The Bundesliga season is still at an early stage, but already Borussia Dortmund have drawn three matches 2-2 this season. This strange commodity has certainly been a burden for punters, with all three coming in their past three matches and most bookmakers, like BetAmerica, have lowered their odds to win the league.
The recent results are certainly something that Dortmund will need to adjust if they are to maintain a title challenge this season.
The three draws have come against Eintracht Frankfurt, Werder Bremen and most recently Freiburg, with Dortmund blowing leads in all three of these fixtures. In two of the matches, they even had the lead twice before squandering it. In the other match, they had the lead once and also fought back from a losing position, which is a quality that Dortmund will be proud of.
There is no doubting the never-say-die attitude that Dortmund have under Lucien Favre but throwing away this many points so early in the season would be a concern.
They already trail the early season front-runners Borussia Monchengladbach by four points, and the main reason for this are the draws. Three draws in seven fixtures certainly isn’t the kind of form that screams title challengers, but what can be done to turn the tide in their direction.
The Dortmund defensive record is worse than any other side in the Bundesliga’s top half. The 11 goals that they have conceded is three more than the next worse, which is held by the current champions, Bayern Munich. If they can solve this defensive issue, then their attacking players will ensure that they have enough goals to win more than they lose.
The partnership between Manuel Akanji and Mats Hummels does have the quality to deal with opposing sides on paper. But there is certainly an underlining issue that needs to be solved.
The return of Hummels in the summer was a welcoming one, and there is certainly life in the former Bayern defender yet. His first stint at the club was a successful period for the club that saw them reach the Champions League final and win the Bundesliga on two occasions.
He is the leader that this backline has been crying out for, but he will need to adjust his own game before commenting on others. There is no doubt that his signing over the summer could be a significant one, but the performance levels will need to improve, and quick if Dortmund are to have a successful season.
Meanwhile, last two matches were decided by own goals. Once by Delaney and another one by Akanji. It might be bad luck, but defenders must know well how to anticipate these deflections and avoid them.
Holding onto A Lead
There is a sense that Dortmund are a better team when they are level, or even chasing a game. When they go ahead, then they seem to forget what they are doing, and instead of going for a second, they sit back and allow the opposition onto them.
Fans are unsure whether that is just a mental issue or tactics from Favre. Once they take the lead in a match, they stop attacking with the same intensity, and they would be better off just going for the jugular.
Dortmund have never been a side that you feel confident that they can hold on to a lead. Their defensive game has always been a weak point, while their strength is in the attack. That is something that Favre will need to grasp and alter his tactics accordingly.
Dortmund have one of the best attacks in world football. But, they are struggling when it comes to the final third. They aren’t making the number of clear-cut opportunities from a side that you would expect with their attacking prowess, and that will be a concern.
The Freiburg game was a perfect example of this as they didn’t have to work to get the goals, and they had practically handed them. That would be a huge concern for Favre and something that will need to be changed if they have aspirations of a title challenge. The team has enough depth and even if Sancho gets benched, Brandt and Hazard are capable enough of replacing the Englishman.