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Jude Bellingham & Co. (c.) are out to inspire Borussia Dortmund to another victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League last 16. - © Imago
Jude Bellingham & Co. (c.) are out to inspire Borussia Dortmund to another victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League last 16. - © Imago
bundesliga

5 reasons Borussia Dortmund will beat Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League last 16 - AGAIN!

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Borussia Dortmund are the joint-Bundesliga leaders, Europe's form team and have a 1-0 first-leg advantage over Chelsea in their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie. bundesliga.com outlines why Jude Bellingham and Co. will finish the job in London...

Click here for the second leg team news and LIVE blog!

1) Absolutely flawless

Dortmund have racked up eight straight Bundesliga wins in 2023 to go level at the top with Bayern Munich. BVB are also perfect in other competitions, taking out Chelsea in the first leg and Bochum in the DFB Cup. It all adds up to the Black-Yellows being the only team in Europe with a 100 percent record this calendar year, as well as the continent's 26-goal top scorers. Chelsea have produced three goals across 12 games in that time, whilst winning just twice.

Watch: Dortmund made it 10 wins to start 2023 with victory over Leipzig

2) General Bellingham

Bellingham is key to Dortmund still being in contention for silverware on three fronts. The 19-year-old has four goals and four assists to his name in 22 appearances in the Bundesliga this season, and has managed four goals in six matches in the Champions League. He also ranks as the Bundesliga's toughest tackler, and has been rewarded with the captain's armband on a number of occasions - a glimpse into the future if ever there was one.

3) Attacking riches

Karim Adeyemi scored the winning goal in the first leg, but has been ruled out of the return fixture through injury. Happily, head coach Edin Terzic is blessed with alternatives. Fit-again captain Marco Reus, for one, has two goals and two assists in his last three Bundesliga outings, while Julian Brandt is in the form of this life. The Bundesliga's January Player of the Month has six goal involvements to show for eight league games in 2023. BVB can also call on English teenager Jamie Bynoe-Gittens - something of a super sub with three crucial goals from the bench already this term - and American Gio Reyna.

Watch: Dortmund's top 5 goals by teenagers in 2022/23

4) All hail Haller

Not forgetting Sebastien Haller, of course. Dortmund's marquee summer signing has been one of the stories of the season so far for a major personal success off the pitch - winning a battle against testicular cancer. He's since had a hand in two goals, and it's surely only a matter of time before he resumes his love affair with the competition. In fact, if you look at the top 50 Champions League goalscorers of all time, only a certain Erling Haaland - who Haller was signed to replace at Dortmund - has a better goals-per-game ratio (1.22 compared to 1.38).

Watch: Sebastien Haller's emotional comeback

5) Solid as a rock

It's not just in attack that Dortmund have an embarrassment of riches. Nico Schlotterbeck and Mats Hummels were selected for Dortmund's first match after the winter break, a 4-3 win against Augsburg, but since then Niklas Süle and Schlotterbeck have anchored the backline - with the side conceding just five goals across nine competitive games in that period. Even if he can't convince his coach to give him a starting berth, the vast knowledge and experience of Hummels, who has 77 previous Champions League appearances, provides a superb alternative should some extra defensive steel be required to keep out the English Premier League side.

Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Süle (l-r.) have developed a strong partnership at the heart of Dortmund's defence. - IMAGO / Kirchner-Media

Settling upon a successful defensive formula could give Dortmund a major advantage against a Chelsea side who have scored just two goals in their last eight matches and where squad stability is an as yet unattainable dream for Graham Potter. His team have also won only two of their 12 matches this calendar year, losing six.