Munich - It will have come as a huge blow to Borussia Dortmund head coach Jürgen Klopp to learn that influential centre back required a further two weeks on the sidelines, only four days after helping his side end a four-match winless streak with a 2-1 victory over Eintracht Braunschweig on Matchday 19.
With the 25-year-old at the heart of the back four, BVB are a formidable opponent, but without him their numbers begin to dwindle, as bundesliga.com finds out…
At the time, Benjamin Kessel’s 54th-minute strike for Braunschweig was the 16th goal BVB had conceded in ten Bundesliga matches. It was also the first time Dortmund had conceded in ten consecutive league games under Klopp. Considering six of those outings were without their defensive stalwart - and that BVB had kept four clean sheets in the ten games prior to his injury - it seems clear that Dortmund are much better off with Hummels in their backline.
Going into the encounter with Braunschweig, no other Bundesliga player had won more tackles than Hummels (69.5 per cent) this season. There was - perhaps inevitably - a bit of rustiness to shake off against Torsten Lieberknecht’s side: Hummels only won 57 per cent of his tackles at the Eintracht-Stadion and, though that figure is by no means disastrous, there is clearly room for improvement.
Better points tally
A glance at the number of points Dortmund have collected with and without their main defensive man offers further proof of Hummels’ overall value to the team: On average, die Schwarz-Gelben have collected #2.6# points per game with him in defence, but only #1.1# without him.
Of course, Hummels wasn’t the only BVB player sidelined through injury during that spell, but it’s clear that he makes a big difference to the Dortmund defence when he does step foot on the field. Prior to the trip to Braunschweig, the Signal Iduna Park club had conceded a goal every 55 minutes with Hummels in the side (14 in total) and one every 106 minutes with him in the team (eight in total). #with + with – which is without????#### Add however many games thereafter####
Nice and easy?
On paper at least, Hummels couldn’t have wished for a more gentle reintroduction to first-team action. Matchday 19’s win over the Bundesliga cellar-dwellers was the first of a run of six matches against teams in the lower reaches of the division. #####Alter next para based on subsequent games without Hummels#### In fact, Dortmund will have played six of the league's current bottom seven by the time they face Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 25.
Much sterner tests inevitably lie in store for Klopp's charges, but the statistics certainly suggest that a fit Mats Hummels can still play a pivotal role in Dortmund’s campaign. #######Make last sentence relevant to Hummels’ return/ interim points return If the Braunschweig game were to spark a winning run, BVB might just begin to claw away at that 17-point gap to league leaders FC Bayern München.######