The UEFA Champions League comes alive again at the Stamford Bridge as 2-time champions, Chelsea take on 2013 finalists, Borussia Dortmund in a mouth watering second-leg knock out tie by 20.00 GMT.
Dortmund lead in aggregate following Adeyemi’s super goal to break the deadlock in the second, Chelsea will come into this game hoping to secure the needed win
The first leg ended with the 2nd-placed Bundesliga side edging the tie by a solitary goal in a match dominated by the away side in many aspects. Chelsea’s difficulty in putting the ball in the back of the net came to the fore again as Graham Potter’s men failed to convert chances throughout the game, despite having 21 shots in the game.
In the first tie, Chelsea manager, Graham Potter had opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation with Kai Havertz leading the line and Hakim Ziyech providing typically dangerous crosses into the box. The vastly experienced Jao Felix sat just behind Havertz while a relatively ineffective Mudryk was deployed to cause trouble on the left flank. Over all, there were a few successes with that formation and Starting XI, but Chelsea ultimately fell short.
In today’s match at the Bridge, Chelsea must find a way of solving its major challenge this season – scoring goals – if they must proceed to the next stage of the competition at Dortmund’s expense. At the weekend, in the English Premier league, Potter’s men managed only their 4th goal in 2023 in a 1-0 win against struggling Leeds United. Today, they’ll need to score, at least, 2 unreplied goals to advance and avoid penalties.
To surmount the challenge of dryness in front of goal, I’m proposing that Graham Potter starts with a proven goal scorer in this competition – Jao Felix. Also, to create with on the pitch, Potter should deploy athletic wingbacks in Ben Chilwell and Reece James who are also capable of putting in solid crosses into the box.
This 3-4-3 (3-4-2-1) will not just provide attacking flair, but also help the team defensively as it switches to 5-4-1 in defensive transitions, overloading the middle and making it difficult for Jude Bellingham to operate. It also checks the runs of Dortmund’s very athletic wingers and gives them defensive headaches.