Chelsea's disappointing season has created speculation about several of their key players' futures.

The Blues are mid-table in the Premier League and will miss out on Champions League qualification next term.

It has been a tumultuous season, with Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter both axed under their new ownership led by Todd Boehly.

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID OPEN HAVERTZ TALKS

Real Madrid have commenced negotiations with Chelsea about a possible off-season move for Kai Havertz, reports 90min.

Los Blancos view the 23-year-old German forward as a potential successor for veteran striker Karim Benzema.

Madrid are eager to reinforce their offensive options in the next transfer window. Bayern Munich are known to be admirers of Havertz too.

 

ROUND-UP

– Gazzetta dello Sport claims Juventus are planning a move to bring Chelsea's Kalidou Koulibaly back to Italy as he is unhappy at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool's interest in RB Leipzig's Josko Gvardiol has cooled given the German club's £80m valuation which they believe is too high, according to Football Insider.

– The Mirror reports Paris Saint-Germain are considering selling Neymar in the off-season with his contract up in 2025. Chelsea and one other Premier League club are interested.

Real Madrid are preparing a new contract offer for Eduardo Camavinga amid links with Premier League clubs, reports Fabrizio Romano. The Frenchman wants to remain with Madrid.

– The Sun claims Manchester City are plotting a move for Brentford full back Aaron Hickey who is expected to cost around £30m.

– There is no truth to speculation linking Barcelona with a move for Chelsea's Reece James, according to Fabrizio Romano. James signed a long-term deal last year.

Chelsea endured a frustrating start to the post-Graham Potter era as they shared a 0-0 Premier League draw with Liverpool, a VAR check denying Kai Havertz a winner at Stamford Bridge.

Interim Blues boss Bruno Saltor saw his team create plenty of chances against a much-changed Reds side after Jurgen Klopp omitted Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and other key players from his starting XI. 

However, Chelsea's familiar attacking woes were on full display as Havertz saw a potentially decisive strike ruled out for handball to cap a wasteful performance.

While the result keeps Chelsea inside the bottom half, Liverpool failed to make up ground on their rivals for a top-four finish as their winless run was extended to four games across all competitions. 

Chelsea started brightly as Mateo Kovacic forced Ibrahima Konate into a sliding goal-line clearance, before Alisson smothered Havertz's close-range flick following good work from Ben Chilwell.

Reece James thought he had volleyed Chelsea ahead after 24 minutes, but an offside call against Enzo Fernandez in the build-up saw his powerful finish chalked off.

Having offered virtually nothing as an attacking force, Liverpool almost snatched the lead on the stroke of half-time, Wesley Fofana crucially deflecting Fabinho's volley around the post.

Kovacic fired over from a glaring one-on-one chance after the interval, before Havertz was denied the opener by a VAR review when the German's tame finish bounced back off Alisson and found the net via his arm.

Joao Felix sent a wild volley over as Chelsea continued to create the clearest opportunities late on, with even the introduction of Salah failing to inspire out-of-form Liverpool.

 

Arsenal, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are among the heavy hitters with reported interest in out-of-favour Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni.

Tchouameni arrived in Madrid last July from Monaco for a €100million fee, but has started just 15 of 26 LaLiga fixtures this term, and played only a combined six minutes in their two-legged Champions League clash with Liverpool, whom he reportedly turned down to move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The defensive midfielder has found himself behind 20-year-old Eduardo Camavinga for Madrid's most crucial contests, also only making brief substitute appearances in both meetings with Barcelona in March.

Tchouameni, who has made 23 senior appearances and scored two international goals for France, still has plenty of time to turn himself into the impact player Madrid envisioned, but the club are reportedly weighing up if they could cash in and use the resources elsewhere.

TOP STORY – EUROPE'S ELITE KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON TCHOUAMENI

According to El Nacional, Madrid are not happy with such an expensive signing only being used sparingly in a rotation role, and will consider any bid in the next transfer window starting at €70m (£61.5m).

The report names Arsenal, United, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Chelsea as Tchouameni's "admirers", with the Premier League clubs in particular having all been in the market recently for help in central midfield.

