Date: 15th February 2023 at 12:00pm
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Chelsea will be hoping to put an end to their dismal run of form with a statement victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday. 

The Blues travel to face the Bundesliga side in the first leg of their last 16 tie in the midst of an awful run of form.

Graham Potter’s side have won just two of their last 15 games across all competitions, with a 1-1 draw against West Ham United last time out piling more pressure on the former Brighton boss.

Potter had tricky decisions to make when selecting his Champions League squad, with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missing out on a place in the squad for the knockout stages.

Here, we predict the XI that he could select for the first leg.


Kepa Arrizabalaga has played every minute of every match since the World Cup, in the absence of the injured Edouard Mendy. The Senegal international isn’t expected back any time soon, meaning Kepa will once again start against Dortmund.


At the back, Reece James will make a third consecutive start having returned from injury against Fulham last week. The England international has struggled with injuries this season, but will be crucial for The Blues during the second half of the campaign.

Chelsea have been boosted by the return of Reece James

In the middle, Thiago Silva will most likely be partnered by Kalidou Koulibaly, who hasn’t started a match since Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat to rivals Fulham midway through January. The Senegal international lost his starting spot to new signing Benoit Badiashile, who has been in fine form of late, but the Frenchman wasn’t registered for the latter stages of the Champions League and will therefore not be involved.

Trevoh Chalobah is likely to be named on the bench.

On the left, Ben Chilwell could replace Marc Cucurella, who was heavily criticised for his performance against West Ham on Saturday. The Spaniard has struggled for form ever since arriving in London, and Chilwell is returning to full fitness after a lengthy injury lay-off.


In midfield, new signing Enzo Fernandez is in line to make a third consecutive start for his new club. The midfielder, the most expensive player in Premier League history, has been superb during both of his appearances so far and looks set to become a mainstay over the coming seasons.

Along side him, Mateo Kovacic could replace Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who started the draw against The Hammers. The England international looked relatively lively in the first half of what was his first start since November, but Kovacic is now fully fit after a spell on the sidelines and will likely start. Conor Gallagher could be used from the bench.

Felix scored his first Chelsea goal against West Ham on Saturday

Ahead of the pair, Joao Felix is set to start. The Portugal international, on loan from Atletico Madrid, scored his first goal for the club on Saturday and is best deployed behind a striker.


On the right, Mason Mount could return to the starting line up having been dropped to the bench last time out. The midfielder is primarily used more centrally,  but the form of Felix could push him out wide. Noni Madueke isn’t available having not been included in the squad.

Kai Havertz looks set to start through the middle once again, despite scoring just once in his last eight matches across all competitions. David Datro Fofana is yet to make his full debut for the club.

Mudryk has already scored three goals in the Champions League this season

On the left, Mykhaylo Mudryk is set to start again. The Ukraine international was particularly impressive in the Champions League for former club Shakhtar Donetsk, scoring three goals and providing two assists in six group stage games this term. The winger is yet to score or assist for his new club, bit his record in the competition will give Potter confidence.

Predicted XI: Arrizabalaga; James, Silva, Koulibaly, Chilwell; Fernandez, Felix, Kovacic; Mount, Havertz, Mudryk

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