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Green, Red or Black – Roman Bürki’s Jersey Could be the 12th Man Borussia Dortmund Needs

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A comprehensive statistical analysis uncovers some surprising trends.

1. FC Union Berlin v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The position of Kit Manager may never have been more significant than now in determining the outcome of a Bundesliga match. Frank Gräfen, BVB’s Kit Manager since 2004, could very well influence the fate of the team as he’s laying out Bürki’s wardrobe for the upcoming match against VfL Wolfsburg. He has three options at his disposal: Green, Red, and Black. While the choice may seem arbitrary, believe it or not, there are some interesting trends based on which one color Bürki is donning:

Green – the Color of Choice

1. FC Union Berlin v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Whether Bürki or Marwin Hitz is between the sticks, green is by far the color of choice for BVB’s keeper. They’ve worn green in 8 of Dortmund’s 13 league matches. Over this time, Dortmund have been sub-par, going 3/1/4. Fans were green in the face as BVB suffered some of the most disturbing losses at home in recent history such as the 1 – 2 loss to Cologne and the 1 – 5 thrashing courtesy of Stuttgart.

Red – a Bold Move

Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge KV: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The red keeper kit has graced the pitch for 5 out of 13 matches, to great effect. Over this period, Dortmund have been awarded with a stellar 4/0/1 record. The season started red hot with the 3 – 0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach and while there was almost an immediate setback the following week in the loss to Augsburg, the color delivered a delightful treat for the 0 – 2 Halloween victory over Arminia Bielefeld and BVB saw victories with each subsequent appearance of the red kit.

Black – the Wild Card

The odds of Bürki sporting this color are low. This color has yet to be debuted in a Bundesliga match and the Wolfsburg away kit is black. If Bürki were to come onto the pitch in black, there’s no telling what might happen.

Prediction: Red

Chances: Likely

Given that Wolfsburg’s away kit is black, the choices for Bürki will come down to green or red. Wolfsburg’s primary color is green, so one might think the BVB green keeper kit will stay in the closet. The chances of an outcome in BVB’s favor are best if red makes the final cut. Let’s hope Gräfen took some time during the Winterpause to review the stats and makes the right call. No pressure.