Tchouameni could even cost less than breakout Brighton and Hove Albion star Moises Caicedo, and significantly less than Borussia Dortmund talent Jude Bellingham, adding another key name into the mix for midfielder-hungry clubs this offseason.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Calciomercato, Liverpool are considering a move for Brighton's Caicedo if their pursuit of Bellingham is unsuccessful.

– Football Insider is reporting that Chelsea are hoping to receive £100m in return for midfield duo Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic in an effort to balance the books after lavish spending.

– Chelsea's Kai Havertz has interest in reuniting with former boss Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich, and that interest is mutual according to 90min.

– Fichajes is reporting that Roma may swoop for 32-year-old United goalkeeper David de Gea if he does not sign a new contract to stay in the Premier League.

– According to Mundo Deportivo, PSG have told Lionel Messi they will pay whatever is necessary to retain his services amid heavy interest from Barcelona and Inter Miami.

After an unwelcome international break the view of many, Premier League football returns this weekend with plenty to decide at both ends of the table.

A gruelling clash between title-chasing Manchester City and top-four hopefuls Liverpool kicks things off on Saturday, with league leaders Arsenal hosting Leeds United later in the day and potentially having the opportunity to extend their lead at the summit.

Bukayo Saka is once again one to watch at Emirates Stadium, having maintained his fine form over the international break on England duty, and it would be wise to draft him into your fantasy squad if he is not yet in the side.

Elsewhere, Kai Havertz's resurgence is one to keep an eye on, while Danny Ings and Jack Harrison are also worth a punt.

Using Opta data, we've highlighted exactly why that quartet should be on your hit list.

Bukayo Saka (Arsenal v Leeds United)

The Hale End graduate is the only player in the Premier League to have hit double figures for both goals (12) and assists (10) this season, with Saka in particularly devastating form at Emirates Stadium.

Overall, 14 of his 22 goal involvements have come in north London, standing behind only Erling Haaland (23) for the most direct goal involvements at home in the Premier League.

Last time out against Crystal Palace, Saka scored twice and contributed an assist to help Arsenal maintain their title charge, then carrying that form into England duty and scoring against Ukraine at Wembley.

Kai Havertz (Chelsea v Aston Villa)

Linked with a move to Bayern Munich at the end of the season following Thomas Tuchel's appointment in Bavaria, Havertz has hit a fine vein of form at a crucial stage of the season in Chelsea's top-four bid.

Seven goals this season puts Havertz just one shy of his tally from last season, while he enters the clash against Aston Villa having scored in each of his last two Premier League appearances – meaning he could score in three consecutive games for the first time since March 2022.

No player has been involved in more goals under Graham Potter than Havertz (six goals, one assist), scoring twice the amount as Chelsea's next leading scorer under the Englishman (Mason Mount, three).

 

Danny Ings (West Ham v Southampton)

Ings has established a fine record of haunting his former employers in the Premier League, having been directly involved in 10 goals in his last 14 such matches (seven goals, three assists).

That includes involvement in three goals in his last two appearances against Southampton (one goal, two assists), who may wonder what might have been had he been in their ranks in the fight for Premier League survival.

Since January 21, no West Ham player has a higher goals-per-game ratio (0.55) or expected goals (0.56) return, while only Jarrod Bowen (6.43) and Said Benrahma (5.29) have more touches in the opposition box per 90 minutes than Ings (4.66).

Jack Harrison (Arsenal v Leeds United)

With six assists over the course of the season, Harrison ranks sixth across the entirety of the Premier League in that regard, with only Christian Eriksen (seven), Mohamed Salah (seven), Leandro Trossard (eight), Saka (10) and Kevin De Bruyne (12) having more.

In Leeds' bid for survival, Harrison has been the catalyst in pushing the club away from the bottom three and travels to Emirates Stadium having scored in consecutive Premier League matches.

Only Rodrigo (12) has been involved in more Leeds goals this term than Harrison (nine), while nobody has created more chances for the Yorkshire side than the midfielder (41).

Kai Havertz hailed the impact Thomas Tuchel had on his career, with the new Bayern Munich boss having coached the Germany international at Chelsea.

Tuchel, who was announced as Bayern's coach following the shock sacking of Julian Nagelsmann last week, took charge of the Blues between January 2021 and September last year.

