Preview: Chelsea vs. Borussia Dortmund

Preview: Chelsea vs. Borussia Dortmund

Chelsea conclude their pre-season preparations with a friendly encounter against Borussia Dortmund at Soldier Field in Chicago on Thursday.

While the Blues recently celebrated glory in the Premier League Summer Series, BVB are seeking to extend their perfect record in pre-season.

Following a thumping 5-0 victory over League Two side Wrexham in their opening pre-season friendly, Chelsea picked up seven points from three games against Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United and Fulham to win the inaugural Premier League Summer Series tournament in the USA.

After a thrilling 4-3 win over Brighton and a 1-1 draw with Newcastle, Chelsea entered Sunday’s clash with West London rivals Fulham needing to claim maximum points to climb above Aston Villa to the top of the table, and they achieved that with a 2-0 success in Maryland courtesy of first-half goals from Thiago Silva and new recruit Christopher Nkunku.

Mauricio Pochettino has taken plenty of positives from Chelsea’s PL Summer Series triumph and has been particularly impressed with how forwards Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson have thrived since joining from RB Leipzig and Villarreal respectively earlier this summer – while Nkunku’s strike against Fulham was his third in pre-season, Jackson has scored two goals in as many starts for the Blues.

In a week that has seen Chelsea fined £8.6m by UEFA for breaching Financial Fair Play rules, the big-spending West Londoners have stepped up their efforts to strengthen Pochettino’s squad further after allegedly agreeing deals to sign Monaco centre-back Axel Disasi and Rennes midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu, although the latter is expected to immediately head out on loan.

Chelsea, who are also pursuing a move for Moises Caicedo, are hoping to see out their pre-season with an unbeaten record and claim a positive result against Dortmund on Thursday before shifting their focus to their opening Premier League game of the new season at home to Liverpool on August 13.

Few were left surprised to see Dortmund come out on top in each of their opening four pre-season matches, with successes against lower-tier German trio Westfalia Rhynern, Rot-Weiss Oberhausen and Rot-Weiss Erfurt followed by a comfortable 6-0 victory against American second-tier team San Diego Loyal.

Eighteen goals were scored across those four favourable matches, and Edin Terzic’s side continued their fine scoring form in their first testing friendly fixture by netting three more in a statement 3-2 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

Calamitous defending from the Red Devils played its part in all three goals for BVB, with a quickfire brace from Donyell Malen on the stroke of half time followed by a winning second-half strike from starlet Youssoufa Moukoko.

Despite winning five from five so far this summer, Terzic believes that there is still room for improvement from his side as they edge closer to the 2023-24 campaign, which begins for Dortmund with a DFB-Pokal first-round clash against Schott Mainz on August 12.

Dortmund faced Chelsea for the very first time earlier this year in the last 16 of the Champions League, although they came away from the two-legged tie on the losing side after a 1-0 home victory in Germany was followed by a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge. BVB will be seeking revenge on Thursday before preparing for their final pre-season match at home against Ajax on Sunday.

Chelsea friendly form:

Borussia Dortmund friendly form:

We say: Chelsea 2-2 Borussia Dortmund
Both teams have had few problems scoring goals so far this summer and an entertaining end-to-end contest could be in store on Thursday.

Dortmund will fancy their chances of coming out on top after beating Man United last time out, but we believe that Chelsea’s young squad will do enough to claim a share of the spoils in Illinois.

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