3 high-profile clubs whose season could end in disappointment
- The 2018-19 season has entered its home stretch and stakes are at its peak. But which clubs will be left disappointed at the end of it all?
Three-quarters of the 2018-19 season has whizzed by with twists and turns galore. Several surprises have come our way and with only a fourth of the season left, one can expect those to continue till the last ball is kicked in May.
Apart from England and Germany, the domestic title seems a foregone conclusion in Spain, Italy and France with FC Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, looking primed to take home the coveted trophy.
In England, Liverpool and Manchester City are matching each other step for step and only a point separates the pair. As for Germany, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are deadlocked at the perch of the table having played 24 games each.
Additionally, the UEFA Champions League has also entered its home stretch with the round of 16 ties in full swing.
However, with the stakes at an all-time high, there are bound to be disappointments for certain teams along the way. Thus, through the course of this article, we chalk out three high-profile teams that I believe would have to contend with heartbreak come the end of the season.
Without further ado, here is a look at them:
#3. Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund raced off the blocks at the start of the season and took the footballing fraternity by storm. The club situated in the industrial heartland of Germany seemed to have found a perfect blend of experience and youth in the formative stages.
The likes of Jadon Sancho, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Achraf Hakimi and Manuel Akanji were complemented perfectly by Axel Witsel, Lukasz Piszczek, Mario Gotze and Marco Reus.
In addition, each of Lucien Favre’s tactical tweaks worked a charm with Paco Alcacer, in particular, benefitting from the Swiss’ shrewd substitutions.
However, as the pressure has been turned up a notch in recent weeks, the young Dortmund side has struggled to rediscover its early-season mojo. The performances have been patchy, the defence has looked vulnerable and the attacking verve that made them the darling of Europe has suddenly gone AWOL.
In turn, they’ve allowed Bayern Munich to claw their way back into the title race. With Bayern boasting of truckloads of title-winning experience, I expect them to pip Dortmund to the Bundesliga title.
Moreover, they turned in an appalling performance in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie against Tottenham. And unless they conjure a miracle at the Signal Iduna Park, they are in danger of undoing their early exploits.
A criticism aimed at youthful teams in the past has been their ability (or the lack of it) to handle pressure. While Dortmund seemed expertly positioned to prove otherwise in 2018, they now look on course to add more weight to the aforementioned narrative.
Thus, they make our list.