The German guided Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2021, with Havertz scoring the first-half winner in a 1-0 victory over fellow Premier League side Manchester City.

Speaking to The Guardian on Tuchel's influence, he said: "Tuchel gave me a different idea of football. 

"Every detail counts, every centimetre, how you touch the ball, how you control, where you pass, which foot, movement, creating spaces: he's just top level. 

"To come and win the Champions League in six months says it all.

"My brother and I used to watch every Champions League game and to hold the trophy with your family on the pitch was such a relief. 

"I scored this goal, I can be happy. I made my childhood dream come true."

Chelsea remain in this year's competition after overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit to Borussia Dortmund with a 2-0 home win at Stamford Bridge. 

Havertz scored the crucial second goal from the penalty spot and his side now face reigning champions Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.

"The ambition is still there," Havertz said about Chelsea's Champions League aspirations this campaign. 

"In the league, we are not very good and we feel for the fans but against Dortmund, the atmosphere was the best I have seen. You feel the excitement. 

"The Premier League is big and winning it may be even more difficult but the Champions League is different. Hearing that anthem, playing at night, it's special."

Despite progress in the Champions League, Tuchel's successor Graham Potter sees his side sit tenth in the Premier League and 11 points off a top-four position heading into the final stage of the season.

Regardless of the pressure on Potter and the new singings brought in as part of an ambitious January spending spree, Havertz believes all of them will thrive at the club given time to develop. 

"Potter is very good for Chelsea even though he gets criticism; in the changing room, everyone knows his qualities.

"Enzo [Fernandez] and [Mykhaylo] Mudryk have come for a lot of money and they're only 22, you know? You cannot expect them to be Neymar straight away. It's like me: it takes time."

Kai Havertz and Nico Schlotterbeck have withdrawn from Germany's squad for Tuesday's friendly with Belgium.

Both players started Saturday's 2-0 win over Peru, but the German Football Association (DFB) confirmed on Sunday they have now returned to their clubs.

Chelsea attacker Havertz is ruled out of the Belgium match through illness, while Borussia Dortmund defender Schlotterbeck has a thigh injury.

Germany head coach Hansi Flick has decided against calling up any replacements for the friendly at RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne.

Belgium, who beat Sweden 3-0 in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday, will be without Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois due to a minor strain injury.

Germany's first game following their World Cup disappointment ended in a routine 2-0 friendly victory over Peru, though Kai Havertz faltered from the penalty spot.

Hansi Flick's team bowed out in the group stage in Qatar, but began their preparations for Euro 2024 in convincing fashion on Saturday.

Niclas Fullkrug's double had put Germany into a commanding lead in Mainz by the time Havertz hit the upright with a 75th-minute spot-kick.

His finish on the rebound was disallowed due to no other player touching the ball, though it was merely a small blot on an otherwise accomplished Germany display.

Havertz and Fullkrug were rare bright sparks from the World Cup, and it was the duo who combined for the opening goal on Saturday when the latter finished crisply from the Chelsea forward's knockdown.

Having just denied Matthias Ginter, Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese could not keep out Fullkrug's crisp finish after Havertz had chested the ball into the striker's path.

Germany seemed certain to be 2-0 up when Havertz and then Timo Werner had acres of space to shoot from close range, yet Gallese's superb double save kept them at bay.

Gallese was helpless to prevent Fullkrug tucking home his second just after the half-hour – the striker turning in from Marius Wolf's excellent cross.

Luis Advincula's block denied Fullkrug a third before the break, while Serge Gnabry struck the crossbar with an audacious overhead attempt on the hour mark.

Nico Schlotterbeck had a valid penalty appeal dismissed soon after, but referee Maria Ferrieri Caputi changed her decision after consulting the pitchside monitor.

Havertz failed to capitalise, with much of the crowd seemingly unaware as to why exactly his finish at the second attempt had been disallowed, though Peru never looked likely to make Germany rue that ruling.

Chelsea forward Kai Havertz is enjoying some strong form once again, but he revealed the mental toll this season has taken on himself and those around him.

The Germany international has made 22 starts from Chelsea's 26 Premier League fixtures this campaign, having only scored 27 goals as a team.

