High Productivity of Borussia Dortmund’s Wing Backs

Borussia Dortmund successfully won three wins from four matches during this pandemic. Not only that, Dortmund is also very productive in matters of goals. Slaughtering Schalke in Revierderby four goals without reply, a convincing 2-0 win at Wolfsburg, and a rain of 6-1 goals when they travel to Paderborn is proof of the quality of the Dortmund front line. Interestingly, five of Dortmund’s 12 goals were scored by their full-backs, Raphael Guerreiro and Achraf Hakimi. Guerreiro scored three goals and Hakimi scored two goals.

Guerreiro is the most prolific wing-back this season in the top five European leagues with eight goals in league competition. The Euro 2016 winner outperformed veteran AS Roma veteran defender Alexandr Kolarov with a score of six goals. While Hakimi is able to score five goals in the Bundesliga. Asis statistics the Moroccan player is superior to his goal with a record of 10 asis, only two difference from Liverpool right-back, Trent-Alexander Arnold.

Quality in Engineering and Speed

Technique and speed are key for both wing-backs. Guerreiro and Hakimi’s explosiveness cannot be doubted, nor is their maximum speed. The loan player from Real Madrid even recorded a record as the fastest Bundesliga player since 2011 when the data was first taken. Hakimi can reach 36.49 km / hour. This advantage is often troublesome to opponents, especially when they have room to run on the wings.

In terms of technique, Guerreiro and Hakimi are above the average wing-back in general. Based on Whoscored data, Hakimi has been able to score 2.3 dribbles per Bundesliga match this season. They are also able to score from a narrow angle. The most recent example during this pandemic, Guerreiro scored successfully with an xG (expected goal) of only 0.07 against Schalke and Hakimi was able to finish the odds with xG only 0.11 against Paderborn.

In the picture below you can see the narrow space of the shot for Guerreiro and Hakimi coupled with the opponent’s defender which is quite disturbing. Guerreiro has not only once scored a goal from a relatively difficult opportunity. Three of the eight goals in the Bundesliga this season he scored from xG less than 0.1. Reporting from Understat, Guerreiro’s total xG this season is only 4.95 but he scored eight goals successfully.

Clever Utilize Field Width

3-4-3 formed the Dortmund patent formation this season with striker Erling Haaland and two of Thorgan Hazard, Jadon Sancho, and Julian Brandt becoming wide forward. Dortmund’s front line is very fluid. Favre gives wide forward freedom to be creative in wide area, half space, or central area. When the wide forward is in the central area, Guerreiro and Hakimi continue to widen to expand the game area and provide a dilemma for opponents.

For example in this moment against Schalke. Brandt and Hazard overloaded the situation on the right side, but Guerreiro’s presence on the far left side continued to expand the game area even though their wide forward was on the same side. This is also very useful to be a bait option in the wing sector when the midfielder or center back is changing the attack side.

Freedom to Overlap

Guerreiro and Hakimi’s goals and assists records will be held if they are not given the freedom to assist the attack. The 3-4-3 carried by Favre makes the wing-back not have to worry about overlapping because there are still two central midfielders and three central defenders who can anticipate counter attacks.

For example, when facing this Wolfsburg. Hakimi overlapped far enough to help Hazard, leaving enough space. This was anticipated by Lukasz Piszczek who rose to compensate for Hakimi’s position so he could anticipate a counterattack if Hazard lost the ball.

Anticipation by the central defender and midfielder Dortmund gives an opportunity for Guerreiro and Hakimi to help the attack as much as possible, even quite radical. It is not uncommon for Guerreiro and Hakimi to be in the opponent’s penalty box at the same time, but this has precisely become a force for Dortmund.

In Guerreiro’s goal against Wolfsburg, Brandt and Hazard are on the right side to make a combination with Hakimi that makes Hazard have room to cross. Haaland who should have welcomed the cross failed to grab the ball but there was Guerreiro who overlapped and finally scored.

They not only overlap in the wing area. When the wide forward goes down to pick up the ball or is widening which makes the central area quite empty, Guerreiro and Hakimi don’t hesitate to make a diagonal run to the central area. This movement they do to do a combination with the striker and create opportunities.

When dealing with Schalke, Guerreiro ran diagonally to the central area in response to Hazard who widened to the side of the field. Guerreiro did one or two with Haaland which makes him get a one on one chance against the goalkeeper. Quietness and a good finish made Guerreiro score a brace in the match.

The 3-4-3 formation in general will put a burden on wing-backs because they must be able to contribute to the attack but not forget the defense. Guerreiro and Hakimi answered the challenge with a slick performance that put Dortmund in second place in the Bundesliga standings until the 29th week.

Hakimi is still 21 years old so he still has plenty of time to develop and can break into the first team when he returns to Real Madrid. Although five years older than Hakimi, Guerreiro is just about to enter the golden age of a footballer. The quality and experience he has can be a strong reason Guerreiro can be an option for big clubs who need a left back.

ASL

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