This time, there is a new cowboy in town. And the Sherrif isn’t too happy about it. The boys in black and yellow have brought about a sandstorm in the Bundesliga, led by their new coach, Thomas Tuchel. Can the sandstorm find it’s way past the Bavarian Alps of Bayern Munich?
The results Borussia Dortmund have at the moment- 17 points from 7 games is probably one of the best all over Europe. But no, it’s simply not enough to top their league leaders Bayern Munich who boast of a 100% win record up till this match this season. With the Bavarians having a 4 point lead on the table, following 2 draws in the league, for Dortmund a loss in this game might set them behind by 7 points.
Despite the fact that a good majority of the season is still left, one can safely estimate the winners within the first 8 games. The draws weren’t well received by Dortmund as they criticized themselves for having given away a solid 2 points each game. Claiming themselves not to have defended as well as they should have. They need to buckle up if they want to stand a chance.
In comparison to the last season, Dortmund has seen a drastic change in fortunes. After having had a horrendous season where most players were out of form, the team nose-dived down the league table and somehow managed to crawl back up for a Europa League spot. After Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos failed to show their best, the team’s performance was enough for Jurgen Klopp to announce a sabbatical.
Thomas Tuchel, the new man, made subtle changes. Replacing the older Roman Widenfeller with the younger Roman Burki. Bringing in Julian Weigl and Gonzalo Castro brought the right mix of experience and youth which has clicked well. With the likes of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan unable to keep their foot away from the goal, there’s no shock when one understands the players behind them like Gundogan or Hummels show a massive improvement.
Bayern Munich on the other hand have simply been impenetrable. How much ever one argues for the case of Borussia, it falls to shame in front of the fail-proof record of the Reds. Lewandowski, the lead man, looks like he has been granted special powers from the heavens itself. And he looks all set to bite his old team back. Neuer seems to be forever amazing at the back, and the defense seems as impenetrable as it always has been.
The possession based football Pep has been implementing at Munich has now grown and embedded into the system with Lahm and Xabi Alonso being the leaders in the system. A game reader like Lahm can predict a counter-attack before it even happens, and a visionary like Xabi Alonso can make chances out of nowhere. The little said is more for probably the best team in the entirety of Europe at the moment.
If Borrusia Dortmund want to seek out a win in this game, they need to target with wind-like speed and quick counter-attacks. They need to catch the other side off-guard. Either that, or lock down Lewandowski and Douglas Costa if they seem to be happy with a draw. Apart from that, they need to close down while implementing zonal marking, to kill those through balls which the Center midfield so efficiently provides for the Bavarians. Burki needs to be spot on, and can’t afford any slip in form. Thomas Tuchel has shown that his team is capable of all of the above, and one can hope that they will show their real strength, for the sake of the team and the fans.
Dortmund have a major challenge at hand. But whatever the results maybe, they look to achieve their targets of this season without a serious detour- Qualifying for the Champions League. The fans, one of the best in the world, were absolutely heartbroken after last season, and a qualification is essential for all their emotional investment to the club. The qualification would also mean more influx of money for the club, which it needs at the moment.
The results may go either way, but there seems to be a single certainty- goals on a platter!
Red Devil forever. Engineer by nature, Football by the heart. Sugar, Spice and a whole lotta tadka on the side.