Chelsea host Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night, looking to overturn a 1-0 defeat in the first leg in Germany. Who will make it to the quarter-finals? We preview the match, including our Opta supercomputer match prediction.

Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund: The Quick Hits

  • Chelsea the favourites to win this UCL match against Borussia Dortmund (51.2%), but will it be enough to progress to the quarter-finals?
  • Borussia Dortmund are the only team within the top five European leagues to have won 100% of matches in 2023 (10/10).
  • Kai Havertz has failed to score in all eight of his previous competitive appearances vs. BVB; his worst record against any club.

Match Preview

Chelsea host Borussia Dortmund for the first time ever in a competitive match on Tuesday night, as Graham Potter’s side look to turn around their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie following a 1-0 defeat in the first leg.

History looks to be on Chelsea’s side. That defeat in Germany was the eighth time that they have lost the first leg of a UCL knockout tie, but the previous seven have seen them progress to the next round more often (four) than not (three). Borussia Dortmund also have a poor record away in England in the competition, having lost their last five Champions League matches in the country versus Premier League clubs, last winning there against Arsenal in October 2013 (2-1).

However, BVB have a solid record in UCL ties after winning the first leg, progressing from five of their previous six knockout ties after winning the opening game of two, with the exception being their 2019-20 round of 16 exit to Paris Saint-Germain. Despite this, they rarely win both legs of their UCL knockout ties, not doing so since 1996-97. They won both legs of their quarter-final (vs. Auxerre) and semi-final (vs. Manchester United) ties that year, en route to lifting the Champions League trophy for the first and only time.

Previous Meeting

Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Chelsea: 15 February 2023 (UEFA Champions League)

Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Chelsea 2023

Borussia Dortmund gained a first leg advantage over Chelsea in this UCL last 16 tie following their 1-0 win against the Premier League club at Westfalenstadion on 15 February. Karim Adeyemi scored the only goal of the game for BVB, in what was their first ever competitive fixture against Chelsea.

Adeyemi’s goal saw him score for a third successive Borussia Dortmund game, but he is likely to be ruled out of this leg with a hamstring injury suffered against Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga just four days after the Chelsea win – not before he’d scored in his fourth game in a row.

The match didn’t see a single shot on target in the first half – the first UCL game in 2022-23 not to do so, despite there being 16 shots before the break overall. Across the entire match, Chelsea attempted 21 shots without scoring, which was their most without scoring in a Champions League knockout stage game since their 2010-11 quarter-final first leg against Man Utd (also 21).

With their 1-0 victory, Borussia Dortmund enjoyed their first win over an English side in the Champions League since September 2014 over Arsenal (2-0), ending a run of nine matches against English clubs without a win in the competition (D1 L8).

Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Chelsea UCL 2023

Recent Form

Borussia Dortmund enter this match in exceptional form, having won 10 competitive matches in a row for the first time since August 2021. If they win this match, it’ll be their best winning run in all competitions since September 2015 (11 wins in a row) under Thomas Tuchel; a man that has managed both of these clubs.

Across 2023, Borussia Dortmund are the only team to have won 100% of their competitive matches (10/10). In comparison, Chelsea have won just two of their 12 in all competitions.

Following the 2022 FIFA World Cup, BVB have shared the goals around the team, with no fewer than 11 different goalscorers in those 10 matches: Julian Brandt (four), Karim Adeyemi (four), Giovanni Reyna (three), Marco Reus (three) Nico Schlotterbeck (two), Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (two), Emre Can (two) Julian Ryerson, Jude Bellingham, Donyell Malen and Sébastien Haller have all got on the scoresheet.

Since Graham Potter took over at Chelsea from Thomas Tuchel in mid-September, the Blues have lost the same number of games that they have won (10) across 27 competitive matches. They have also scored and conceded the same tally of goals (26). Their 1-0 Premier League win over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday was their first competitive win since 15 January, having drawn three and lost three of their previous six, in which they’d scored just one goal overall.

Finding a regular goalscorer has been a major issue for Potter’s Chelsea, with Kai Havertz (five) the only player to have scored more than three goals across these 27 matches – Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all scoring three, with Saturday’s match-winner against Leeds – Wesley Fofana – scoring twice.

@optaanalyst Chelsea have scored just seven goals in all competitions since returning to play following the 2022 World Cup. No wonder João Félix is frustrated! #premierleague #football #fyp #soccer #foryou #championsleague #foryoupage #chelseafc #chelsea #cfc #goals #footballtiktok #soccertiktok #joaofelix ♬ original sound – optaanalyst

In the 2022-23 Champions League, Chelsea topped Group E ahead of Italian giants Milan, Red Bull Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb, with their only defeat coming in the opening game away in the Croatian capital.

Borussia Dortmund qualified for the round of 16 by finishing in second place behind Manchester City in Group G. Their nine-point tally in the group stage was the lowest of any team to qualify for the last 16, but still was enough to finish above LaLiga club Sevilla and FC Copenhagen. Their only defeat in the group came against Man City at the Etihad Stadium, in a match that they led until the 80th minute before goals from John Stones and former striker Erling Haaland turned the game around.

Key Players

Chelsea: Kai Havertz

For a team that don’t score many goals, Chelsea will be looking for German international Kai Havertz to produce the goods against the opponents from his home nation in order to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Havertz has had more shots (16) and more touches in the opposition box (36) than any other Chelsea player in the UEFA Champions League this season. Havertz was involved in eight of the Blues’ 21 attempts against Dortmund in the first leg, having four shots and creating four chances.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that across his professional career, Havertz has played 675 minutes over eight matches against Borussia Dortmund and never scored a goal – the most games and minutes against a single opponent without scoring.

Kai Havertz vs Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund: Julian Brandt

No player has been involved in more goals across 2023 in all competitions for Edin Terzić’s side than German midfielder Julian Brandt. The 26-year-old has already equalled last season’s competitive goal tally for BVB (nine), with still months remaining in 2022-23 and has been an integral part of Dortmund’s phenomenal 10-game winning run.

Since the end of the 2022 World Cup, Brandt has also created the most chances for BVB across all competitions, both overall (31) and from open play (22) – only Emre Can and Nico Schlotterbeck have regained possession from opponents more often than he has (53).

In the first leg of this tie, no player on the pitch created more chance than Brandt (four) while he also played a match-high 26 passes in the final third, completing 24 of them (92%).

Julian Brandt Passing BVB

Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund Prediction

Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund Prediction

Chelsea are strong favourites to win this match according to the Opta supercomputer, but they’ll be hoping that they can secure a victory by more than a single goal in order to avoid extra time and possibly penalties.

At 51.2% favourites, the Opta prediction gives them a better chance of winning than a draw or Borussia Dortmund win combined (48.8%).

Despite this, our supercomputer doesn’t fancy Chelsea to replicate their 2021 UCL success against Manchester City, with the Blues only having a 1.1% chance of winning the competition this season. Dortmund fare slightly better in the seasonal prediction (6.0%) but are still behind Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich (27.8%), Man City (17.8%), Serie A leaders Napoli (16.2%), reigning UCL and LaLiga champions Real Madrid (11.9%) and Internazionale (11.9%).

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