Lucien Favre planning to go with a back four for the upcoming season

Lucien Favre (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Lucien Favre (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Kicker are reporting that Lucien Favre will have Borussia Dortmund going back to a back four this season after their success with a back five last year.

There have been whispers of Lucien Favre wanting to back to his usual back four in defense. Dortmund had a lot of success last season when they switched to playing in a back five, with the use of wing-backs complimenting their attacking style. If Kicker is to be believed, that isn’t the plan this season as Favre still prefers a back four.

Although Favre may want to go to a back four, there are a lot of the same questions as last season in that regard. The reason Dortmund switched to a back five last year was their defensive frailty, as they kept getting caught out and punished for either costly mistakes or lack of attention. Another big factor is the personnel, which hasn’t changed all that much heading into this year. The only real change is Meunier coming in for Hakimi.

Swapping Meunier for Hakimi will definitely help on the defensive end if Lucien Favre makes the switch to a back four. However, the problems still exist on the left side. Borussia Dortmund don’t have a true left back, neither Raphael Guerreiro or Nico Schulz fit that position in a back four.

Guerreiro was perhaps the biggest winner of the switch to a back five as he went from a decent left back who has clear defensive deficiencies to one of the best wing backs in the world. He is hand made for the position, incredible in the attack and able to jump into the build up play at will because he had more defensive cover. Without that, Guerreiro’s impact will be halved as he will need to stay further back, which will significantly impact Dortmund’s quality.

Another big factor is Lukasz Piszczek who was great making the switch from right-back to central defense in the back five. Piszczek has never played as a center-back in a back four, which is significantly different as there is a lot less cover. Assuming he can make that transition is a dangerous game to play, especially with Dortmund not having the most depth at centre-back.

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While this may be Lucien Favre’s preference there are a lot of valid questions pointing to if this is the right decision based on the personnel Dortmund possess. Hopefully this doesn’t cost Dortmund points in the season but based on last years performance and the lack of changes since then, it likely will.