After a dreadful start to their Bundesliga campaign, Borussia Dortmund appear to have weathered the storm after going five matches without defeat.
Jurgen Klopp’s side picked up a point away at Hamburg in their latest clash, while winning their four previous matches by an aggregate score of 13-4. We take a look at some of the reasons why the German giants have managed to turn their form around and have their eyes set on a European spot at the end of the season.
Dortmund possess an experienced squad, and they know how to get the job done towards the business end of the season. The only way is up now as the season draws to a climax, and their stamina and fitness levels should be higher than other sides. As the campaign comes to a close, other sides may start to crumble while the 2011-12 Bundesliga winners could take advantage and, as long as they beat the sides around them in the table, they may sneak a top four berth and guarantee Champions League football next season.
World Class players:
It could be argued that Dortmund have the second strongest squad in the entire division. With world class talent such as Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus, Mats Hummels and Shinji Kagawa, they have an exceedingly good group all over the field. They also have strength in depth, with many international standard players failing to hold a regular place in the first team. Although it is likely that some of these may move to other clubs in summer, they may give their maximum attention to Dortmund as the bid to finish in the top four starts to heat up throughout the late stages of the campaign.
Jurgen Klopp is one of the greatest managers in world football right now, and he deserves a lot of credit for the resurgence of Dortmund in recent times. While they are no longer a domestic force, the 47-year-old has guided his team to the Champions League knockout stages once again and if they manage to finish in the top four of the Bundesliga this year, their manager will class that as an excellent campaign. The two-time German Football Manager of the Year will look to use the remainder of this season as a platform to build for the next campaign.
The ‘Fear Factor’ has returned:
After a number of home defeats in the opening round of matches, the ‘fear factor’ has returned for opposition sides at the Signal Iduna Park. The 81,000 capacity stadium has been bouncing at recent home matches and the supporters are no longer venting their frustration, and instead are getting behind their team. They have won their last two home matches by a combined score of 7-2, and the German giants have been formidable in both attack and defence. If they continue their home form for the remainder of the season, they will be difficult opponents for any side in the division.
Overall, the German giants can still finish in the top four of the Bundesliga this year. It may be difficult but while it is still mathematically possible, then they certainly possess the talent required for a late charge. Under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp, there is absolutely no reason why Dortmund cannot win eight of their last 10 matches, and if they manage to earn 24 points then there is a great chance they will sneak a Champions League place. It must be remembered that they are still in this year’s competition and it would be foolish to rule them out of winning Europe’s top competition, given their recent resurgence and European form so far this campaign.