Borussia Dortmund have had a busier off-season in the transfer market than any other club in Europe. With the disappointment of missing out on the title by just 2 points in 2018-19, BVB and Lucien Favre have quickly gotten their business done to try and right their wrongs and make another title charge in 2019-20. The likes of Julian Brandt, Nico Schulz, Mats Hummels and Thorgan Hazard have all joined Borussia Dortmund and will provide much needed improvements in several departments for the club. The one biggest fix was clearly needed at left-back, while Lukasz Pisczcek on the right is aging slowly and will in time need a more long-term option if Achraf Hakimi does re-join Real Madrid in 2020/21.Embed from Getty Images
In addition to the illustrious summer signings, the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus and Julian Weigl have all stayed for another year, giving Dortmund so much consistency. In fact, they haven’t lost a single first team player in this summer transfer window and that’s just about the first time that’s happened in years. Christian Pulisic is the only major departure and he wasn’t even a regular starter last year so the £58m has been put to fantastic use. Borussia Dortmund’s squad looks very strong going into 2019-20 and here are three different ways Lucien Favre could set his side up next season.
Lucien Favre preferred to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation throughout 2018-19 and the system worked to perfection for them. Delaney and Witsel’s midfield partnership was the best in the league, while Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus took center stage in the formation. The addition of Thorgan Hazard might just ease Raphael Guerreiro and Jacob Bruun Larsen out of the lineup, while the signings of Nico Schulz and Mats Hummels could push Achraf Hakimi and Abdou Diallo out of the linuep too. For the most part, this might be Lucien Favre’s preferred lineup as he often favours the link-up play of Mario Gotze rather than the natural goal-scoring touch of Paco Alcacer. Meanwhile Lukasz Pisczcek will be hoping to retain his place in the starting 11 despite struggling at the end of the 2018-19 season to show his best form. Manuel Akani, Roman Burki, the two central midfielders and Marco Reus should retain their places as Jadon Sancho takes on an even bigger role in this squad. There is no natural place for German midfielder Julian Brandt in this formation, but he could operate on the left in place of Hazard or be given the odd-run out in the centre of the park for Delaney or Witsel.
Lucien Favre’s selection headache will first arise out of how to fit Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt into the same lineup, especially with Raphael Guerreiro, Jacob Bruun Larsen and Marco Reus also capable of playing on the left as well. Perhaps one solution might be to play Brandt where he operated in his final season for Bayer Leverkusen, as a left-sided central midfielder in a 4-3-3. The problem with this would then be about fitting Marco Reus, Paco Alcacer and Mario Gotze into the same side. Marco Reus is a must-have in the lineup, but the 4-3-3 formation could push both Paco Alcacer and Mario Gotze out of the lineup if the German is fit. Elsewhere, Achraf Hakimi was a regular for Dortmund at left-back last season but may be shifted to the right to accommodate the aging Lukasz Pisczcek.
Paco Alcacer was not signed in the January transfer window to sit on the bench. Although he has a better record when coming from the bench than starting matches, Alcacer will start many games in 2019-20 and is still Dortmund’s only natural striker. Meanwhile, Raphael Guerreiro had a fantastic season despite moving further up the field and he still should have an important part to play in 2019-20, especially given his versatility. Abdou Diallo will also play a number of matches in 2019-20 and could be Favre’s second-choice left-back and third-choice centre-back. Witsel and Delaney are unlikely to lose their place, but it is possible that Julian Brandt is tested in a midfield two and that Julian Weigl starts the odd game as well. All and all, Dortmund’s starting eleven probably won’t change drastically in Bundesliga matches, but could be subject to change more drastically in the UEFA Champions League.
So there it is! 3 Ways Borussia Dortmund could line up in 2019-20. How do you think BVB will play? Will they stick by Lucien Favre’s trusted 4-2-3-1? Or will they change things up to a 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1 to accommodate some of these new signings? Be sure to share your thoughts below or on Twitter @mastermindsite. Thanks for reading and see you soon!
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