BERLIN (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund host Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League tie tonight hoping to have recaptured the elusive stability that has hampered their title chances in recent years.
Dortmund, who limped into the winter break with two straight losses to fall nine points behind leaders Bayern Munich, come into the clash with six wins on the trot, having cut Bayern’s lead to just three.
Crucial to this resurgence has been the return of several of the club’s key players from injury, not least star summer signing Sebastien Haller, who missed the first half of the season battling testicular cancer. “He’s a piece of the puzzle that we’ve unfortunately been missing for a long time,” said sporting director Sebastian Kehl on Monday.
“A fit Sebastien Haller not only enriches our team with his profile, but also with his personality.
“We have waited longingly for him, he has been working towards this for a long time… we’re happy that he’s back, and so is he.”
Haller, 28, was signed to channel the club’s array of young, attacking talent – each of Youssoufa Moukoko, Karim Adeyemi, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Gio Reyna and Jude Bellingham into goals.