The German Bundesliga becomes the world’s first major football league to get back underway during the coronavirus pandemic this Saturday with football fans finally getting their fix after almost eight weeks without action.
With respect to Belarus, who have carried on regardless, the eyes of the world will be on Germany this weekend to watch elite teams in action for the first time in over two months.
Every Bundesliga team has been in quarantine and players will be regularly tested for coronavirus while the famous German fan experience will be missing as stadiums will be completely empty for the rest of the season at least.
Even so, the action will be as competitive as ever with this weekend’s matches including the derby between Dortmund and Schalke on Saturday (14:30 BST) and Union Berlin at home to leaders Bayern Munich on Sunday (17:00 BST).
So we’ve crunched the numbers ahead of the return to live-action to see what we might just be able to expect.
Saturday May 16th
Borussia Dortmund v FC Schalke 04
Dortmund were in excellent form before the break, having won seven of their last eight league games, though the same can’t be said about rivals Schalke – who have won only once in the same period.
Dortmund have managed to win just one of the last eight against Schalke with five ending in a draw and though the visitors have injury concerns of their own, with the impact of the “Yellow Wall non-existent, Schalke might fancy getting something out of this.
Selection: Score Draw.
FC Augsburg v VfL Wolfsburg
Augsburg have failed to score at home in just one game this season, with both teams scoring on all but three occasions, making them the entertainers of the Bundesliga, especially for the neutrals.
To make things even more interesting, Wolfsburg have scored in each of their last five away games and are unbeaten against today`s opponents in the last five meetings.
Selection: Both Teams to Score
Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Paderborn 07
Put simply, this is a relegation battle with neither team arriving in any form with just one victory for either team in their last five games.
Paderborn were victorious in the reverse fixture earlier this season with a 2-0 victory, while five of the last six away games have ended with under up being high-scoring affairs and with a habit of conceding goals in the opening stages, both teams will be looking to keep this thight in the early stages.
Selection: Under 2.5 goals
RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg
Leipzig have been in excellent form at home this season and are unbeaten in their last nine games. Having scored in every game at home this season they look strong favourites against a team who have only won one of their last 10 away matches.
Despite their strong home form, Leipzig have kept just two clean sheets this season and goals look likely with the last eight meetings between these sides seeing two goals or more scored.
Selection: Over 2.5 goals with BTTS
1899 Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin
Hoffenheim are unbeaten in the last eight meetings between these two, scoring on every occasion, and when the sides faced each other earlier in the season they recorded an impressive 3-2 victory.
The home team have scored at least once in nine of their last 10 home games, only failing to find the net against Bayern, and with Hertha strong on their travels, unbeaten in five of their last six away, and finding the net on every occasion this could well be a thriller.
Selection: Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score
Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Mönchengladbach
Both teams have scored in this fixture in four of their last six meetings with today’s hosts recording a thrilling 4-2 when they met earlier this season.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s home games often start slowly with five out of the last six seeing more goals in the second half than the first, while five out of Borussia’s last Mönchengladbach matches have also seen more in the second period – meaning there’s every likelihood that the second half is where the action will be.
Selection: More goals in the second half than first
SUNDAY May 17th
FC Köln v Mainz 05
Cologne have won five of their last six home games while Mainz have lost nine from 13 away this season with their four wins coming against rivals near the foot of the table.
Only on one of the last five meetings between these two have we seen over 2.5 goals, which was the reverse fixture this season, and with Cologne unbeaten in the last nine home games against Mainz it’s difficult to see anything other than a home win.
Selection: FC Koln win
FC Union Berlin v Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich will look to solidify their lead at the top of the table when they travel to Union Berlin having won their last four matches meaning they are undefeated in 11. They have also scored 15 goals in their last four Bundesliga matches, 10 of which have been away from home.
On the Other Hand, Union Berlin have had a mixed set of results in their last five before the break with two wins, two loses and a draw, however one constant has been that they have scored in all of their last five matches, so though a Bayern win looks likely, a clean sheet is no guarantee.
Selection: Bayern Munich to win and Over 3.5 goals
MONDAY 18TH MAY
Werder Bremen v Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Normally goals are guaranteed when these two sides meet and over 2.5 goals would have landed in four of the last five with a 2-2 draw already this season as Werder Bremen find themselves in the relegation places and arrive without a home victory in their last nine having lost their last six.
Leverkusen, on the other hand, have won seven of their last nine away from home and if the away team return in similar form, they should be hard to beat, though it’s unlikely to be a dull affair.
Selection: Leverkusen to Win and Over 2.5 Goals
Dortmund v Shalke 14:30
Augsburg v Wolfsburg 14:30
Dusseldorf v Paderbon 14:30
RB Leipzig v Freiburg 14:30
Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin 14:30
Frankfurt v B.Mgladbach 17:30
FC Köln v Mainz 05 14:30
FC Union Berlin v Bayern Munich 17:00
Werder Bremen v Bayer 04 Leverkusen 19:30
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