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A Dortmund Dream XI that is closer than you think

We’re not that far off

Borussia Dortmund v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Bongarts/Getty Images

It’s the holiday season so let’s hope for a Christmas miracle over the winter break. Unfortunately BVB don’t have Manchester United level money so we can’t try to buy that miracle but I don’t think we need to. The hinrunde was littered with injuries that decimated the roster as almost every starter missed significant time.

Roman Bürki ❌ Erik Durm ❌ Sokratis Papastathopoulos ❌ Neven Subotic ❌ Gonzalo Castro "GC 27" ❌ Marc Bartra ❌ Sebastian...

Posted by Borussia Dortmund on Thursday, December 15, 2016

Of course you can also add Marco Reus to that list and complete a competitive Champions League side.

Tuchel showed last season though that he can fix an entire defense over the winter and with players returning to fitness, I think a BVB dream lineup can challenge for trophies on all fronts with just the players already in Dortmund.

BVB is not a team that struggles to score goals, only a team that struggles to score first. This lineup shouldn’t struggle with either of those goals. Aubameyang up front is a no brainer. He’s the top scorer in the Bundesliga and Europe’s top 5 leagues. The wingers also pick themselves. When healthy Marco Reus is a part of any dream XI and this season has shown just that.

Ousmane Dembele might be the Bundesliga’s top young talent in a league that has Renato Sanches, Christian Pulisic, and Joshua Kimmich. He’s already been pegged by many as a future Ballon d’ Or winner and it’s not all hype. Every single game, defenders are quaking in their boots hoping not to get embarrassed...again.

The CAM is a lot less clear in a dream lineup. Shinji and Gotze have both been inconsistent, but Gotze has been slightly more promising of late and probably has a higher ceiling on his best day than the Japanese international. Also, under Tuchel our 4-2-3-1 often morphs into a 4-3-3 defensively and Gotze has shown a willingness to drop back and link the backline with an electric attack. In a dream lineup I’m betting that he can play like he did against Bayern in the hinrunde.

A dream midfield two is also pretty clear. Weigl is undroppable when healthy. He’s an unflappable, metronome like, pass master in the mold of Sergio Busquets. The position next to him though has just been a war of attrition. Gurreiro is probably the best choice when healthy since he does a fine Gundogan impression and offers more defensively than the Man City man. Gurreiro is also BVB’s best free kick taker earning him a place in my dream XI.

That brings us to a dream defense which is really an oxymoron for the hinrunde. At left back, Schmelzer gets the nod because he’s better than Joo Ho Park. Papa starts because he’s been our only good defender this year. It REALLY hurts put Bartra in this dream XI. The La Masia graduate has been downright horrible at times but if we’re being honest, Bender, Ginter, Merino, Rode, and whoever else has filled in at center back haven’t consistently been much better. Bartra is still a good passer who hopefully gets his form back over the winter break. On the right side of defense, Piszczek is not the player he was during Klopp’s most successful seasons. His overlapping runs are not quite as marauding as they once were and he’s nowhere near as fast as years past. Passlack on the other hand has shown youthful vigor each time he sees the field. And as a former winger the academy product possesses a better end product as well. Now if only this dream defense could play up to their potential.

Finally, in goal we have 2.5 choices. There’s Bonmann....yeah no. The past month Weidenfeller’s made some nice saves but mainly he’s showed why it’s time to hang up his gloves. That leaves Burki in a dream XI from his slightly above average performances.

This dream Borussia Dortmund starting XI has the talent to compete with any team in the world bar none. Now let’s hope they and the rest of the Black and Yellows can put all that talent to trophy chasing use.

Echte liebe and Happy Holidays!