Borussia Dortmund lie 17th in the Bundesliga table after 10 games. Dortmund will need more than a turnaround in fortunes to claim a CL spot, they will need a miracle.
Nobody could have foreseen the abject form of Borussia Dortmund. This season they have been truly dire. Ten games in, the German side have only two wins to their name, a negative goal difference of six and only seven points on the board.
They are a team whose form fails to reflect the quality they possess in their ranks. Borussia have a world-class manager in Jurgen Klopp, Marco Reus, Henrickh Mkhitaryan & Mats Hummels. One would expect that group of talented players to reverse the dreadful run of late and avoid relegation. In fact, Borussia Dortmund fans will not only demand this, they will also still expect a Champions League qualification push.
However, ten games in and the numbers don’t look good. Borussia Dortmund will need nothing short of a miracle. Here’s the maths behind any potential miracle.
To be in with a chance of featuring in next season’s Champions League, Borussia Dortmund will need to finish in the top four or win this year’s competition. A fourth place finish will put them through to the qualifying rounds whilst anything above third will see them straight into the group stages.
Over the last ten years, the minimum points required to obtain the lowest Champions League qualifying spot (either into group stages or qualifying round) was on average 61.8 points. Over that same period, Borussia Dortmund have only managed an average points total of 59.4.
So over the last ten years, Borussia Dortmund have missed out on a Champions League spots more than they’ve qualified. Of course, this figure doesn’t reflect the fantastic spell they’ve enjoyed over the last four seasons. Over that same four year period, the average amount of points needed for a CL spot has been 59.
Dortmund during this period have averaged 73 points. So that means they have picked up 2.14 points per games. To qualify for the Champions League they would have needed only 1.73 points per games. So, Dortmund have qualified comfortably each year.
Turning to this season, with 24 games remaining let’s assume a points total of 59 will again be sufficient for at least a fourth place finish. Over a full season of thirty-four games a team would need 1.73 points a game, perfectly achievable for a squad like Borussia Dortmund.
But thanks to their poor form they only have 24 games to make up that 59 points. They have seven points already so need another 52 points over the rest of the season.
That will require Dortmund to pick up an average of 2.16 points per game for the rest of the season. That’s more points per game than they’ve ever claimed over a full season.
- Average points per season over last four years to obtain CL football is 59, or 1.73 points per game
- Dortmund have this season managed only 0.7 points per game. That sees them with a projected points total of just 24 points given their current form
- Dortmund need to achieve at least 59 points one would assume. They have only 24 games to do this.
- Dortmund must pick up 2.16 points per game for remainder of season. They have not achieved more than 2.12 points a game in a season previously.
The media will often jump the gun with doomsday warnings about the fate of clubs. Will Borussia Dortmund go down? It’s unlikely. But whether they want to admit it or not, ten games in Borussia Dortmund fans should already be preparing themselves for missing out on a CL spot, unless they can find form that tops a four year period that includes two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final.
See highlights of Bayern Munich’s 2-1 win over a struggling Borussia Dortmund side on Saturday here:
Sean Curtin, Pundit Arena