Football is back. The Bundesliga looks set to return next weekend. And the sporting world is ready.
After a long wait, the first of the top European leagues will get underway on Saturday 16th May. It’s been a difficult time for all involved with the game, but those in Germany finally have something to celebrate.
Moreover, the top-flight should see a huge increase in viewership as the other top leagues continue their postponement. But for the time being, the action will take place behind closed doors.
The weekend sees a full fixture list, with six games kicking off on Saturday. Two matches then follow on Sunday, with a final game on Monday evening.
The Revierderby, however, is undoubtedly the one that will grab the most headlines. The much-anticipated meeting between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke may just be the most built-up derby in recent memory.
Hosts Dortmund are currently 4/9 to come out on top.
The visitors are available at 11/2, and a draw can be backed at 15/4.
RB Leipzig’s meeting with Freiburg will also be one to watch out for. Leipzig are favourites at 1/3 to win the game, with the away side available at 10/1. A draw is currently 4/1.
Borussia Monchengladbach have been given odds of 11/8 to come out on top at Frankfurt. The hosts are 15/8, with a draw currently 13/5.
On Sunday, Bayern are available at 5/19 to clinch all three points at Union Berlin. And the home side are available at 14/1 to cause a huge upset. A draw between the pair is currently 6/1.
Completing the action is Augsburg vs Wolfsburg, Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Paderborn, Hertha Berlin at Hoffenheim, Mainz at Koln and Werder Bremen hosting Bayer Leverkusen.
With each club having under ten games left, it is set to be an exciting finale. Champions Bayern lead the way with 55 points, four ahead of Dortmund in second.
But also in the running are Leipzig and Monchengladbach. The former sit third on 50 points, with the latter in fourth on 49.
Leverkusen complete the top five with 47 points. And the gaps start appearing, with Schalke their nearest competitors on 37.
Anything can happen after almost two months of no action on the pitch. Players may be feeling the effects sooner than usual, but they’ve been preparing for the return of games for some weeks now.
If successful, it could potentially kickstart the return of several other top-flight leagues across the continent.