All will be decided at Stamford Bridge. On Monday evening, with 26 hours to go before their last-16 clash with Chelsea, the Black & Yellows completed their final training session and familiarised themselves with the west London stadium. The players were dampened by passing rain showers. But tomorrow night they will face the storm of 39,392 hostile voices, who will be hoping to carry Chelsea into the quarter-finals. BVB take a slim 1-0 lead into the second leg. 

Boris Rupert reporting from London

The respect on both sides is immense. “They’re on a fantastic run and are winning all their games,” was how Chelsea coach Graham Potter described BVB in his afternoon press conference. Edin Terzic responded in kind a few hours later: “Their position in the table doesn’t correspond to what they’re capable of achieving. They haven’t picked up as many points as they deserve.” 

”We want to keep up the performances from recent weeks and we know what areas we have to improve on if we’re to qualify for the next round,” said Terzic as he took stock of his own team. “If we’re willing to pull together through every moment of the game, then we have a huge chance to make it among the top eight teams in Europe this season,” he added.

Everyone is aware that it will take more than a top mentality to reach the quarter-finals; it will also take a top performance. “Chelsea have made the most of the last few weeks to find their feet as a team,” said Terzic in reference to the opposition squad, which was bolstered by several new arrivals over the January transfer window. The BVB head coach also looked back to the first leg: ”We saw then how much strength they can build up if we start being passive and shying away.”

BVB clinched a 1-0 win in the first leg thanks to Karim Adeyemi’s goal. Although he has been back training with the ball over the past two days, Adeyemi hasn’t made the trip to London. The same is true of the suspended Julian Ryerson. Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel started Monday’s training doing individual work, but he gradually eased his way into the group session. In Terzic’s words: “He’s feeling better every day. After the session tomorrow morning, we’ll make a decision on whether he can start or at least sit on the bench.”

It’s going to be an exciting day, an exciting evening of football at Stamford Bridge. “We can’t get to thinking that form decides everything. It’s a knock-out game, in which we have a small 1-0 advantage at half-time,” said Terzic, going on to add: “It’s an important game for the club. We want to show that we can go toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in Europe.” His counterpart in the opposition dugout, Graham Potter, expects “a special evening with a special atmosphere. Stamford Bridge will be rocking. It’s going to be a huge and exciting game.”