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Champions League: Chelsea and Tottenham remain in the hunt for quarter-final spots

Both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur may have suffered losses in their Champions League last-16 first-leg matches this week, but the pair only trail by a single goal and have realistic chances of progressing past Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan respectively.

However, they are both seen as outsiders to progress, with their patchy domestic form certainly a major factor in that standing.

The Blues lie way down in 10th place in the Premier League on the back of a run of just one victory in their last seven matches.

Spurs are five places and eight points better off than their London rivals, but have lost three of their last five games - although during that time they did beat Manchester City 1-0 in the capital.

So what lies on store for these neighbours when their European second legs take place in early March?

Blues still failing to fire under Potter

WhatChelsea v Borussia Dortmund
WhereStamford Bridge, London
When20:00, Tuesday 7th March
How to watchBT Sport 1
Odds (to qualify)Chelsea 6/5, Borussia Dortmund 8/13

A Karim Adeyemi strike just past the hour mark decided the first leg against Chelsea in Dortmund’s favour, but the visitors will have returned from Germany disappointed not to have at least earned a draw.

Head coach Potter said afterwards: "We were pleased with the performance for big parts of the game."

His side had 21 shots, eight on target, at Signal Iduna Park, but were unable to find a way through as their lack of a genuine goalscorer proved costly once again.

Kai Havertz led the attack with Hakim Ziyech, Joao Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk in support, while Potter had no out-and-out attacking options to utilise from the bench - with Raheem Sterling having been ruled out by a knee injury.

And the goalscoring issue is one which has been festering for some time, with the Blues having not scored more than once in any of their last nine games in all competitions, drawing a blank in five of those outings.

A more positive stat comes with Chelsea having scored at least twice in their final four group games in the Champions League, so perhaps European opponents offer the Londoners a few more opportunities.

Potter will be able to look to recent Chelsea successes in the Champions League as inspiration for the return against BVB, with the Blues having reached the quarter-finals last season before being edged out by eventual winners Real Madrid and gone all the way during the 2020/21 campaign.

He may, though, want to gloss over the previous four Champions League campaigns, which all ended in exits at the last-16 stage, with Chelsea out at 20/1 To Win Outright come June.

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Spurs avoid San Siro mauling

WhatTottenham Hotspur v AC Milan
WhereTottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
When20:00, Wednesday 8th March
How to watchBT Sport 1
Odds (to qualify)Tottenham 11/8, AC Milan 8/15

While Chelsea may have felt unhappy with Wednesday evening's defeat, 24 hours earlier Spurs were somewhat fortunate not to have lost by more than a 1-0 margin in the San Siro.

Brahim Diaz netted the only goal of the game for the Rossoneri, with Charles de Ketelaere and Malick Thiaw both heading wide when presented with decent opportunities to extend Milan's advantage.

The visitors were restricted to just three efforts on target, with two of those long-range strikes from Emerson Royal and Pape Sarr.

So, like Potter, Lilywhites head coach Antonio Conte has much to ponder for the return leg on home turf, with his side’s recent league form not really offering too many major positives.

The 1-0 victory over the Citizens earlier this month looked like pointing the way to better times, but a 4-1 hammering at Leicester City next time out brought them crashing back down to earth.

One player who certainly looks key for the Londoners is Argentinian centre-back Cristian Romero, who shackled Erling Haaland well when Man City were downed, but was absent through suspension as the Foxes ran riot at the King Power Stadium.

Although possibly at fault for the Diaz goal in Milan, Romero was otherwise at his robust best as Spurs kept the margin of defeat to a more than manageable level.

However, they will need a little extra from their inspirational skipper Harry Kane if they are to overturn their one-goal deficit, with the England ace having scored just once in seven Champions League appearances this season.

The same is true of Korean ace Heung-Min Son, whose two Champions League goals so far this term came in the 3-2 home group stage win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

The three previous Champions League meetings between these two sides have produced a mere two goals, so a nervy, tense evening appears to lie ahead for the second leg, with Spurs 10/1 to progress after extra-time.

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