Reus and Gotze give Borussia Dortmund hope after Bosz's botched spell

Reus and Gotze give Borussia Dortmund hope after Bosz's botched spell
From ESPN - January 13, 2018

The first half of the season turned into a disappointment for Borussia Dortmund, including an embarrassing Champions League campaign and a two-month dry spell without a win that spelled the end of coach Peter Bosz.

As they look to turn their fortunes around -- starting against Wolfsburg on Sunday -- here are three factors fans can pin their hopes on for a change for the better ...

1. "Gotzeus"

When Mario Gotze rejoined in 2016 there was a lot of disagreement among fans about his return. Some felt it was the return of the prodigal son, others still felt a sense of betrayal after Gotze was the first to leave a group of players that had pledged to stay together in 2013. And he went to the Bayern Munich, of all clubs. Many were unsure about the shape of the player that scored the World Cup winning goal for Germany in 2014, yet could not become an integral part at the Allianz Arena.

There was, however, excitement for the reunion with his old buddy Marco Reus. Quite fittingly, the special name for that partnership has a divine ring to it. "Gotze" means "idol" in German and is paired together with the Greek God Zeus. Mythology aside, Gotze and Reus formed an awesome synergy during the 2012-13 season that was a big factor in BVB's charge all the way to the Champions League final.

Thus far, however, fans have only seen the duo together on the field for 97 minutes, spread over three games. Reus was troubled by an inflammation of the pubic joint in the first half of the 2016-17 season, while Gotze had a metabolic disorder through the second half of that campaign.

Gotze has bounced back impressively this season and was Dortmund's best player until he picked up an ankle injury in the Revierderby. Yet he had to still do without his partner-in-crime as Reus recovered from a torn knee ligament. The 28-year-old is regarded, when fit, as BVB's best player and was missed in the first half of the season.

Even if Gotze has transformed from a No.10 into a central midfielder, the joint force of him teaming up with Reus again still has the potential to create a powerful combination stronger than the sum of its parts. It can turn an already dangerous attack into a juggernaut -- with the convenient side-effect of taking the pressure off 19-year-old Christian Pulisic.

It's something for Dortmund to look forward to -- as long as both can finally stay healthy for a longer period of time.

2. Peter Stoger


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