Dortmund's Raphael Guerreiro receives congratulations from teammates after scoring a goal against FC Sevilla in the Champions League group stage match on October 5, 2022.
Dortmund/Brugge – The Champions League will continue on Wednesday with the next two opening matches of the round of 16. In the hit of the evening, the wild Dortmund will welcome the struggling Chelsea, who dominated the competition the year before. In the second match, the Belgian champion from the last three seasons of Brugge will play for the first time in the elimination battles of the millionaire competition against the leader of the Portuguese league, Benfica Lisbon. Both duels kick off at 21:00.
Photo gallery: Football Champions League 2022/23
Chelsea, Bruges will challenge Benfica” />
Dortmund and Chelsea go into the match in different moods. While Borussia have won six consecutive competitive games and are just three points behind leaders Bayern Munich in third place in the German league, the London club are struggling. The “Blues” have won only one of the last eight duels and they are in tenth place in the Premier League.
Dortmund are still very cautious before the match. Perhaps also because they did not win in the last ten matches against English opponents and lost in the group and drew with Manchester City.
“Chelsea have their incredible qualities. They are very dangerous and they have strengthened the team significantly over the winter. We have to respect, but we are not afraid. If we are brave and believe in our strength, we can advance,” said defender Niklas Süle.
Chelsea won the Champions League the year before, but now they are far from comfortable. The Londoners have drawn three times in a row and are 20 points behind leaders Arsenal in the English league. In the Champions League, the “Blues” are doing better, together with the group they will strive for the fifth victory in a row in the millionaire competition. In addition, the Londoners have lost only three of the last 25 away duels in UEFA competitions.
“Obviously our aim is to progress, but we know that we will be facing an opponent with an amazing history and just as much quality. We will have to be very good in the first game in Dortmund, where there is traditionally a fantastic atmosphere. We want to get a good result and then finish it at home, ” said Chelsea coach Graham Potter.
The two rivals will face each other for the first time in UEFA competitions, just like Bruges and Benfica. The Lisbon club will enter the doubleheader as a clear favorite also because it has lost only four times in the previous 21 duels with Belgian opponents. The leader of Portugal's top competition has not found a winner eight times in a row away from home in the Champions League.
“Brugge is a strong and unpredictable team with a number of young and talented players. We have achieved the first goal, which was to get out of the group. But of course we want to continue,” said Benfica's German coach Roger Schmidt, whose charges in the last game of the of the domestic cup they suffered their first defeat after seven matches.
Bruges went through to the elimination phase for the first time. The fourth team of the Belgian league won only one of the last ten competitive matches, but in the Champions League group they were the only one to keep a clean sheet in five of the six duels.
“We believe that we have what it takes to continue our successful campaign in the Champions League. We have nothing to lose, the opponent is the favorite. We want to get a good result in the return,” said Brugge midfielder Hans Vanaken, whose team has drawn five of the last six duels.
The remaining four opening matches of the round of 16 will take place next week.< /p>
Interesting things before Wednesday's Champions League round of 16 matches:
FC Bruges – Benfica Lisbon
Kick-off: Wednesday 15 February, 21:00.
Referees: Massa – Melli, Alassio – Valeri (video, all Italian).
Balance: – .
– the teams have yet to meet in UEFA competitions
– Bruges have lost 4 of their last 5 duels against Portuguese teams
– Benfica have only lost 4 of their 21 matches against Belgian opponents in competitions UEFA
– Club Brugge advance from the group stage to the Champions League round of 16 for the first time
– Benfica will play the knockout stage of the Champions League for the second time in a row, last year they eliminated Ajax Amsterdam
– Bruges won the first 3 matches in the group (without conceding a goal), on the other hand, they did not score in the remaining 3 duels (2x draws 0: 0). – Bruges have won only one of the last 10 competitive matches, they have drawn in 5 of the last 6 duels
– Bruges have not won 6 times in a row at home and they have drawn in the last 4 duels there
– Benfica lost to Braza on penalties in the home cup on February 9 and lost after 7 matches (of which 6 wins)
– Benfica have not lost 8 times in a row away from home in the Champions League
– Bruges are fourth in the Belgian league, Benfica leads the domestic competition
Borussia Dortmund – Chelsea FC
Kick-off: Wednesday 15 February, 21:00.
Referees: Manzano – Barbero, Nevado – Hernández (video, all Spaniards).
Balance: – .
– the teams have not yet met in UEFA competitions
– Dortmund have not won in the last 10 matches against English opponents, losing in the group and drawing with Manchester City
– Chelsea have not won against German teams 4 times in a row
– Dortmund advanced to the last 16 of the Champions League for the eighth time of the last 11 seasons
– Chelsea will play the knockout stage for the eighth time in the last 9 seasons, they dominated the Champions League last year
– Dortmund lost only one of the 6 matches in the group and drew in the last 3 duels< /p>
– Chelsea lost at the beginning of the group, but then they did not find a winner 5 times in a row and won in the last 4 matches
– Dortmund won 6 times in a row in competitive matches
– Dortmund have not lost 10 times in a row at home in competitive duels
– Chelsea have won only one of the last 8 games and drawn 3 times in a row
– Chelsea have not won 8 times in a row away from home
– Chelsea have lost just 3 of their last 25 away matches in UEFA competitions
– Dortmund are third in the German league, Chelsea are up to 10th in the Premier League