Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke and the rest of the Bundesliga previewed

Football fans can finally look forward to a bumper line-up of German football this weekend as the Bundesliga returns for the first time in nearly two months. Read our first set of predictions...

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Football fans can finally look forward to a bumper line-up of German football this weekend as the Bundesliga returns for the first time in nearly two months.

Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke looks to be the stand-out game on paper as the two old rivals meet at the Westfalenstadion in a game that could have a huge bearing on both the title battle and the race for the top four.

Bist du bereit?*

The Ruhr derby heads up our predictions as the teams get back into competitive action with nine games of the season left to go.

*That’s “are you ready?” in German…


Gameweek 26 Predictions

Saturday 16th May

Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04, 14:30

The big one. If you’ve been craving a proper football fix over these last few weeks, the Bundesliga restart has delivered in spades, as it serves up a fiery Ruhr Derby on Saturday afternoon.

These two old rivals have been competing in this particular Ruhr derby for over 95 years, and with plenty at stake for both sides, you can expect this to be a full-throttled affair even without a crowd to add extra spice.

For UK football fans, there will also be plenty of familiar faces on display, most notably Jadon Sancho. The England man has been in phenomenal form for Die Borussen prior to the enforced break, scoring 14 times in 23 appearances.

One player who made a relatively limited impact on the Premier League, Matija Nastasić, is likely to feature for David Wagner’s Schalke, while Jonjoe Kenny will surely be one to watch for all Everton fans tuning in. Former Liverpool man Emre Can looks likely to miss out for the home side due to a muscle strain.

Prediction: Home win


RB Leipzig vs Freiburg, 14:30

Leipzig will be hoping the break has worked in their favour as they return to league action, with Julian Nagelsmann’s side’s charge stuttering a little between late January and March, with RB picking up just two wins from seven.

It’s draws that could come back to haunt them at the end of this season, with eight from their 25 games so far this season.

RB will look to get back into the winning habit against a Freiburg side aiming to reach the Europa League for the first time since the 2017/18 season.

Prediction: Home win


Hoffenheim vs Hertha BSC, 14:30

Hoffenheim will be attempting to ensure this season’s absence from European football was a one off as the season resumes, with the Sinsheim-based side slightly under the radar in ninth, but they now have a run of fixtures against several struggling sides that could potentially play in their favour by the end of the campaign.

Hertha BSC look as if they should have just enough leeway to avoid any late relegation jitters, but will be looking to draw a line under a controversial few weeks by making a fast start here as they look to move on from Solomon Kalou’s controversial lockdown video.

Prediction: Draw


Fortuna Düsseldorf vs Paderborn, 14:30

This match might not boast the star power of the Ruhr Derby, but it’s probably the second most interesting match on paper this weekend as a crucial six-pointer for both sides in their fight against relegation.

Former Leeds and Brentford boss Uwe Rosler has helped stabilise the situation at Düsseldorf in his first managerial post back in his native Germany, losing just one of his eight games since being appointed at the end of January.

Three points for bottom side Paderborn here would help revive their survival chances.

Prediction: Home win


Augsburg vs Wolfsburg, 14:30

While both sets of players will be back in action this weekend, one key man will be missing from this fixture.

Augsburg boss Heiko Herrlich broke league rules earlier this month by leaving team quarantine to buy toothpaste – which means he’ll be absent from the dugout this Saturday in what was set to be his first game in charge.

That slip-up is hardly ideal for Augsburg who have been among the worst teams in the league since the start of the year. Wolfsburg could take full advantage with Oliver Glasner’s side looking to nudge Schalke out of the European places.

Prediction: Away win


Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Mönchengladbach, 17:30

The first evening game since the restart throws up an intriguing contest at the Commerzbank-Arena, with Mönchengladbach firmly in the mix to claim a Champions League spot.

The hosts were fading badly prior to the lockdown, with three damaging defeats effectively ending their hopes of snatching a Europa League spot this season.

Marco Rose has impressed in his first full season in the Mönchengladbach hotseat, although their away form has been patchy since the autumn.

Prediction: Draw



Sunday 17th May

Köln vs Mainz 05, 14:30

Could Köln be the first Bundesliga side left with little to play for this season? They’ll need to pick up a few wins over the next few weeks to keep their fledgling hopes of a European spot alive.

This fixture could be a good place to start with Mainz still looking nervously over their shoulders.

Both sides were posting solid runs of form before the break, which could suggest an open game here.

Prediction: Draw


Union Berlin vs Bayern Munich, 17:00

Bayern have hardly dropped a beat since January, but they’ve been handed a potential banana skin in their first game back.

Union Berlin won promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history last year, but have adapted to life in the top flight seamlessly, sitting comfortably in 11th with one of the league’s meanest defences on their home patch.

The reigning champions have lost just twice on the road this campaign.

Prediction: Away win


Monday 18th May

Werder Bremen vs Bayer Leverkusen, 19:30

Finally, Monday night football from the Bundesliga serves up a feisty top vs bottom clash with relegation-threatened Werder Bremen badly in need of three points as they look to avoid relegation from the top flight for only the second time in their history.

Leverkusen will also be looking to get off to a fast start, with Peter Bosz’s side tucked just below the top four.

The away side cruised to a 6-2 win in their last meeting at Weser Stadium.

Prediction: Away win


 

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