Borussia Dortmund had Bayern Munich on the ropes last season before the most-decorated Bundesliga fighters found their inner Rocky to recover in the final rounds of the season.
bundesliga.com has five reasons why Dortmund can land that knockout blow in 2019/20 and bring the title back to Westphalia…
1) Supercup starter for ten
The curtain-raiser for the new season may not provide a true gauge of where sides are with two weeks still to go before the Bundesliga season starts, but Dortmund's 2-0 DFL Supercup win over Bayern Munich was nevertheless a morale-boosting victory that will give Lucien Favre's men some momentum.
Bagging the first piece of silverware of the campaign will have given Dortmund a taste for more, and proving they can beat their biggest rivals by two clear goals stands the Westphalians in good stead for when three points are at stake.
Watch: Dortmund's tactics for 2019/20!
2) Getting closer
Dortmund have struggled to keep up with Bayern in recent seasons, but they were the pace-setters for the majority of last season. Indeed, Favre's men were as far as seven points ahead of the Bavarians in the second half of the season before stumbling to finish second.
The fact the title race was still open on the final day of last term can only mean that Dortmund are getting closer, however, and that is bound to give them confidence. Furthermore, after a season learning Favre's counterattacking style, the system which saw them plunder 81 goals – an increase of 17 on the previous campaign – has now bedded in well and you would not bet against them scoring even more in 2019/20.
Sancho was one of the Bundesliga's revelations last season, and his performance – with goal and assist – in the Supercup suggests he is ready to step up to the plate and deliver even more match-winning performances this season.
Combine that with a Marco Reus back in his best form and the prospect of Dortmund's attacking line is quite fearsome. Last season's top scorer Paco Alcacer will spearhead that with the mouthwatering support of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard. With such an array of attacking talent, Favre has enough firepower to push Bayern to their limit once again.
Watch: All of Reus' 2018/19 goals
4) Hummels back 'home'
Mats Hummels may have started his career in Munich, and he enjoyed success when he returned there in 2016, but Dortmund is his true footballing home and he would like nothing more than to add to the two Bundesliga titles he won in his first spell with the Westphalians.
Favre is rubbing his hands at the prospect of working with the experienced stopper too since it could be argued that it was the lack of experience at the back which contributed to Dortmund falling away late last season. Together with Manuel Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou, and with Nico Schulz signed at left-back, Dortmund now have a much stronger rearguard to sustain their assault on glory at home and in Europe.
5) Astute summer signings
The aforementioned Hummels, Schulz, Hazard and Brandt are the four marquee signings in the Dortmund dressing room this season. The club wasted no time at all in strengthening their squad in the summer, announcing the arrivals of Brandt from Bayer Leverkusen, Hazard from Borussia Mönchengladbach and Schulz from Hoffenheim while the dust was still settling on last season.
All three know the Bundesliga inside out, and they have had the whole of the summer to get ready for their new challenge. Mateu Morey has followed Sergio Gomez to Dortmund from Barcelona, and both can help each other settle in, while Hummels' homecoming is the cherry on top of a well-planned summer spending spree.