How It Could All Go Wrong in the Next 30 Days

How It Could All Go Wrong in the Next 30 Days

BVB is on a high at the moment. We are atop the Bundesliga and despite a poor start to the Champions League group stage, there is a plausible pathway for us to advance (if not a probable one). Better yet, our main competition for the league all have major flaws that have been exposed early. Many of our injured players are returning to training or the pitch, expanding our depth. Our manager has shown risky tendencies with his high line but he’s been better than advertised. We even have a Ballon d’Or finalist.

Yet as the international break comes to a close and the focus returns to the club, there are dangers looming. In five weeks, during the next break, our position in every competition could be seriously weakened and our weaknesses exposed. What follows are a series of possibilities that could upend the current narrative and depose us from our position as favourites in the league.

The fixture list gets much harder

BVB are welcomed back from the break by a visiting RB Leipzig side that found some positive form going into the international break. Three days later the Black and Yellow find themselves travelling to Cyprus for a massive UCL fixture against Apoel. After trips to Frankfurt and FC Magdeburg, BVB have the following in an eight-day period – away to Hannover, hosting Apoel, and hosting Bayern. All of this comes in the next four weeks. A bad run of form could see them behind their main rivals and upstart Hannover in the league as well as essentially eliminated from the Champions League and Poekel before the winter holidays.

Injuries could again test depth

As if the schedule were not daunting enough, there is the added concern of injuries. BVB have seen some important players return but the international break was not kind to the squad. Lukas Piszczek injured his knee colliding with his keeper in Poland’s win over Montenegro and will be out during this important run of fixtures, if not longer. That obviously tests the club’s already thin defensive depth. Nuri Sahin was also released from his Turkey squad due to back issues, while Pulisic, Dahoud, and Burki all had minor injuries over the break. These are on top of the usual suspects long-term injury list, but as more and more players retreat to the trainer’s table, the options for Peter Bosz to rotate become fewer, which going back to the previous item is bad news when you have major fixtures stacked together. Speaking of the manager…

Bosz’s carriage could turn back into a pumpkin

Bosz has been widely praised for shoring up the defence in the league and keeping BVB’s dangerous attack. However, his strategy has been badly exposed in the Champions League, albeit against maybe the best club in the world and Spurs. His high line of pressure has withheld against clubs in the league without players to truly test it, but again looking back at point one, there will be opponents who can challenge the strategy. Can Bosz adapt if his formation or tactics are countered by his opponents? What if he cannot?