Looking ahead: Europa League beckons for Borussia Dortmund

DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Dortmund celebrates after scoring his team`s first goal with team mates during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 at Signal Iduna Park on November 25, 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Dortmund celebrates after scoring his team`s first goal with team mates during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 at Signal Iduna Park on November 25, 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Europa League is no foreign competition to the Black and Yellows as they were in the competition just three years ago. And with an all-important encounter with Real Madrid, they need to avoid a loss or hope that Apoel doesn’t salvage a point against Tottenham at Wembley.

After a stunning start to the season, Borussia Dortmund find themselves fighting for a Europa League spot against Apoel Nicosia. Now that Dortmund have put themselves in this position, would they be able to pose a threat in the Europa League? And this year’s competition will be no walk in the park as teams such as Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Milan and possibly Napoli and Leipzig/Porto could all give Dortmund a run for their money. There will be many factors in play that will determine if they stand a chance in the competition. Let’s have a look at some of them:

Will Peter Bosz be around for that long?

It is pretty evident that the Dutchman’s time at Borussia Dortmund is extremely uncertain and has to turn things around drastically if he wants to keep his job. But if he does get sacked before the winter break then Dortmund would undergo a huge shift in tactics and mentality which is extremely risky especially at this point of the season when they are trying to stay afloat in the Bundesliga and also trying to stay in a European competition.

Dortmund might be able to get ahold of Lucien Favre, who was originally their first choice to replace Thomas Tuchel. But a sudden shift from Peter Bosz’s high line attacking mentality to Favre’s more five at the back defensive mentality will surely pose a challenge to the players.

Injuries:

Borussia Dortmund are no strangers to injuries as they have seen many key players absent from the first team such as Marco Reus and they still managed to perform excellently last year. This year, however, is an entirely different story. With the club struggling to even win a game key players make all the difference. Some players on Dortmund’s injury list includes:

  • Piszczek
  • Reus
  • Phillip
  • Gotze
  • Castro

Phillip being the most recent casualty and is set to miss “several months” of football as announced by the club on Twitter.

More from BVB Buzz

Do they have the right tactics?

After replacing mastermind tactician Thomas Tuchel, Peter Bosz has made some questionable decisions. One of those decisions has been mixing the position of his players. Marc Bartra is one of those players. The ex-Barcelona man who Bosz experimented with and put as right back had his decision backfire. Lukasz Piszczek who is Dortmund’s go to right back normally supports attacking play through the wings with his pace. This is something Bartra lacks and it would be best if he stuck with his original position. But it’s not only Bartra. Weigl, Pulisic, Zagadou, Toljan, and Schmelzer have also been played out of their positions into different ones. And that has also not worked for Peter Bosz.

This could be one of the reasons why Dortmund’s defense has been struggling. And finally, a huge issue that Peter Bosz struggles to change is his change of tactics. At the beginning of the season, his high line offensive methods were tearing teams apart. But after their first loss in the Champions League to Tottenham, Bosz had to make some changes. Tottenham had brilliantly countered his tactics and he still refused to change them which led to other teams exploiting them hence leading to more goals conceded.

All in all, if Borussia Dortmund do qualify for the Europa League, they are going to have turn things around and fast, especially if they are to try and have a go at winning the competition.