It has resulted in a pressure-packed season as boss Graham Potter fights for his job, and while Havertz's own production has not taken too much of a hit, the weight of a disappointing season has taken its toll.

After eight goals and four assists in 29 league appearances last season, Havertz has tallied six goals and one assist this time around, but had only one goal in his past 10 prior to finding the back of the net against Leicester City in Saturday's 3-1 win.

"Football is our life," Havertz told reporters. "If you lose a game, of course you don’t have an easy life as well. 

"I think everyone at home, especially my girlfriend, has had some tough weeks as well in the last weeks and months. I think she is happy now again and so am I.

"For you [journalists], it is the same – if you have a bad day at work… you… I won’t say the word now but you don’t feel good. Football is a game where we have a lot of pressure on our shoulders.

"We want to make the fans happy and if you don’t make them happy then you don’t have a good time."

But things have begun to swing back the other way, with Havertz coming off a goal in consecutive games as he put one past Borussia Dortmund to help Chelsea advance in the Champions League, before another strong performance against Leiceister.

"Winning is always the best, we won again so we can enjoy some days," he said. "We knew it was going to take some time to adapt for everyone. So maybe, you could see that we are still not finished. 

"It will always take time to develop. We can develop a lot but we showed another good performance [at Leicester] and we can be happy.

"Of course, to win three games in a row is important for us because we had a tough time before that. We knew we would bounce back. 

"We still have a game to play [at home to Everton] before the [international break for the] national team. We have to keep our focus high and win the next game as well."

Borussia Dortmund chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke has accused referee Danny Makkelie of arrogance over his penalty call in the club's Champions League exit to Chelsea.

The Bundesliga side slipped out of Europe after failing to build on their 1-0 first-leg advantage at Stamford Bridge, with a 2-0 defeat on the night meaning a 2-1 aggregate loss to their Premier League hosts.

Chelsea's ultimate winner came from a Kai Havertz penalty, but only when Makkelie allowed the forward to retake it due to encroachment after he missed his first attempt.

Watzke however felt the Dutch referee was guilty of arrogant behaviour in his decision-making, and suggested he was too easily swayed from his gut decisions by a boisterous home atmosphere.

"You always had the bad feeling that he wanted to be the most important man on the pitch," he told SID.

"His gestures, his facial expressions, he really liked [to perform to the crowd].

"Instinct was a foreign word to him. We lost control of the game too early, and congratulations to Chelsea. They deserve to go through.

"But the decision to retake the penalty was very controversial and the original call itself was a 50-50 decision. There's no question about that at all."

Chelsea were originally awarded the penalty after VAR intervened over a handball offence from Dortmund defender Marius Wolf.

Havertz hit the right post with his first attempt, but Makkelie allowed him to retake it after replays showed players from both teams encroached into the box.

Watzke was far from the only Dortmund figure to express their discontent with the decision, with Jude Bellingham also voicing his frustration after the game.

Borussia Dortmund chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke has accused referee Danny Makkelie of arrogance over his penalty call in the club's Champions League exit to Chelsea.

The Bundesliga side slipped out of Europe after failing to build on their 1-0 first-leg advantage at Stamford Bridge, with a 2-0 defeat on the night meaning a 2-1 aggregate loss to their Premier League hosts.

Chelsea's ultimate winner came from a Kai Havertz penalty, but only when Makkelie allowed the forward to retake it due to encroachment after he missed his first attempt.

Watzke however felt the Dutch referee was guilty of arrogant behaviour in his decision-making, and suggested he was too easily swayed from his gut decisions by a boisterous home atmosphere.

"You always had the bad feeling that he wanted to be the most important man on the pitch," he told SID.

"His gestures, his facial expressions, he really liked [to perform to the crowd].

"Instinct was a foreign word to him. We lost control of the game too early, and congratulations to Chelsea. They deserve to go through.

"But the decision to retake the penalty was very controversial and the original call itself was a 50-50 decision. There's no question about that at all."

Chelsea were originally awarded the penalty after VAR intervened over a handball offence from Dortmund defender Marius Wolf.

Havertz hit the right post with his first attempt, but Makkelie allowed him to retake it after replays showed players from both teams encroached into the box.

