BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 12: Mats Hummels (C), Sebastian Kehl (R) and Robert Lewandowski of Dortmund celebrate with the cup after winning the DFB Cup final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympic Stadium on May 12, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Borussia Dortmund are gunning for their third straight Bundesliga crown this year.
Team: Borussia Dortmund
Manager: Jürgen Klopp
Key Additions: Marco Reus, Julian Schieber
2011-2012 Finish: Bundesliga 1st
2012-2013 Prediction: Borussia Dortmund won something last season that only three other clubs have ever completed: the domestic double. They capped their impressive season with a demonstrative 5-2 victory over Bayern Munich in the DFB Pokal Final. BVB have won 3 of the 4 domestic titles in the last two years. They're young. They're great. They're fun. Jurgen Klopp has is one of the best young managers in the game today, but he has one more stage on which to prove it.
BVB beat Bayern Munich to the punch for the signature of Borussia Mönchengladbach's Marco Reus. Reus is one of the best players in the Bundesliga, and his signing will only make the champions attack stronger. The only significant signing is Julian Schieber. The forward will make an adequate backup to Robert Lewandowski. The two losses are fairly big. Shinji Kagawa was one of the best players in the league last season, and he was Dortmund's second leading scorer for the previous two seasons. The dynamic Japanese international left the club for Manchester United. The other big transfer out is Lucas Barrios. He led the league in scoring in 2010-11 before suffering a dip in form last season coupled with injuries. The Paraguay international took a big money contract with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande and left Europe.
The biggest thing with BVB wasn't who they transferred in and out, but it was who they have signed to contract extensions. In the last six months Mario Götze, Mitch Langerak, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Felipe Santana, Mats Hummels, and Patrick Owomoyela have all signed contract extensions. It will be interesting to see what happens this year with the contracts of Neven Subotic and Robert Lewandowski. Both are up in the summer of 2014, and both could make the move next summer. Can the Dortmund brass convince them to stay?
The player to keep your eye on at BVB is the 20 year old Mario Götze. Yes, he's still only 20 years old. The attacking midfielder has lit pitches all across Germany on fire over the last two seasons, and we can expect continued greatness from him. He spent the last six months of last season injured but still managed 7 goals in all competitions. With Kagawa gone to England, Götze will be the driving force from the midfield for the BVB attack. Back in the Champions League for the second year in a row, it will be interesting to see what Götze is able to do against Europe's best teams.
The upcoming season will be another for BVB to bring in more silverware. They will be battling Bayern Munich on the domestic side for both the Bundesliga crown and the DFB Pokal. A Bundesliga title this season will be their third straight, and they'll join a group that consists of only Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach. A repeat of last season's domestic double is not out of the question for BVB, but supporters will be looking for a greater effort on the European stage this season. BVB finished dead last in their group with only four points last year, so they will be looking to improve on that this year. Nothing is beyond the realm of possibilities for BVB this season.