Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic cautioned against reading too much into either side’s domestic form as his high-flying Bundesliga side prepare to host Chelsea in the Champions League last 16.
Third-placed BVB are in a tight battle in the German top flight, sitting just three points behind leaders Bayern Munich with 43 points, while second-placed Union Berlin are two ahead of Terzic’s men.
Dortmund have won six straight matches across all competitions and could be viewed as the favourites when they welcome Graham Potter’s 10th-placed Blues to Signal Iduna Park, but Terzic does not believe Chelsea’s lukewarm form – with just a single win in their last seven Premier League contests – is an accurate indicator of their threat.
He told the club website: “In this competition, what has happened in the league in recent weeks does not count. It’s back to square one. We want to test ourselves at a high level across the two games. We want to prepare for that in the best possible way and put in a really good performance.”
Prolific 18-year-old striker Youssoufa Moukoko, who has scored six goals and picked up four assists for Dortmund so far this Bundesliga season, will not be at Terzic’s disposal on Saturday after the Germany international sustained a torn ankle ligament that will keep him out of action for six weeks.
England international Jude Bellingham – a rumoured transfer target for Chelsea – will meanwhile look to add to his four goals in five Champions League matches.
Dortmund have played 36 matches against English opposition in Europe but this is their first meeting with Chelsea.
Terzic is expecting the unexpected from Graham Potter’s Blues come the all-important home clash, particularly after their busy transfer window which saw eight new additions at Stamford Bridge.
He said: “It’s not easy to analyse the whole thing. They’ve given up players and brought in key players. You don’t know exactly with which line-up they will perform here.
“As always, we will focus on ourselves. We will prepare for everything.”
Dortmund have progressed on four occasions since the introduction of the round of 16, most recently against Sevilla in 2020-21, and their boss recognised the importance of what is set to be an intimidating home atmosphere – with over 80,000 expected to descend on Signal Iduna Park, 77,000 of them supporting the home side.
He added: “We know we will need at least one win to qualify for the next round. It’s that little bit easier to generate euphoria here at home, in front of more than 80,000.
“I sense the boys not only believe in reaching the next round, but are working hard for it. If we continue to consolidate the things that have worked well, we have a good chance of progressing.”