Watzke was far from the only Dortmund figure to express their discontent with the decision, with Jude Bellingham also voicing his frustration after the game.

Jude Bellingham labelled the refereeing in Borussia Dortmund's Champions League defeat at Chelsea a "joke", though he warned he would not talk himself into another fine.

Dortmund took a 1-0 lead to Stamford Bridge for the second leg on Tuesday after Karim Adeyemi's goal at Signal Iduna Park gave them the advantage in the round of 16 tie.

But Raheem Sterling equalised on aggregate in the 43rd minute, before Marius Wolf was adjudged to have handled Ben Chilwell's cross in the Dortmund box from close range shortly after the break.

Kai Havertz hit the post with his initial penalty, but a retake was ordered after a Dortmund player allegedly encroached, with Havertz making no mistake with the second spot-kick by sending Alexander Meyer the wrong way as Chelsea held on to dump Dortmund out.

Bellingham, who was fined €40,000 (£35,665) by the German Football Association (DFB) in 2021 for criticising referee Felix Zwayer, was unhappy with both the decision to award a penalty and the ruling of a retake, blaming Havertz's run-up for his team-mates edging into the area.

"From where I was it looked like he was pretty close and I'm not sure what more he can do with his hands," Bellingham told BT Sport. "It's a yard or two away.

"I don't want to get in trouble, I've paid enough to them lot.

"That in itself was disappointing, and then the fact they've had a retake I think is a joke. For every penalty, especially when you have such a slow run-up, there's going to be people encroaching into the box by a yard or so.

"But that's the game I suppose, he's made a decision and we have to live with it."

Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic was keen to focus on his team's shortcomings rather than blame the referee, though he also felt it was a tight call that went against his side.

"I'm responsible for the performance of our team and my performance," Terzic said. "I don't want to talk about the referee.

"It's now the third time your [media] colleagues are asking me the question. I think it was a tight call and a harsh decision but that's how it goes."

Despite the defeat, Terzic was proud of his players and pointed to Chelsea's huge spending in the transfer market as evidence of his team competing at the top level.

"Fair play to Chelsea and congratulations," Terzic added. "It was two very tight games and in the end, inches decide whether you go to the next round or not.

"We have enough quality in the team and that's the good thing. These two games, this is what we want. We don't want to compete with Chelsea in the transfer market, we want to compete with Chelsea on the matchday and I think we did it twice."

Raheem Sterling had full confidence in Kai Havertz's ability to convert a penalty at the second time of asking, even if Chelsea boss Graham Potter could not bring himself to watch.

Havertz needed two stabs at a second-half penalty against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday but kept his nerve on the retake to send the Blues into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 2-1 aggregate win.

The Germany international hit the post with his first attempt, but referee Danny Makkelie ordered the spot-kick to be retaken after the VAR adjudged Salih Ozcan to have encroached before Havertz struck the ball.

On his second attempt, Havertz sent the ball the same way as on his first, though this time found the bottom-right corner.

Havertz conceded he was nervous stepping up to the spot for a second time, Sterling – who opened the scoring just before half-time at Stamford Bridge – had no doubt in his team-mate.

Asked if he considered putting himself forward to take over spot-kick duties, Sterling told BT Sport: "The second time definitely, but I've seen Kai shoot penalties so many times in training and bro, I was so confident.

"Even though he missed the first one, he knew exactly what he was doing, he was confident and we knew he was going to put it in the back of the net."

It was perhaps not the same for Chelsea coach Potter, who was unable to bring himself to watch Havertz's second attempt.

"After the first one, I stood up and watched it. So I said 'no, I’m going to sit down now'. Just listened to the crowd and thankfully the noise was there," Potter said on BT Sport.

Asked how much he knew of the controversial decision to award a retake, Potter said: "I knew they’d encroached – our assistant, who's better than the rules than me, explained it. So we got a little bit of luck there, I guess."

While he might not have had the nerve to watch the second spot-kick, Potter was full of admiration for Havertz.

He added: "It was him or Reece [James], to be honest. Sometimes they have to feel it on the pitch.

"Obviously we have confidence in Kai. I wasn't watching it but I was delighted when I heard the roar. Taking penalties is not for me, so I am in awe of anybody [who does]."

