It's not even the end of March, and the Bundesliga title race is all but officially decided. Bayern Munich hold a commanding, 20-point lead over second-placed Dortmund, and could mathematically seal the title with a win this weekend if BVB drop points in Stuttgart.
The league long lost, it's been a disappointing domestic campaign for the two-time defending Bundesliga champions. Success in the Champions League has led them to the quarterfinals, but also taken a toll as fatigue and occasional blunders against lesser teams have resulted in a premature end to their domestic title defense.
Heading into next season, BVB are still the only team that can realistically hope to compete with Bayern following Pep Guardiola's arrival at the Munich club. And the Ruhr side will certainly aim to put up more of a fight in 2013-14.
It will be very difficult for Dortmund to keep pace with Bayern in 2013-14, but if they are to do so, there are some critical factors they will have to use. Read on for analysis of what BVB can do to challenge Bayern for Bundesliga glory next season.