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Setting Overs/Unders on Key Stats for Borussia Dortmund in 2016/17 Season

Published by Bleacher Report on Wed, 17 Aug 2016

Following the DFL-Supercup as a curtain raiser, the 2016/17 Bundesliga campaign is right around the corner for Borussia Dortmund.With the first round of the DFB-Pokal and the first matchday of the season on the horizon, every fanbase can still hold hopes and dreams that this is going to be their club's year, some of which are sure to be crushed over the following 10 months.For Dortmund fans, the hope is that their club can end a trophy drought of four years. After a summer of upheaval that saw major turnover in the squad with no fewer than 13 first-team transfers to this point, there's a little uncertainty in the air.If the team can jell quickly, the sky seems to be the limit for Thomas Tuchel's side, after the 42-year-old turned in a mightily impressive first campaign at the Westfalenstadion last season.Having added talented youngsters as well as proven Bundesliga quality, Dortmund's squad looks strong enough for a successful season, however that may be defined.Here, Bleacher Report takes a stab at predicting how the season could go for the Black and Yellows with four over/under projections on team and individual stats.Number of Trophies: 0.5Dortmund haven't won a major trophy (the Supercup isn't considered that important in Germany) since 2012the year they won the double of the Bundesliga and the cup, beating Bayern Munich 5-2 in, arguably, the pinnacle of the Jurgen Klopp era at the club.The Ruhr side have come close, losing finals in the UEFA Champions League in 2013 and the DFB-Pokal in the last three years. Last season, they also gave Bayern a pretty good fight for the Bundesliga title, relatively speaking. The Bavarians were only crowned champions on the penultimate matchday and Dortmund dropped five of the 10 points they were lagging behind them in the final two games of the season.With Carlo Ancelotti replacing Pep Guardiola, many fans will have hoped that BVB could become an even better challenger, given the Italian's less-than-impressive domestic record, as Miguel Delaney pointed out for ESPN FC: "Despite spending 18 consecutive years at the continent's wealthiest clubs, Ancelottionly has three domestic medals."However, considering the major changes Dortmund have undergone this summer, a true title challenge seems too much to ask for. Their most likely path to hoisting another trophy lies in the cup. The Black and Yellows came agonisingly close in May, losing to Bayern in a penalty shootout.As always, the luck of the draw will be crucial, but Dortmund have developed into cup specialists in recent times, reaching the final in four of the last five seasons.B/R's take: UnderPredicting a cup run is always dangerous, as there are too many variables in play. Number of Goals Conceded in Bundesliga: 36On average over the last five domestic campaigns, Dortmund have conceded just over 36 goals. Compare that to Bayern's 19.6 goals allowed per season and you get an idea why the Bavarians have been so dominant.There's cause for optimism, however, taking a look at Tuchel's first season at the helm. Shipping 23 goals over the first half of the season, Dortmund spent most of the winter break working on defensive stability.Especially in games against dangerous opposition, the Black and Yellows positioned their full-backs deeper on the pitch than in the earlier months of the campaign and generally played more conservatively. As a result, they scored 12 fewer goals than in the Hinrunde but, more importantly, conceded only 11 goals in 17 matches.Among other things, this was also down to goalkeeper Roman Burki playing a much more solid second part of his first campaign at the club.The 25-year-old will have to get used to a new centre-back partnership playing in front of him following the departure of team captain Mats Hummels to Bayern, which this writer argued is the club's biggest concern ahead of the season in an earlier piece.However, the 27-year-old will be missed for his creativity on the ball and leadership skills, and not necessarily as a defender. In fact, Hummels was at least partly responsible for quite a few of the 23 goals the club conceded until the winter break.B/R's take: UnderTuchel tightened up the defence to great effect in his first season and there's little to suggest the floodgates will open again. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang League Goals: 20Since becoming the team's first-choice striker after spending his first year at Dortmund on the wing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has developed into a world-class player, as Matt Jones argued for World Soccer Talk.With a blend of incredible speed, good functional strength and an ability to score from anywhere around the penalty box, Africa's Footballer of the Year has turned into a lethal weapon for the Black and Yellows. The video below illustrates his development with the club:Having said that, setting the over/under on his Bundesliga goal tally at 20 might seem a bit low. However, the Gabon international cooled down considerably after a hot start to the last campaign, scoring only seven of his 25 league goals in 2016.In fact, Aubameyang scored 29 of his 54 goals in the German top flight in 2015, per Transfermarkt, so he's yet to prove he can consistently score at a high rate. Seeing as Dortmund lost Henrikh Mkhitaryan and his 20 Bundesliga assists from last season, per Transfermarkt, as well as the midfield genius that is Ilkay Gundogan, the 27-year-old striker would do well to his 20 goals in this campaign.B/R's take: OverAubameyang may be a streaky finisher, but he rarely misses a game due to his professionalism, impeccable work ethic andtop conditioning, and Dortmund should still create enough chances for him.Number of Games for Marco Reus Across Competitions: 40Marco Reus has appeared in 165 matches for Dortmund since returning to his boyhood club in 2012, meaning he's averaged just over 41 games per season.However, he went from 49 in 2012/13 to 44 in 2013/14 to 29 in 2014/15 before the number roseto 44 in the last campaignin which Dortmund played far more games due to them having to qualify for the UEFA Europa League.Having missed two major international tournaments he presumably would've starred in for Germany to injuries in 2014 and this summer, the 27-year-old has almost become a tragic figure. Incredibly, Reus still has never won a major trophy.The winger remains one of the club's best players and, following Hummels' departure, he could well wear the captain's armband this seasonwhenever he's on the field.Reus missed pre-season with an abductor injury and is finally set to return to portions of team training ahead of the DFB-Pokal match against fourth-division side Eintracht Trier, per the club on Twitter (link in German), making a return to action in September possible.Given Dortmund's additions on the attacking wings in Ousmane Dembele, Andre Schurrle and Emre Mor, Tuchel can be patient with his No. 11, which should help in the long term.B/R's take: UnderReus hasn't been able to stay healthy and, thanks to their new-found depth, the Black and Yellows may well give their star man more rest than in previous seasons.LarsPollmannalso writes forYellowWallPod.com. You can follow him onTwitter.
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