Chelsea have now won their last two matches, following a run of just one victory in 11 games.

"We have to [build on it]," said Havertz. "The last few weeks, we lost a lot of games, but the Champions League is an important tournament, the last one we're in, so we have to give everything for that.

"Today we showed character, showed we want to win this competition again. Now we have to also win games in the Premier League."

Sterling said: "It was a massive performance, we had to dig deep, we took our chances. Recently we haven't had the luck, but we felt as a team we knew we could do it. Kai did it in the end."

Chelsea completed a turnaround at Stamford Bridge to seal their place in the Champions League quarter-finals after beating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 on Tuesday in the last-16 second leg, and 2-1 on aggregate.

After some near misses in the first half, Raheem Sterling gave the hosts the lead in the 43rd minute, before a retaken Kai Havertz penalty eight minutes into the second half sealed it.

Jude Bellingham missed an excellent opportunity to score for the visitors shortly after Havertz's penalty as the Bundesliga side toiled in west London after losing Julian Brandt to what appeared to be a hamstring injury early on.

It was Dortmund's first defeat since club competitions stopped prior to the World Cup, having won 10 in a row heading into this game, and was Chelsea's second win in a week as Graham Potter looks to turn their fortunes around.

Havertz almost put the hosts ahead just before the half-hour mark but his shot towards the near post from the edge of the box struck the inside of the woodwork, with the ball going across the goal but not in.

It was Sterling who broke the deadlock before half-time though as Chelsea put the Germans under concerted pressure, with the former Manchester City man getting a big slice of luck as he fluffed his first effort from Ben Chilwell's cross back into his own path, before slamming his second high into the roof of the net.

Chelsea had a penalty early in the second half after Marius Wolf was judged to have handled a Chilwell cross, with Havertz hitting the post with his first spot-kick, before being handed a second chance after a Dortmund player allegedly encroached, which he scored after sending Alexander Meyer the wrong way.

Bellingham skewed a shot wide under pressure from Kalidou Koulibaly as Dortmund failed to find a way back into it against a spirited Chelsea side.

Chelsea were punished for a profligate showing at Borussia Dortmund after Karim Adeyemi's second-half strike secured a slender 1-0 lead in the Champions League last 16.

Graham Potter's side will have home advantage in the return match at Stamford Bridge on March 7 but left Signal Iduna Park ruing missed chances on Wednesday.

Joao Felix spurned a pair of glorious first-half opportunities in an entertaining encounter in Germany, before Adeyemi's 63rd-minute goal inflicted further misery on Chelsea after a ruthless counter-attack.

The Blues still have the chance to turn the tie on its head, but Potter and his men cannot afford similar struggles in front of goal in the second leg in west London.

Thiago Silva had the ball in the back of the net after 16 minutes, only to see the goal ruled out and the centre-back cautioned for a seemingly intentional handball past Gregor Kobel.

Chances continued to flow in a frenetic first half as Marius Wolf sliced a golden opportunity wide and Sebastien Haller fired narrowly off target from a presentable opening.

Joao Felix wastefully blazed over before hitting the crossbar after a driving run, while Wolf arrowed just wide with Kepa Arrizabalaga scrambling.

Kobel produced an expert stop to deny Reece James' pinpoint free-kick after the interval, before the Dortmund goalkeeper thwarted a bouncing volley from the England right-back soon after.

Adeyemi was clinical when Dortmund broke from the resulting corner, released by Raphael Guerreiro and powering past Enzo Fernandez before rounding Kepa to score.

Emre Can then cleared off the line after Kalidou Koulibaly's effort squirmed under Kobel, who kept Dortmund's narrow lead intact with a fine stop from Fernandez in the final minute.

What does it mean? Advantage Dortmund

Dortmund defeated an English side in European competition for the first time in 11 attempts, although their first such victory since March 2016 – against Tottenham – came with a degree of fortune.

Potter will wonder what his Chelsea side must do to get past Kobel in the return meeting after Joao Felix's pair of misses came back to haunt the Blues on the road.

A repeat performance at home may be enough to down Dortmund, but Potter's men cannot bank on having such a plethora of chances again as they stare down the barrel of an early European exit.

