With a couple games through in the Bundesliga, and the transfer window closed, we can now use the international break to let the dust settle and decide exactly where Borussia Dortmund are. What should we expect from this season?
Since we’re all idiots, and no weight should be attached to any of our opinions, we thought a roundtable, to try and wash out the immense amount of stupid noise, would be appropriate. Here’s the bad things we think:
Bundesliga - Second
DFB-Pokal - Final
Champions League - Quarter Final
I don’t think we can realistically expect to win the league this season, but I would like to see BVB running Bayern Munich as close as possible. If we can go into the last few games of the season within touching distance, then I’d consider that a success in Marco Rose’s first season. There’s always the possibility that Bayern slip, and the league is there for whoever is ready to take it, and if that’s the case, I think we should be top of that pile, but I don’t think it’s realistic to make that our expectation from the season.
Elsewhere, I’d like to see BVB in another final, perhaps even retaining the DFB-Pokal. If we lost in the final to a decent team, I wouldn’t consider that a failure, but it would be nice to see them lift some more silverware.
Finally, a Champions League quarter final seems realistic (and a semi final if we’re lucky).
Bundesliga - Second, and Make it Close
DFB-Pokal - Win the Whole Damn Thing
Champions League - Go Down Swinging
With the way the squad is currently built, with its serious holes on the back line, ‘expecting’ a title would just be setting myself up for disappointment. Second place, on the other hand, is a must. BVB need to maintain their status as the team most likely to challenge Bayern Munich at all costs, and holding down RB Leipzig is a vital part of that. While I don’t expect Dortmund to win the title, I will be sorely disappointed if they lay down and allow Bayern to waltz to another title. Match Bayern every step of the way and hope for the best, is what I say.
The DFB-Pokal has a good deal more chance involved, and it’s much easier to beat Bayern in a one-off game than over the course of an entire season, so I’ll be disappointed if they don’t lift the trophy at the end of the year.
The Champions League, I see as a crapshoot. With the quality of opponents in BVB’s group, not making the knockout round would be very embarrassing, but after that, it’s entirely possible that BVB could be drawn with Manchester City or another giant club that knock us out in the Round of 16.
Bundesliga - In the Title Race
DFB-Pokal - Final
Champions League - Round of 16
I apologize for giving a cop-out answer, but I find it hard to apply logic to what has been an entirely illogical offseason. We’re heading into a year in which 7 of the top 8 teams in the league changed their manager. Dortmund, Bayern, and especially Leipzig all lost crucial players, and as a result, it will take some time for everyone to get into full gear. There is also, of course, the bogeyman of COVID looming over the heads of every team in the division, threatening to keep players out of training for 2 weeks. Nothing about this season will be predictable! I think this will be a closer race than we’ve seen in previous years, and it's one that I expect Dortmund to be near or at the front of come the end of the season.
It’s a single-elimination tournament, so having expectations of a final might not be fair, but Dortmund have proven to be at least the second-best team in the competition, and as the current Pokal holders, you have to hope we at least make it back to Berlin. Having said all that, BVB lose to all kinds of different teams they really shouldn’t be losing to, so don’t be shocked if we draw Werder and lose in extra time.
Dortmund got pretty lucky with their Champions League draw this season. Ajax, Sporting, and Besiktas are all good clubs, but they are by no means stiff competition at the Champions League level. The bare minimum expectation for the Champions League, which is what I’ve gone with, out of the kindness of my heart, should be to finish first in the group. Anything beyond the round of 16 is a bonus.
What do you expect from Borussia Dortmund this season?