The long wait for top level European football is finally over.
Games get back underway in Germany this weekend – and if you don’t know your Mainz from your Mönchengladbach, we cover off the current state of play below in our Bundesliga betting guide.
A spicy Ruhr derby is the pick of the action in the opening round of games since the enforced break, as fierce rivals Schalke and Borussia Dortmund meet behind closed doors at the Westfalenstadion. The relegation battle also picks up with Fortuna Düsseldorf taking on Paderborn in a crucial six-pointer towards the bottom of the table.
To mark the return of top-flight German football, Marathonbet is also offering 0% margin* on this weekend’s Bundesliga action – our best ever prices.
Before it all begins, here’s your guide to how things stand as German football slowly gets back to normal…
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Bundesliga Restart: The Title Race
Bayern Munich are chasing an eighth straight title, but it’s by no means a done deal with just under 10 games to play. The defending champions were in blistering form prior to the league’s suspension in March, winning 10 of their 11 games since mid-December, with only RB Leipzig managing to take more than a point off them.
Nevertheless, FCB will need to pick up where they left off, with Leipzig among three sides below them within striking distance. With the likes of Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Håland to call on, Lucien Favre’s Borussia Dortmund have more than enough firepower to keep pace with the league leaders, and an eye-watering meet-up scheduled for the 26th May in Dortmund could help determine the destination of this season’s title.
If the traditional big two in the Bundesliga get off to a slow start, that could open the door for RB Leipzig to claim a maiden title. That outcome wouldn’t necessarily be welcomed with open arms across Germany due to the club’s short-lived history, but with the explosive Timo Werner and Christopher Nkunku within their ranks, they can stake a claim to be the most entertaining side for the neutral to watch in the Bundesliga.
Traditionalists might fancy Borussia Mönchengladbach’s chances of making a late charge. It’s been over 40 years since the Foals last lifted German football’s biggest prize, but a six-point gap may not be insurmountable at this stage if their nearest challengers get off to shaky restart.
Bundesliga Restart: Race For Europe
It’s also tight in the race to lock up the rest of the European spots, with as many as five or six teams realistically in with a chance of securing a Europa League place at the very least next season. Fifth place Bayer Leverkusen currently look all but certain to have booked their slot, albeit their eyes might be set slightly higher with a Champions League place still very much up for grabs.
Huddersfield Town fans will be hoping David Wagner can repeat his heroics with the Terriers by guiding Schalke 04 into Europe in his first season back in his native Germany. Below them, a whole cluster of clubs from Wolfsburg in 7th through to Union Berlin in 11th will all fancy their chances of making a late charge if they can adapt quickly to the ‘new normal’ of playing regularly behind closed doors.
Bundesliga Restart: Relegation Fight
Rock bottom Paderborn could be playing for pride when the season gets back underway, with a 10-point gap to make up on 15th place Mainz. They still have an outside chance of overhauling Fortuna Düsseldorf into the relegation/promotion play-off place, but a return to Bundesliga 2 at the first time of asking looks more than likely for a side that have won just four games all season.
Steffen Baumgart’s side could still play kingmakers further up the table, however, having taken surprise points away at Borussia Dortmund and Schalke earlier this season.
Things are looking decidedly dicey for one of the league’s virtual ever-presents, Werder Bremen. The River Islanders are facing certain relegation from the top tier for only the second time in their history if they fail to bridge a four-point gap to 16th place Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Even then, they could face the daunting prospect of a potential relegation/promotion play-off with former Bundesliga stalwarts Stuttgart or Hamburg.
Bundesliga Restart: Upcoming Fixtures
Saturday 16th May
Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04, 14:30
RB Leipzig vs Freiburg, 14:30
Hoffenheim vs Hertha BSC, 14:30
Fortuna Düsseldorf vs Paderborn, 14:30
Augsburg vs Wolfsburg, 14:30
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Mönchengladbach, 17:30
Sunday 17th May
Köln vs Mainz 05, 14:30
Union Berlin vs Bayern Munich, 17:00
Monday 18th May
Werder Bremen vs Bayer Leverkusen, 19:30
Browse more Bundesliga Predictions here.