will be keen to seal the deal quickly.