Chelsea finally scraped a win, overcoming 17th placed Leeds United, thanks to a goal from a set-piece by Wesley Fofana. It means they have scored just twice from open play in 2023, a stat which won’t mean too much though, if they manage to find a way to oust a high-flying Borussia Dortmund from the Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday.
The German side beat the London Blues 1-0 in the first-leg and will visit Stamford Bridge high on confidence having just beaten RB Leipzig, going level on points with Bayern Munich in the process. They have won their last 12 games and are unbeaten in their last 8 away games, all of which bodes poorly for the under-pressure Chelsea side.
But Graham Potter will know his side possess the quality to beat any opponent on their day, but getting his players to click as a unit has been a real struggle for the former Brighton boss.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS
Thiago Silva remains out with a knee injury along with the likes of Edouard Mendy (surgery) and Cesar Azpilicueta, who is still following concussion protocols.
N’Golo Kante is back in training but is not yet ready for first-team action. Mason Mount is serving a suspension while Armando Broja is out with a knee problem.
Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, David Datro Fofana and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all not eligible to feature having not been registered by the club.
PREDICTED CHELSEA LINEUP VS BORUSSIA DORTMUND (3-4-3)
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been impressive in goal and will continue between the posts.
Mendy will have a fight on his hands to usurp the Spaniard from the starting Chelsea lineup.
Potter will stick to a back three having tasted success against the Leeds where his side looked much more compact.
Wesley Fofana has been the Blues’ best defender since his return from injury. Kalidou Koulibaly has been slow to settle in but has to be backed by the management to come good.
There are a couple of choices for the third defender’s position but given the lack of left-footed options, Marc Cucurella is expected to get a start in the Chelsea lineup.
Reece James will start as the right wingback while the in-form Ben Chilwell will be stationed on the opposite flank of the Chelsea lineup.
Mateo Kovacic has looked good in recent games and will partner Enzo Fernandez in the centre of the pitch.
Kai Havertz seems to be an automatic choice in front of goal, despite finding it difficult to find the back of the net. He should once again start in the Chelsea lineup.
The German is likely to be flanked on either side by Joao Felix and Raheem Sterling.