Chelsea come into tonight’s UEFA Champions League clash versus Borussia Dortmund in a 0-1 hole on aggregate. A quarterfinal berth is on the line for the 2020-21 champions, and they’ll need all hands on deck if they hope to turn around this tie.
With that in mind, let’s go through the status updates that manager Graham Potter provided on Christian Pulisic, Reece James and N’Golo Kante.
Chelsea FC at Borussia Dortmund FYIs
Kickoff: Tue Mar 7, 8pm Stamford Bridge, London, UK
Competition: UCL Round of 16, Leg 2/2, BVB Leads 1-0
Team News: Chelsea Borussia Dortmund
Starting XI Predictions: Chelsea Borussia Dortmund
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Google Result Probability: Borussia Dortmund 24% Extra Time 26% Chelsea FC win 50%
“Reece, we’ll make a decision on [for Dortmund] tomorrow,” Potter said.
“Christian [Pulisic] is in the squad. He’s trained well and looking good. It’s too soon for N’Golo [Kante]… We need to build his minutes up. He won’t be back with for 90 minute any time soon.”
From what it sounds like, Pulisic will begin on the bench, most likely, but he could play a significant role. This would be his first appearance since injuring his knee against Manchester City in January.
Kante, it appears, will be limited to a cameo, and this would mark his first minutes since August. (Meanwhile it sounds like he is set for a contract extension soon).
With James, it will be touch and go until kickoff.
For Pulisic, tonight provides a long awaited chance to feature against his former team, as he obviously missed out on the first leg.
the sun will shine on Pulisic again ?? pic.twitter.com/nLSsF0E38n
— Electric (@ElectricCFC) March 3, 2023
Pulisic brings a lot to Chelsea’s table, in the final third, but he knows that he still needs to work on finishing.
“I still want to improve how clinical I am in my decision making and constantly making the right decisions to score goals,” the American national team captain said.
“I’m confident with my dribbling, with my skills, and if I become very clinical I think I can be very dangerous.”
Last time Pulisic played in a UCL Round of 16 match at Stamford Bridge ?
— Erm (@CFCErm) March 6, 2023
Very spot on, we saw that with him in the World Cup. For the most part, it is the bigger games, both on the continent and domestically, where he shines the brightest. The Blues attack, which has been utterly dismal in 2023, badly needs him.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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