Bundesliga Preview (3/4) – Borussia Dortmund

Bundesliga Preview (3/4) – Borussia Dortmund
matchmetrics

Quo vadis, Borussia Dortmund? With their last Bundesliga title receding further into the distance with each passing year, what is next in store for Borussia Dortmund? Bayern seem unbeatable (except for when they are being beaten, like last match day), und there is a strong suite of competitors contesting the CL spots. Will they rally the troops to try and storm the top of the table? Or will they quietly consolidate and wait for the right opportunity? Or even have a hard time keeping up with the rest of the pack?

It is going to be an interesting season, and there will be some challenges ahead. So how did they perform in the 2019/20 season? What is the base they are building on?

At least in our ratings, their table finish seems slightly lucky. They have been let down by their defensive ratings and their stability, which describes how much the single match performances deviate from the team’s average. Defensive ratings can be low if a team is so overwhelming and controlling in offensive terms that their opponent does not get to develop much offensive initiative. Yet clubs like Bayern, Bayer and Gladbach managed to arrive at much higher defensive ratings while providing comparable offensive ratings. So defense is going to be an issue, as is keeping their level of performance up.

At least in our ratings, their table finish seems slightly lucky. They have been let down by their defensive ratings and their stability, which describes how much the single match performances deviate from the team’s average. Defensive ratings can be low if a team is so overwhelming and controlling in offensive terms that their opponent does not get to develop much offensive initiative. Yet clubs like Bayern, Bayer and Gladbach managed to arrive at much higher defensive ratings while providing comparable offensive ratings. So defense is going to be an issue, as is keeping their level of performance up.

At least in our ratings, their table finish seems slightly lucky. They have been let down by their defensive ratings and their stability, which describes how much the single match performances deviate from the team’s average. Defensive ratings can be low if a team is so overwhelming and controlling in offensive terms that their opponent does not get to develop much offensive initiative. Yet clubs like Bayern, Bayer and Gladbach managed to arrive at much higher defensive ratings while providing comparable offensive ratings. So defense is going to be an issue, as is keeping their level of performance up.

Alas, he is young and still adapting to the level of competition, so he could get there. His profile at RB Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga shows a much more complete player. But, right now, it could be considered a risk to go into the season with him as the main forward.

Losing someone like Jadon Sancho, who creates a lot of value in build-up and link-up play in valuable positions, while also a threat in front of goal, would then hurt a lot. Especially after Achraf Hakimi has left for Inter. Raphael Guerreiro, Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt could become pivotal to the team’s season, but Dortmund’s offensive play could begin to stutter if any one of them became unavailable or experienced a slump in form.

There are also some question marks regarding Thomas Meunier, given his performance at PSG. But we will leave that to a season review and look back then whether he could improve on his form. There are reasons to suspect that his position might become an issue during the season though.

Summing up, this could become a bumpy ride for Dortmund. Some of the players have to deliver on their promise, while potential outgoing transfers could leave the team weakened, and others have to prove that they earned their laurels. We expect some brilliant performances along the way, but they will have to stay sharp to qualify for the Champions League. Challenging Bayern seems rather unlikely.

 

Author:
Michael Markefka
Head of Analytics @matchmetrics
e-mail: m.markefka@matchmetrics.com