Potter points to greatest ever run, Parker joins exclusive club – Champions League in Opta numbers

This week’s second leg of the Champions League last 16 is full of intrigue, with the continent’s biggest club in need of a result from the January transfer window.

Graham Potter’s Chelsea spent around £291 million to reshape their squad last month, but the Blues have won just one of their eight games this year.

For all his struggles at home, Potter still has Chelsea to beat in the Champions League, and that record at Borussia Dortmund would give them a great chance of reaching the last eight.

Potter will not be the only English boss under fire to take center stage on Wednesday, with former Fulham and Bournemouth boss Scott Parker overseeing Club Brugge’s clash with Benfica.

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

Stats Perform has looked at the key Opta numbers ahead of Wednesday’s first leg.

Borussia Dortmund v Chelsea

It is surprising that Dortmund and Chelsea will clash for the first time in the continental competition on Wednesday, given their status as European rulers.

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

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

However, Aubameyang will not be welcome back at the yellow wall on Wednesday after being left out of Chelsea’s Champions League squad following their huge spending spree.

Instead, Germany international Kai Havertz may lead the line as he bid for a first career goal against BVB – his seven clean sheets against Dortmund are more than he has managed against any another club.

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

In addition, Haller has 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 games, with a 1-1 draw against Salzburg his first game in charge. -no obstacle to his European record with the Blues. .

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund

Club Brugge v Benfica

Two of the group’s surprise packages come in Belgium, with Brugge escaping Group B at the expense of Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid, while Benfica beat PSG and Juventus.

Brugge boss Parker has struggled since replacing Carl Hoefkens, but he will join an exclusive club on Wednesday as the third English coach to lead a non-English side 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 will certainly 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) after high turnover (open play sequences starting within 40 meters of the opponent’s goal) than any other team, showing their devastating counter-attack capability.

Benfica also have the highest conversion rate of any team, netting 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 trip. Fortunately for Brugge, he has prevented more goals than any other goalkeeper in the Champions League this season (6.3) – four times out of the 10.3 expected goals on target.



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