Bundesliga, a German top-flight league, which was predominantly dominated by Bayern Munich for the last half a decade raises the same old question each August. Can any team threaten to take the title from the most successful German club? None came close to achieving that feat for years, up until last season, when Borussia Dortmund pushed Bayern Munich to their limits, proved they can compete with German champions and that they will be a threat comes 2019/20 season. But can that threat turn into a league winning season or will Borussia continue to live in Bayern Munich shadow for yet another year?
Last season’s performance of Borussia Dortmund
If the last season’s performance of Borussia Dortmund isn’t enough to convince you about their chances to derail Bayern Munich this season, their impressive 2:0 win in the DFL Supercup should. The two German titans met in the DFL Supercup in early August when we got the first taste of how well the two rivals are prepared for the upcoming season. And if the final result is anything to go by, Bayern Munich should be shaking in their boots. Yet, we cannot really put too much weight on that result, considering it is only one match, which can hardly be compared to how the two sides will perform throughout the 34 league fixtures. Nonetheless, winning the first piece of silverware ahead of 2019/20 season is surely a morale boost for Borussia Dortmund on its own, whereas winning it against Bayern Munich makes it only that much sweeter.
Moving back to last season’s performance of Borussia Dortmund, the 2018/19 season was a clear indicator of how small the gap between Bayern Munich and Dortmund has become. Once close contenders for the title have grown apart in recent years, only to meet once more in what was a close title race that finished only on the last day of the league. But that is not to say Bayern are getting worse. On the contrary, it’s Borussia Dortmund who are getting better, much better.
Last season alone, Borussia scored second-most goals (81) and conceded the fourth-fewest (44). On top of that, Borussia Dortmund had one of the best shot conversions in Europe (goal coming to every six shots) and boasted with 18 different goal scorers, which was just as many as Bayern.
New players in Borussia Dortmund
Following a very successful season, Borussia Dortmund did not hesitate to further improve their squad with additional signings from within the league. They welcomed back Hummels and added Thorgan Hazard, Nico Schulz and Julian Brandt. While names that do not come off as anything special at first, we have to consider Brandt and Hazard were one of the best assists providers last season. Brandt finished last season with third most 15 assists, while Hazard contributed 11 to Borussia Mönchengladbach. By adding them to the squad, Favre now boasts with having three out of the top five best assists providers from last season.
A lot of Borussia success this season will depend on the performance of Sancho, Alcacer and Reus, who are all very solid players and if on top of their game can be extremely deadly for the opposition. The last term, they combined 51 goals, with Alcacer contributing 22, Reus 17 and Sancho 12. What makes us believe the trio will be even more potent this season is the previously mentioned additions to the club, featuring some of the best support players in the league.
So that leaves us with the question that has been on everyone’s mind last season and continues to be asked.
Can Borussia Dortmund win the Bundesliga in 2019/20?
If their incredible improvement in the last couple of years, surprisingly close race with Bayern Munich last term and very calculated and solid additions during the summer are not enough to convince you they have got a solid shot nothing will. What we are looking at now is what might be one of the strongest Dortmund outfits in almost a decade and if Bayern Munich fails to keep up the pace, they might not be able to finish ahead of Borussia once again.
Sports journalist, content writer and passionate football lover.