The 2022 FIFA World Cup is now consigned to the history books, and it may well go down as the greatest tournament in history. It will forever be remembered as Lionel Messi’s World Cup.
The Argentinian magician put his name alongside the gods by leading his nation to a first triumph on football’s grandest stage since the days of Diego Maradona. But now, the stars of Qatar must come back down to earth and focus on their club football.
And one team who needs to hit the ground running when the campaign gets back underway is Chelsea. The Blues were on a dismal run of form prior to the midseason break. They are currently languishing down in the eighth place in the Premier League and have lost their last three English top-flight fixtures. Their domestic campaign gets back underway on Boxing Day, and in the new year, they face a daunting trip to Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League.
Reasons to be fearful
First and foremost, the atmosphere inside Signal Iduna Park is second to none. The home of Borussia Dortmund is famed for being one of the most atmospheric football stadiums in Europe, and Chelsea – who have struggled away from home of late – should most definitely beware.
As well as that, the football that Die Schwarzgelben plays is high-intensity and action-packed. The club has a plethora of young stars such as Youssoufa Moukoko and England’s very own Jude Bellingham, who is their top scorer with nine goals so far this term.
Add to that the experience of the likes of Marco Reus and Mats Hummels – players who are proven winners – and Chelsea could be in for a difficult test and one that they will need to be at their very best to pass.
One thing that will give Graham Potter’s side confidence, however, is that BVB was also in poor form heading into the international break. They currently sit way down in sixth in the Bundesliga and have lost their last two games. They’re a whopping nine points adrift of champions Bayern Munich – who are looking to make it 11 titles in a row this season – and Edin Terzić’s side needs a European run just as much as their English counterparts.