The Bundesliga is back in action!
Last week, the government of Germany has finally given the green light to pick up where the Bundesliga left off. This is the first major domestic league to resume action in Europe so there's going to be a lot of juicy action!
Starting on Saturday May 16, the Bundesliga will return amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the German Football Association (DFL) is hoping they will be able to finish the season come June 30.
On March 13, the Bundesliga was suspended on the eve of matchday 26, the derby between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Cologne, and the DFL agreed to continue with the standard calendar. All games will occur behind closed doors, as there's still a ban on mass gatherings in the country until August 31.
Some of the Bundesliga matches scheduled on May 16 will be the Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04, with their fans having a long-standing rivalry.
Leaders Bayern Munich will be away to Union Berlin on May 17. The Klassiker between Dortmund and Bayern is scheduled on May 26 or 27. Bayern Munich is aiming for an 8th consecutive title.
Two months ago, Bayern Munich were on top, 4 points clear of 2nd-placer Borussia Dortmund, and only 8 points ahead of 5th-placer Mönchengladbach. RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen complete the five teams competing for Bundesliga's four Champions League places.
Freiburg, Hoffenheim, Schalke, Wolfsburg and Cologne are clashing for a maximum of two Europa League places, while at the bottom, Werder Bremen and Paderborn and need to make up a four- and six-point gap, respectively, to reach the relegation playoff place, which is held by Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Fans will definitely see an exciting end to the season with most teams still having 9 games to play! There's 27 points up for grabs, so there should be some real competition for the championship and those ever-important Champions League places.
Note that the games for now will be played at empty stadiums, or "ghost games" as the Germans call it, something that the Bundesliga chief executive officer Christian Seifert admitted was not ideal, "In a crisis, threatening the very existence of some clubs, however, it is the only way to keep the leagues in their current form."
The Bundesliga is set on finishing up by June 30, the day when player contracts currently expire. The tight deadline to finish the season will require teams to play two games per week, and staff and players need to undergo thousands of tests, to make sure everyone is in top shape and virus-free.
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