Borussia Dortmund: 5 Keys to Hanging on to Win the Bundesliga
There's nothing between the top teams in the Bundesliga. They're all looking to pick up points in winnable games this weekend.
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 are ranked first, second and third, respectively. They have 40 points apiece and are separated only by goal difference. Borussia Mönchengladbach is close behind—ranked fourth with 39 points.
All four teams will likely be involved in European action next season.
Does Dortmund have what it takes to go one step further and retain the title? Here’s a look at key factors that will help them achieve their goal.
Dortmund certainly cannot be accused of choking in high profile matches. BVB’s record in games played against the other top three clubs beats their closest rivals hands down.
This season, they have racked up seven points out of a possible nine in games played against Schalke, Bayern Munich and Mönchengladbach.
Gladbach also boasts seven points but they have already played their return fixture against Munich, a team with just three points in their four matches against top teams.
Schalke also has three points. They've played just three games against their fellow title challengers.
A Perfect Start
Dortmund’s success isn't limited to good results against the top four clubs.
Taking into account games played since the end of the Bundesliga winter break, they are currently top of the Rückrunde table.
They won both of their matches, equaling the efforts of Schalke and Borussia Mönchengladbach and outdoing those of FC Bayern.
Crucially, they have done so whilst scoring more goals than any of the other top clubs.
Borussia Dortmund has more players under 25 regularly playing on their first team than any of the other top four clubs.
These players include talents like Mario Götze, Shinji Kagawa, Robert Lewandowski and Kevin Großkreutz.
Not only will these players give Jürgen Klopp an advantage in clinching the title this season, they will also form the backbone of a team that can challenge for honours for many years to come.
Two of Dortmund's young stars, Shinji Kagawa and Kevin Großkreutz, are currently leading the Bundesliga in assists with six each.
The injured Mario Götze has also popped up with five assists this season. Dortmund hopes he'll find his prolific form quickly once he returns from the treatment room.
The fact that these three players have contributed 17 goals between them doesn’t hurt either.
If You Can’t Win, Don’t Lose
Dortmund has lost fewer games than any of the other top four teams, whilst drawing more.
The old adage—“if you can’t win, don’t get beaten”—seems to be serving Jürgen Klopp’s young men well. In tough contests, they have earned points they desperately need to stay in contention for the title.
All in all, Dortmund has the necessary pieces in place to win the league again this year.
The same could also be said of the other top teams. We could see the title race go to the final day of the season.
That's what makes this league so exciting.