While Liverpool are loving life under Jurgen Klopp as his year anniversary approaches, it is worth noting that his divorce from previous employers Borussia Dortmund was one devoid of any losers.
Dortmund’s first season under the Reds manager’s successor Thomas Tuchel was one of the most impressive runners-up campaigns in living memory as they collected an exceptional 78 points from 34 games, and that was despite winning neither of the closing two once the title race was run.
The summer could have easily signalled the end of their resurgence as a serious threat to Bayern Munich, with the champions prising Mats Hummels away from them and Ilkay Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan leaving for Man City and Man Utd.
Fellow stars Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remained though and have been built around magnificently with additions such as Ousmane Dembele, Raphael Guerreiro, Andre Schurrle and former favourite Mario Gotze.
There was a suspicion that the new squad was stronger than last term’s regardless of the high-profile deserters, and early results have vindicated that theory.
Yes, there was a hiccup on week two of the Bundesliga campaign as they lost 1-0 late on to ambitious newcomers RB Leipzig, yet check out the scorelines since then: Legia Warsaw 0-6 Dortmund, Dortmund 6-0 Darmstadt, Wolfsburg 1-5 Dortmund and Dortmund 3-1 Freiburg.
Suddenly, the talk isn’t just about whether they can properly challenge Bayern back home again, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men not performing too remarkably despite prevailing in every match to date under the Italian, but whether can compete for Champions League glory.
The winner market odds treat them with respect, as a 14/1 billing leaves only Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Man City and Juventus ahead of them.
However, the real opportunity to see how they measure up to the frontrunners arrives on Tuesday when they welcome holders Real Madrid to Signal Iduna Park.
Tellingly, they are 7/5 favourites, and the formbook supports their cause because, ahead of their trip to Las Palmas, Real had scored two goals or fewer in their past three fixtures, keeping a single clean sheet in the process so, if Dortmund’s attack play to their potential, the guests will be vulnerable.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.