Why Chelsea’s Borussia Dortmund task will be even more daunting after historic change
Chelsea face Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 in the Champions League on Wednesday, and their task has become even more daunting after a historic change.
The Blues topped their group containing AC Milan, Dinamo Zagreb and RB Salzburg to make it into the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
Graham Potter’s side then drew German giants Borussia Dortmund, with the first match of the two-legged tie being played in Germany.
Dortmund are known for having one of the most hostile atmosphere’s in world football with their impressive ‘Yellow Wall’ supporting them in home games.
While this would have made Chelsea’s challenge tough enough, it has been revealed that the Bundesliga side will have even more support against the Blues.
For the first time in the club’s histroy, the Champions League clash will be played in front of a bumper crowd.
On Wednesday, the clash will be played in front of 81,000 spectators, a 20,000 increase from their old restrictions.
The Westfalenstadion will be a daunting place for Potter’s young Chelsea side to go, but they know that they must come away with a good result to keep their European dreams alive.
Potter has already warned his side agead of the clash at the Signal Iduna Park, telling them that they cannot look past Borussia Dortmund.
He said: “That’s the thing. It’s two games. I don’t think it’s valuable for us to look past Dortmund.
“We have the capability to beat Dortmund but they are also a strong side with the capability to get a result as well. We have to understand that, go to Dortmund with humility, with respect, and try to get the result.
“Obviously it’s a tough match against a high-quality opponent. But at the same time, our team has got some good players.”
The Blues last tasted European glory in 2021 under Thomas Tuchel and Potter will be hoping to emulate his predecessor by lifting the trophy this season.
The head coach added: “(This squad) has won the Champions League. They’ve experienced it. They’ll want to fight for the game, that’s for sure, and that’s exciting for us.”
Since then, Chelsea have a new-look squad as no less than eight players arrived in the January transfer window including Joao Felix, Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk – all of whom were chosen to be registered for the upcoming clash.
However, Noni Madueke, Benoiot Badiashile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed out on the Champions League squad and will not feature.
The clash was the chance for Aubameyang to return to Dortmund, where he impressed before earning a move to the Premier League in the past, but Potter made the decision to exclude him from the squad due to registration restrictions.