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In Focus: Dortmund close in on first title in 11 years
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Mitchell Fretton
Jude Bellingham is on the verge of winning the Bundesliga
Jude Bellingham is on the verge of winning the Bundesliga

The 2022-23 Bundesliga campaign will come to a close on Saturday afternoon and Borussia Dortmund are one win away from ending a decade of Bayern Munich dominance. 

The Black and Yellows can win their first title in 11 years with victory over Mainz at Signal Iduna Park.

Ahead of Matchday 34 in Germany, we take a look at how BVB have managed to challenge Thomas Tuchel's men.

Make or break

Only two points separate Dortmund and rivals Bayern but Edin Terzic's side are now within touching distance of a famous domestic crown.

Bayern's fragility has given BVB a shot at glory, with last Saturday's defeat against RB Leipzig opening the door wide open.

It is a mark of Die Borussen's maturity that they have held their nerve in recent weeks, notching three wins on the bounce to re-take top spot.

But the league leaders will need to continue to play without fear on Saturday, knowing a draw could grant Bayern the chance to seize the title on goal difference.

Bring it on

Borussia Dortmund can become Bundesliga champions on Saturday
Borussia Dortmund can become Bundesliga champions on Saturday

Dortmund boss Terzic is well aware his side have plenty still to do, going into the final 90 minutes of a rollercoaster campaign.

The 40-year-old said: "We have suffered and sweated a lot, not just this season. Now it is all about taking the final step together to finally bring the championship trophy back to Dortmund.

"We are delighted to be in this position. You only have to look at the history of our club to see how many times we've been German champions.

"Now, the chance is bigger than it has been for a long time.

"We have to go full throttle, and then hopefully we can hold the Bundesliga trophy in our hands."

Stepping up 

While Bayern have had to deal with a period of crisis, which saw Tuchel replace Julian Nagelsmann last March before suffering a humbling Champions League exit to Manchester City, Dortmund have encountered fewer bumps in the road.

The return of centre forward Sebastian Haller from testicular cancer after Christmas gave BVB a huge boost, while captain Marco Reus, Julian Brandt and England star Jude Bellingham have all played their part.

It has been a real team effort with Haller, Brandt and Donyell Malen leading the way with nine league goals apiece. Interestingly, no side to ever win the Bundesliga has had a top goalscorer with fewer than 11 goals to their name.

Ex-Bayern centre-back Mats Hummels — set to become the first player in German top-flight history to win at least three titles with two different clubs — has marshalled the defence, while their form at the Westfalenstadion has been characteristically strong.

They boast the most points at home in the division (43) and victory against Mainz would see Terzic's men secure a club-record 12th consecutive league win on their own turf.

Parting gift

Jude Bellingham has been dominant in midfield this season
Jude Bellingham has been dominant in midfield this season

Bellingham is reportedly close to agreeing a deal with Real Madrid ahead of the summer transfer window, but the midfield ace is only focused on his current club.

The 19-year-old has been at his brilliant best this season and has spoken about how much winning the title with Dortmund would mean to him.

He said: "We do want to dream, but we need to make sure we do the job first.

"It would mean everything [to win the title], it would mean the world to me.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself and put myself in a place where I feel like I've already won it, but it would be massive."

A match-winning performance from the Three Lions starlet would be the perfect goodbye before heading to the Bernabeu.


BundesligaBorussia Dortmund
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