Borussia Dortmund: Season Preview


Dortmund is a team known for their attacking and attractive style of football. They are a delight to watch.

Lucien Farve became their coach at the start of 2018. Since then,it has been two seasons now for Farve as in charge and both have been disappointing ones. Dortmund have failed to overthrow Bayern from the Bundesliga title and has been average when it comes to their European run. In his first season, it looked like Dortmund would finally win the league title. However, in the second half of the season, they bottled it. Last season too, they finished runners up to Bayern and were disappointing in the Champions League.
This third season is going to be a make or break season for Lucien Farve. Can he finally take Dortmund to glory?

Dortmund signings

Dortmund under Favre prefers to play attacking football in the formation of 3-4-3 which has done wonders for them. Since Dortmund adopted the 3-4-3 formation they have not looked back and are performing on a consistent level. Also at the start of this season in typical Dortmund fashion, they picked up two young prospects one being highly talented Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City and Reinier on loan from Real Madrid. They have also tried to replace departing Hakimi with the arrival of Thomas Muiner from PSG on a free transfer.


Blistering attack

The strengths of Dortmund lie in their attacking potency. They are a very attacking side and like to break on counters. They have scored a whopping number of 85 goals last season. Their attacking power comes from their lethal front 3 of Sancho Haaland and Reus.

With Sancho recently committing his future to Dortmund, it looks like he is going to stay at Signal Iduna Park. Reus has been struggling with injuries throughout his career , yet on his day BVB captain can cause trouble in opposing defense. Erling Haaland is one of the brightest young strikers and since joining BVB he has been on fire. You can’t forget players like Thorgan Hazard and Brandt as well. They are not as popular as Haaland or Sancho but they are very versatile and efficient. Dortmund also has young blood in the form of youngsters like Reyna and now Reinier.

Robust Midfield

Dortmund has a depth of talent in the midfield positions. Their recent addition, Jude Bellingham will provide them with some additional dynamism and healthy competition for that position. The main asset for BVB in midfield is their Belgium international Axel Witsel. He has a terrific passing range and a calm and composed mentality. To partner him alongside, BVB also has Thomas Delaney with him, giving them a solid defensive dimension in your midfield. Both Witsel and Delaney have formed a solid partnership in the heart of the Dortmund midfield. They also have Emre Can the German international provides versatility and good interception abilities. Dahoud is another option for BVB who can also play in that midfield position. Dortmund academy graduate Tobias Raschl is another option for them in the midfield.


Fragile Defence

Dortmund being an ultra attacking team always struggles at the back. Dortmund has a young inexperienced backline. Since Dortmund plays a 3-4-3 they need quality and pacey centre backs. Dortmund is going to start the season with only 3 first choice centre backs Hummels, Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou. Zagadou is coming back from a long injury. That’s the reason Dortmund played two veteran players to fullbacks like Lukasz Piszczek and Schmelzer as a makeshift centre backs last season. However, both these veterans are injury prone and not pacey enough to play in a back 3 formation.

Also after the departure of ace loanee, Hakimi Dortmund looks out of depth and quality in wingback, especially on the right-hand side. On the left-hand side, they have Raphael Guerrerio who is looking like a completely different player since he started playing in that wingback role and backup at the left side is more of a defensive kind of player in the form of Nico Schulz. Young Mateu Morey who is a very versatile player and can play on either side of the field is also an option for them.

However, Dortmund’s defence looks very fragile at the moment even with some promising personnel available to them at the back, mostly owing to their inexperience.

Improvements Required

After going through the Dortmund squad, we concluded that they are still some areas of the squad where they need improvements/additions to make their team full prove and give Bayern’s treble-winning team a run for their money this season.

Top priority: Centre Back

As mentioned above Dortmund weakness is their backline and especially their centre backs. They only have 3 centre backs in the squad and to go an entire season with just 3 CB especially when you play a 3 at the back formation is risky. A possible target for them could be their rivals Bayern David Alaba. He has only one year left on his contract and has refused a contract extension with Bayern so Dortmund can chip in for him as Bayern will look to sell him this season to avoid letting him go as a free agent next season. Last season they brought in Mats Hummels which transformed their defence so will they again be able to do the same in Alaba case?

Priority: Striker

Dortmund has one of the best strikers in the world in the form of Haland. No doubt Haland is an excellent striker and a man in form but he is the only striker at the club. BVB has only Haland and a 16-year-old academy graduate Moukoko as his backup. Clearly, the club can’t expect much from 16 years old at this level in his first season. Instead, the club should look for someone for that backup striker role who can provide them with much-needed experience and at the same time with goals upfront. One name that fits into both of these requirements is Edison Cavani. The 34-year-old Uruguayan is looking for a club as he is a free agent. Dortmund can be a perfect team for him where he has talented players all around him to support him and all he needs to do is be the lethal poacher and convert the chances created into goals.

Lastly: a Fullback/Wingback

Dortmund should look to get a young fullback preferably a right-back/wing-back. They lost Hakimi, one of the best young right wing-backs, to Inter Milan. Yes, they have got in Thomas Munier for that role but still backup to Muiner is Piszczek who is known to be injury-prone and is also going to retire at the end of this campaign. Dortmund should get another good young exciting wingback to be backup to Muiner or to provide Muiner with a run for his place in the squad. Two names that straightway come up are Youcef Atal of ONG Nice and Tomas Estevens of FC Porto. Both of them are young and perfectly suited for BVB as their respective teams play in the same way as that of BVB and they both have experience of playing in that highly demanding role of Right Wing back. They both respectively have the potential to replicate the form and performance of departing Hakimi.


Dortmund has a very good squad and coach who can very well rotate it and get the best out of his players. However, as we have seen above Dortmund too, has some gaps which need to be filled up. If Farve gets players to need to fix those gaps or else he finds the right way to get the best of his existing players then Dortmund has it all within themselves to go all the way this year.

Now the only question remains is can they do it this time?

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