Football-starved Europeans are going to have the ability to gorge on first actions for the very first time in weeks with all the return of Germany’s Bundesliga on Saturday.
Even though the most fanatical fans are making do with games out of Belarus throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns — with combined effects — that the resumption of a few of Europe’s most prestigious leagues will pique many fans’ interests.
The Bundesliga has publicly touted for the support over France, Spain and the UK to tune into this weekend, even hammering a nifty character test which enables lovers to select the team most appropriate to them, based on if they enjoy simple glory (Bayern Munich) or rooting for an underdog (Schalke).
However, with 18 Bundesliga clubs playing Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night — and all nine matches televised — picking who to see and if for people not au fait with German soccer might be challenging. Fortunately, Euronews has awakened to supply you with a steer.
At 2.30 pm on Saturday, Borussia Dortmund — now 2nd in the league — just take on Schalke, in sixth. A triumph for Dortmund, that is playing at home against their sixth-placed competitions, would close the gap with all present Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich to only 1 point.
Schalke dropped their past five matches before the league had been suspended in March, such as a five-nil thrashing in the home by RB Leipzig, whereas Dortmund is on great form from the Bundesliga (despite being thrown from the Champions League from Paris St Germain in March).
Oh, and simply to ramp up the play, Dortmund and Schalke — both hailing in the Ruhr area — are regional contests with negative blood which goes all of the ways back to 1925. The game has its name — that the Revierderby — and will, in British parlance, get appropriate tasty.
Both teams, on 22 points and 16 points respectively, are 16th and 18th at the Bundesliga, and the two face relegation when they can not pull some points during the upcoming few weeks.
Even though Dortmund does get a result on Saturday, Bayern Munich is going to have the opportunity to claw back their happy-go-lucky direct near the peak of the table on Sunday at 5 pm, when they shoot on Union Berlin. Regardless of Bayern being away from home, the probability of a Berlin triumph is now 16/1.
Ever noticed a lion grab and dispatch an antelope on the African Savannah? Liked it?
Ultimately, on Monday at 7.30 pm, Bayer Leverkusen plays away to Werder Bremen, who now languish at 17th at the table and therefore are without a win five matches. Leverkusen, that are in fifth (eight factors behind Munich), have won their past few matches in the Bundesliga.
In terms of gamers, the Bundesliga’s official website has helpfully recorded the celebrities which are likely to be smashing balls in the pumpkin bag this weekend.
From the Dortmund vs Schalke match, there’s Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, the prior – a Norwegian – has scored nine goals in eight appearances this year while the latter has 14 goals and 15 assists in 23 games this year.
The Bundesliga’s second-best scorer, Timo Werner, will perform at 2.30 pm on Saturday when his team, RB Leipzig, take on Freiburg. Werner includes a stonking 21 goals in 25 appearances – but just one in the previous seven league matches, so he’ll be seeking to come out with guns blazing.
On Sunday, Poland’s Robert Lewandowski will probably begin for Munich in his effort to overcome Gerd Muller’s Bundesliga listing of 40 goals in one season. Lewandowski is now on 25 but missed the past two games before the lockdown pause because of trauma.