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Champions League Round Of 16 Preview: Potter Gets Angry As Dortmund Look Keen

Champions League Round Of 16 Preview: Potter Gets Angry As Dortmund Look Keen
Kevin Dowling
By Kevin Dowling
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The round of 16 of the Champions League continues tonight and here is all you need to know about today's two fixtures.

Dortmund v Chelsea (Signal Iduna Park, 8pm)


Place in domestic league: 3rd

Last three results: W W W

Dortmund qualified for the Round of 16 after finishing comfortably second behind Manchester City with nine points. However they only managed to win two games against Sevilla (away) and Copenhagen (home) in their group. Their form in the Bundesliga is excellent with five victories in their last five league games.

Undefeated in this new calendar year, they will enter this home game with a lot of momentum and confidence.Dortmund's coach Edin Terzic knows how good Chelsea is but he maintained that their main focus should be on themselves:

It's not easy to analyze the whole thing. They've given up players and brought in key players. You don't know exactly with which lineup they will perform here. As always, we will focus on ourselves

With the support of their fans and the well known 'Yellow Wall', Terzic stated that:

We need at least one win from the two games to advance to the next round. It's certainly a little easier at home with the euphoria of 80,000 fans. I can feel the anticipation in everyone involved.

When it comes to injuries, Dortmund's manager confirmed tha  young promising talents Youssoufa Moukoko and Julian Duranville are not available for tonight's game. Mateu Morey also isn't available due to a horrible injury sustained back in May 2021. This injury should not be a concern for Dortmund as their squad depth is full of very good and skillful players such as Donyell Malen, Julian Brandt, Jude Bellingham and many more. One player to watch out for is English 18-year-old Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, who is a threat each time he comes off the bench.




Place in domestic league: 10th

Last three results: D D D

Chelsea are playing two seasons in one: on one hand they played very well in the Champions League and topped Group E ahead of AC Milan. On the other side they are struggling in the Premier League, sitting right in the middle at the tenth place and eight points off a potential European place for next year. They managed to win 2-0 at the San Siro but yet lost 1-0 to Fulham and 3-0 away to Leeds. The Blues have been very inconsistent under their new manager Graham Potter and they are now focusing more on winning the Champions League than winning the Premier League.

Although Chelsea are on a record of one game one in the last eight games in all competition, he believes anything is possible in the knockout stages as it is a completely different type of "competition":

In a knockout competition anything can happen. 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

A lot of key ayers are ruled out such as their goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Raheem Sterling, N'Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja. They should still have enough quality in their squad with players like Joao Felix, Thiago Silva, newly transferred Mykhailo Mudryk and world cup winner Enzo Fernandez. These players can help Chelsea reach the quarter finals.

Brugge v Benfica (Jan Breydel Stadium, 8pm kickoff time)

Club Brugge

Place in domestic league: 4th

Last three results: D D D


Brugge is the unexpected team out of the lot in these knockout stages. They managed to remain first of Group B throughout most of the campaign with wins over all three strong opponents: Athletico Madrid, Bayern Leverkusen and Porto. They only fell short of topping their group in the final gameday when they drew to Leverkusen and Porto beat Diego Someone's side to be on top for only one point. Club Brugge's coach Scott Parker is only one month in the job and he has failed to impress in the Belgian league with only one victory in the seven games as their coach.

Tonight's game against Portugal's giant will be a big test for the English manager and if results don't go his way, he could be out the door as quickly as he came in. However, Parker is still confident they can get a result out of this game against Benfica and said that they have "nothing to lose". He also added:


We need to be fearless on this stage and we want to leave our mark. We have been training well over the last few days. Everyone is excited and our team is looking forward to this game. It’s up to us to show ourselves and to execute our plan.

Club captain Hans Vanaken also stated that they are "ready for Champions League level" and that they have already "showed that they are capable of it in the groupe stage".

The Belgian side will have to play without a key member of their squad whom is Danish winger Andreas Skov Olsen. He still remains injured after sustaining a hip injury. Canadian winger Tajon Buchanan and Spanish striker Ferran Jutgla are also doubtful for this game. Altough Buchanan and Jutgla are included in the squad list they can still not be fully fit to start. The absence of their main wingers and their top goal scorer could be costly for them and the task could be harder than expected for Parker's men.



Place in domestic league: 1st

Last three results: W W W

Benfica enters the Round of 16 with a huge level of confidence after topping Group H ahead of European powers houses Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. Their last result in the Champions League is a 6-1 away victory against Macabi Haïfa. In the Portuguese league they are sitting first of the table with only one defeat in twenty games and five points clear against second place rivals FC Porto.

Lisbon's coach Roger Schmidt said that his players are ready to "play an intense match". The German manager really wants to get a win away from home.  Nevertheless, he also knows that at the end of the day it's the results of the two games (home and away) that counts at this stage of the competition:

 We've been through this before, and we know it's important to have a good first match, but in the end, it's the two games that count. It doesn't matter how, the important thing is to reach the quarterfinals, our big goal

Benfica will be traveling with their best squad to Brugge with no players injured and non doubtful for the game.

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