Borussia Dortmund 2019/20: season preview - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Artwork by @Chapulana

So, is the Bundesliga title race back on?

If BVB defeats Mainz on Wednesday, they will trail Bayern Munich by only four points!

While it’s unlikely that BVB would pull it off in the long run, Bayern hasn’t been particularly strong in the league recently, so it’s not out of the question. Dortmund may have something to play for this season.

Bayern was looking more than comfortable to win the Bundesliga. Yet, here we are, surrealistically, on the verge of being dragged back into the Bundesliga title battle, and it’s logical to question how this happened.

Borussia Dortmund is far from their best, decimated by Covid and injury; on Sunday, they eked out a 1-0 win over struggling Arminia Bielefeld due to a solitary goal from Marius Wolf – who would almost certainly not be playing in a healthy squad.

BVB’s season appeared to be over after their Europa League loss to Rangers. However, if they win their game in hand against Mainz – who is also coming off a sabbatical due to a Covid epidemic – they will be only four points behind Bayern with eight games remaining.

Dortmund, have enough reason to be optimistic for the first time in weeks — and very surprisingly.

Erling Haaland and Gio Reyna both returned as substitutes on Sunday. Raphael Guerreiro and Mats Hummels may have recovered, and others are likely to return, but it is unclear how Mainz will emerge from their lockdown.

Dortmund vs Mainz

Marco Rose’s team is presently seven points behind Bayern Munich despite having played one fewer game. Due to a COVID-19 outbreak, Die Schwarzgelben was unable to play against Mainz on the planned schedule.

If we were to look at the head-to-head record, Dortmund has dominated the meetings between the two teams, winning 18 and drawing eight.

Mainz has only won five games against Dortmund, the most recent of which occurred in June 2020 at Signal Iduna Park.

Selection update

Due to injuries, full-back trio Thomas Meunier, Mateu Morey, and Marcel Schmelzer are not scheduled to play. Striker Steffen Tigges is also unlikely to play again this season.

Giovanni Reyna and Erling Haaland came on as substitutes against Arminia Bielefeld and are likely to be back in the lineup on Wednesday.

It’s unclear whether Raphael Guerreiro and Mats Hummels will return from COVID-19. Marco Rose has some ideas for the duo. Marco Reus, who missed last weekend’s game due to sickness, might make a comeback.

Dan-Axel Zagadou and Manuel Akanji are still questionable, and Youssoufa Moukoko is not scheduled to play until the end of March.

So, a lot of problems!

But, if Dortmund can produce a win, the Bundesliga will be treated to an exhilarating title race!

Dortmund needs to end Bayern’s monopoly, and the game against Mainz could really be the portal that opens the pathway for this scenario!