Adeyemi the difference

While the brilliant Brandt created four chances in a productive display, Adeyemi will steal the headlines for his remarkable goal on the break.

The 21-year-old has scored in each of his last three competitive appearances – one more than in his first 20 games for BVB.

Havertz's Dortmund wait goes on

Kai Havertz has repeatedly been trusted by Potter to lead Chelsea's line, but the Germany international suffered a familiar fate against BVB.

The forward managed to create four chances and also attempted four shots, but he has now played eight games against Dortmund without scoring – more than against any other opponent in his club career. He has lost all five away games against Dortmund.

What's next?

Chelsea return to Premier League action at home to Southampton on Saturday, while Dortmund host Hertha Berlin the following day in the Bundesliga.

The second set of Champions League last-16 fixtures to take place this week is full of intrigue, with the continent's biggest-spending club of the January transfer window in need of a result.

Graham Potter's Chelsea forked out an estimated £291million to reshape their squad last month, but the misfiring Blues have won just one of their eight games this calendar year. 

For all his struggles on the domestic front, Potter has yet to suffer a Champions League defeat with Chelsea, and maintaining that record at Borussia Dortmund would give them an excellent chance of reaching the last eight.

Potter is not the only under-fire English boss to take centre stage on Wednesday, with former Fulham and Bournemouth head coach Scott Parker overseeing Club Brugge's clash with Benfica.

With just one win in nine games since the World Cup, Brugge will be considered outsiders against the Lisbon giants, who were outstanding as they finished above Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus in Group H.

Stats Perform has taken a look at the key Opta numbers ahead of Wednesday's first-leg match-ups. 

Borussia Dortmund v Chelsea

Somewhat surprisingly given their statuses as European regulars, Dortmund and Chelsea will do battle for the first time in continental competition on Wednesday.

The omens are not particularly good for either side, as a BVB team without a win in their last 10 European meetings with English opponents (D2 L8) face a Chelsea side with just three victories in 11 previous away games in Germany (D3 L5).

Dortmund's last win over Premier League opponents came against Tottenham in the Europa League in 2016, with current Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netting twice in a 2-1 triumph.

Aubameyang will not be welcomed back by the yellow wall on Wednesday, however, having been left out of Chelsea's Champions League squad following their huge spending spree.

Instead, Germany international Kai Havertz may lead the line as he bids for a first career goal against BVB – his seven appearances without netting against Dortmund are more than he has managed against any other club.

Dortmund, meanwhile, could hand Sebastien Haller his first Champions League appearance for the club following his recovery from testicular cancer. The former Ajax man has more goals in his first eight games in the competition (11) than any other player.

Additionally, Haller has averaged a goal every 61 minutes of Champions League football, the best ratio in the competition's history (minimum 250 minutes played).

Should Chelsea keep Haller quiet en route to victory, Potter would become the first English manager to win five consecutive Champions League matches, with a 1-1 draw against Salzburg in his first game at the helm the only blot on his European record with the Blues.

Club Brugge v Benfica

Two of the group stage's surprise packages meet in Belgium, with Brugge having escaped Group B at the expense of Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid, while Benfica bested PSG and Juventus.

Brugge boss Parker has struggled since replacing Carl Hoefkens, but he will join an exclusive club on Wednesday as just the third English coach to lead a non-English team in the Champions League, after Bobby Robson (Porto and PSV) and Gary Neville (Valencia).

In Parker and Potter, meanwhile, two different English managers will coach in the same Champions League campaign for the first time in the competition's history.

Benfica are sure to make things difficult for Parker's team. The Portuguese giants are unbeaten in their last seven Champions League games (W4 D3) and are chasing three consecutive wins in the competition for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign.

In the group stage, Benfica generated more shots (14) and scored more goals (five) following high turnovers (open-play sequences starting within 40 metres of the opponent's goal) than any other team, showing their devastating counter-attacking abilities.

Benfica also have the highest conversion rate of any team, netting with 20 per cent of their shots in the Champions League this term (16/80).

Home goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, then, could be in for a busy outing. Fortunately for Brugge, he has prevented more goals than any other goalkeeper in the Champions League this season (6.3) – being beaten four times from 10.3 expected goals on target faced.

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