Raheem Sterling Champions League Experience can make the difference when they face Chelsea. Borussia Dortmund It’s in the second leg of their last 16 draw on Tuesday, according to Graham Potter.
The Bundesliga side is 1-0 up from the first game in Germany, a game where Potter’s side dominated but failed to make the most of a series of chances.
The English midfielder missed the game at Signal Iduna Park, but has made a noticeable difference in Chelsea’s offense since returning from knee and hamstring injuries that forced him to miss most of January and February.
beat the blues Leeds 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, their first win since 15 January, Sterling’s direct run and left flank shots are a key factor in transforming the striker’s play after their losses to Tottenham and Southampton.
Potter joked that the 28-year-old is “a seasoned Chelsea campaigner” despite joining from Manchester City only last summer after leading the club’s new members in January during Saturday’s win.
“You can see the quality it brings,” Potter said. “He’s enjoying his football. He’s a really important player for us. I think just look at what he’s brought in the last two home games.
“He’s attacking well in the back line. He’s still improving because of the hamstring problem he has. He’s getting stronger every minute. I think he contributed very well, especially in the first half.
“The goal record in the Champions League speaks for itself. He is a proven campaigner in the competition. We are very happy about it, we hope he will be on the field on Tuesday and enjoy his football.”
Potter could have continued with a three-back against Dortmund after the system was successfully deployed against Leeds, Ben Chilwell was particularly impressive on the left flank.
Thiago Silva will be out for about six weeks and Benoit Badiashile will not be eligible for the Champions League, but it looks like he will likely be able to play on the right after Reece James missed Saturday’s game with a tight hamstring. .
“Me and Reece haven’t been available for a long time,” Potter said. “We had to find different solutions. Clearly the wingback is a role they’re comfortable with, revealing their quality. This is something we need to move forward with.”
Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and David Fofana, two more players removed from the European squad, which means the manager will once again return to Kai Havertz as the interim number nine.
Having scored just two goals since returning from the World Cup, Havertz was disappointed in the first half of Saturday’s win by Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.
“We have to attack better as a team,” Potter added. “This is my responsibility. It’s all too easy to bring individuals closer and blame them. It’s a collective, we have to create more, do better, and that starts with me.
“Helping the team get better chances, more chances. I have no doubts about the quality of the players.