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Can Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga title?

Daniel Pinder
ANALYST
Feature
461   //    28 Sep 2017, 00:34 IST

Real Madrid CF v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid CF v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League

It’s not easy to score 14 goals in three Bundesliga games, but Borussia Dortmund are sure making easy work of their German opponents under new head coach Peter Bosz this season.

Another emphatic win on Saturday saw Dortmund put six past a hapless Borussia Monchengladbach team, who are no easy opponents themselves. Keep the run going and Bosz might just be able to do something his predecessor Thomas Tuchel couldn’t, and that’s lifting the Bundesliga title come May.

Scoring a brace against Cologne, Maximilian Philipp is starting to fill the boots of injured Marco Reus with relative ease. Arriving from SC Freiburg for €20 million, the 23-year-old scored a further two goals against Gladbach as well as assisting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in their 6-1 thrashing, worthy of all the plaudits. It’s not just coming in for Reus and hit the ground running, but that he has done with relative ease.

More on Aubameyang later, but a player worth talking about is Andriy Yarmolenko. Coming in to replace Ousmane Dembele who departed for Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund spent €25m on the Ukrainian, and it’s fair to say that he’s settled into life in Germany rather well.

Although a different player to his predecessor, France international Dembele, Yarmolenko like Arjen Robben prefers to play out on the right, cutting inside onto his favoured left foot. The former was often criticised for overplaying while obviously more experienced, Yarmolenko has shown in his early Dortmund days that he has what it takes to succeed at BVB.

So, where did this run all start for Borussia Dortmund?

With the main talking points being scoring a staggering 14 goals in just three league games let’s not forget how it all started, with a resounding 3-0 win against VfL Wolfsburg. Tuchel often played a 3-5-2 or a 4-2-3-1 but what we’ve seen from Bosz is a 4-3-3 system that certainly works with this Dortmund setup. With a midfield three of Nuri Sahin, Gonzalo Castro and Mario Gotze, Bosz has a very dynamic midfield who are all capable of interchanging positions and the trio are all good on the ball, something that Bosz asks for.

Prior to their game on Saturday against Borussia Monchengladbach, Dortmund had gone the opening five games without even conceding a league goal, something that doesn’t happen all too often in German football.

The only problem that has arisen from Dortmund in the league this season was not being able to find a way past 10-man Freiburg away from home but rest assured, they put five past Cologne the following week.

Is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang world class?

Close to leaving Borussia Dortmund for China in the summer, there’s always been the question surrounding Aubameyang as to whether he’s world class. Yes, he may have scored 133 goals in 199 games in all competitions for BVB but it’s fair to say that he doesn’t offer too much in build-up play. Not to mention, he often misses the easy chances that he should be scoring, instead scoring the harder ones that you perhaps wouldn’t expect him to.

And once again, it looks like he’ll be going head-to-head with Robert Lewandowski for the Bundesliga’s Golden Boot. Finishing last season one goal ahead of the Bayern Munich forward in less games, there’s that argument that Lewandowski is still the better player, given his off the ball abilities – adding more to a team than Aubameyang does.

A star in the making

Breaking onto the scene at Borussia Dortmund last season under Tuchel, Christian Pulisic is finally making a name for himself this year under Bosz. At just 19, the USA international has already featured 64 times in all competitions in the famous black and yellow and with 10 goals and 14 assists, he’s made himself a key protagonist at Dortmund.

In just nine games under Bosz, Pulisic is already on course for an outstanding season. Always looking to improve and learn, the American has slowly started adding goals to his name while he’s a player that isn’t afraid of making mistakes.

He’s already being likened to both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but it’s important that Pulisic’s feet remain grounded – which currently are – and that fame doesn’t get to his head as it has done with previous players. 

However all things considered and in short, yes, Borussia Dortmund can win the Bundesliga this season.

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Daniel Pinder
ANALYST
Daniel is a freelance sports journalist that specialises in German football.
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