Borussia Dortmund is without a doubt the hottest team in the Bundesliga at the moment, and possibly all of Europe. Having not lost in 18 league matches and winning eight in a row (10 if you count the cup) to start the second half of the season (club record), Dortmund have expanded their lead at the top of the table to seven points ahead of struggling Bayern Munich. (Get Bundesliga title odds on the FreeBets sports betting blog).
This last weekend’s demonstration of brilliant, fast-paced, attacking football against a Mainz squad that had some good moments, truly showed their class. The only weakness to be seen was the lack of utilizing the high number of chances. The 2:1 score line is closer than the game truly was. Had Kagawa and Lewandowski put away absolute sitters, a four or five goal thrashing would have been a given.
Another great sign for Dortmund is that all players have truly gelled and are playing as an attacking unit that does not get exposed in defense. Though wunderkind Mario Götze is still out injured, his replacement, Polish international Jakub “Kuba” Blaszczykowski is playing lights-out football at the moment. His link up play from the flanks with fellow Polish teammate Lewandowski are giving opponents fits, plus he is scoring goals as well. Even players that have taken longer to truly integrate into the squad, such as Ilkay Gündogan are giving great performances. When Mario Götze does get back into the squad, this Dortmund lineup will be even more potent and pose significant problems for whomever they face.
Dortmund began the season rather slow (disregarding the opening day win versus a horrid Hamburg team), and the team completely disappointed in the Champions League. The main factors for the early season woes were the fact that Dortmund underestimated the effect the departure of Nuri Sahin would have and that Gündogan could not fulfill the Sahin role yet. Since then, all of this has changed. The early exit from Europe has freed up the squad and reduced the strain of playing in three different competitions (league, cup, and Europe). Two of their main rivals for the Bundesliga crown, Bayern and Schalke are still battling it out on the European stage, which has hurt them and helped the yellow and black rivals from Dortmund.
Borussia Dortmund even exorcized their cup demons this year after beating Düsseldorf in a thrilling penalty shootout and now only have second tier Greuther Fürth standing between them and a trip to the final in Berlin, where they could face either Bayern or Borussia Mönchengladbach, another one of the four rivals for the title.
Of course Dortmund have their weaknesses. The greatest one being their inability to capitalize on the high number of chances they produce (much like an Arsenal of the past). That being said, they have scored a blazing, best in the league 52 goals this season, but it should be much more. This low conversion rate could come back to haunt them, but if the other teams that are in the hunt all continue to struggle and lose their form like last weekend, Dortmund should capture their second straight Bundesliga title (8th overall). Every team that has had a lead of five or more points at this point in the season has become champion.