Top of the table, but a long way to go for Borussia Dortmund


Whilst the Premier League hits the heaviest period of fixtures, much of Europe are easing into their winter breaks. It’s a time when managers and players can take time to reflect, plan and manage for the second half of the season.

For Borussia Dortmund, it has been a thrilling start to the campaign. Sitting at the top of the table and progression into the Champions League knockout stages means manager Lucien Favre can somewhat relax on Christmas Day.

The German side go into the break with 42 points from their 17 games, losing just once all season, a recent 2-1 reverse against Fortuna Dusseldorf, succumbing to a super strike by Jean Zimmer.

But the season so far has been one of positivity for Dortmund. Goals, entertaining football and the emergence of several young players mean that whatever happens in 2019, the club are in a fantastic situation to grow and progress.

Captain Marco Reus has managed to keep injury free in recent months, and his influence on the team cannot be underestimated. The German winger has suffered over the last few season, which coincidentally mirrored Dortmund’s struggle to challenge for any significant title.

Reus has 11 goals for his club in the Bundesliga this season, as well as laying on seven assists, meaning the fan favourite has been involved with 18 of the 44 league goals this season.

Paco Alcacer tops the Dortmund charts with 12 goals, but the emergence of an English youngster is the one who has stolen the headlines this season. Jadon Sancho joined the club for £8m from Manchester City has taken to pressure at Dortmund like a duck to water.

Jaden Sancho in action for England
Photo: Andy Wilkins / Prost International

The winger has had a huge impact this season, with six goals and nine assists, his most important coming in 2-1 win over Schalke, which proved to be the winning goal.

Abdou Diallo and Manuel Akanji are forming a solid base in defence for the team to work off, the two youngsters signing from Mainz and FC Basel respectively. Whilst the work of Thomas Delaney and Axel Wisel in front of them has given Favre’s side the sturdy setting to express themselves at the top end.

A 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in early November really set the pulses racing in terms of the title. Dortmund soon found themselves nine points clear of the title favourites, giving a sense of optimism they can regain the league they have not won since 2011-12.

The recent loss to Fortuna showed a fragility that was not yet seen in Dortmund, Bayern Munich got a late winner against Leipzig that same weekend to cut the deficit to six points. But they responded well with a comfortable win over their nearest challengers Borussia Monchengladbach, with Sancho and Marco Reus earning them the win with a goal a piece.

The games come thick and fast once the break is finished. Dortmund return to action in late January with a game away at Red Bull Leipzig, so Favre will be drilling his side over the break, ensuring they are at their sharpest to return to action.

The title race is by no means over, and both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have tough Champions League ties to contend with. But Dortmund are in a commanding position in terms of the Bundesliga, and it is in their hands. But no matter what happens between now and May, this side have proved they are on course to returning to former glory’s.


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