The 2019-20 German Bundesliga restarts on Saturday as the country looks to get their domestic campaign finished amid disruptions across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Germany has been one of the top countries in handling the deadly virus and footballers of teams in the top two divisions have been back in training for over a month.
The Bundesliga has been suspended since 13 March with most teams having nine league games to play, whilst Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen have an extra fixture in hand.
Bayern Munich will resume the league with a four-point lead at the top of the table, ahead of Borussia Dortmund. RB Leipzig are only a further point behind, and Borussia Monchengladbach a point behind them.
It was looking all doom and gloom for Paderborn at the bottom of the table, six points adrift of the relegation playoff and 10 points away from automatic safety. Who knows what the two-month break could lead to for Steffen Baumgart’s side.
With games kicking off at 14:30 GMT on Saturday 16 May, here are the three most-anticipated matches of the Bundesliga weekend:
Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04
The Revierderby is one of the first games to kick off on Saturday as Borussia Dortmund play host to rivals Schalke 04 at Westfalenstadion.
Three points for Lucien Favre’s side would get them back into the title race before Bayern Munich are away to Union Berlin on Sunday.
Schalke 04 don’t have as much to play for – 12 points outside of the Champions League places and comfortably sitting in the top half.
These two settled for a 0-0 draw back in October at the Veltins Arena but Dortmund had really started to kick on since the turn of the year and the arrival of Erling Haaland – winning seven of their eight Bundesliga matches before the disruption.
RB Leipzig vs SC Freiburg
RB Leipzig had been one of the most exciting teams in European football, at least until February. The Upper Saxon club had been genuine title contenders before dropping five points behind Bayern Munich by drawing four of their last six games prior to the league’s suspension.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side had been distracted by Champions League football and in a position they’d never been in before – top of the league and the knockout stages of European football.
When Leipzig return to action this weekend they face an SC Freiburg side who sit in the top half of the table and whom beat them 2-1 at the Schwarzwald Stadium back in October.
Union Berlin vs Bayern Munich
Half of football fans in Germany support Bayern Munich so whenever they play they will be one of the most-anticipated games. Expect the eyes of the world to want to watch Hansi Flick’s side this weekend, with the Belarusian Premier League the only other European league in action for football fans.
The Bavarians were marching to their eighth successive Bundesliga title by mid-March, having won 10 of their last 11 league games.
Anti-Bayern fans will be hoping for an upset on Sunday and minnows Union Berlin have already caused a couple this season – beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1 and Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0, both at Stadium at the Alte Forsterei, where Sunday’s game will be played.
- AC Milan eye double swoop for RB Leipzig duo Alexander Sorloth and Marcel Sabiter
- Haaland at the double to keep pressure on top four
- Schalke fall after 30 years in the Bundesliga
- Top German clubs come together to take a stand against new proposed ESL
- Are Hansi Flick’s Bayern Munich just a one-season wonder?