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Bundesliga preview: Dortmund v. Schalke headlines return

Bundesliga schedule

08 December 2018, North Rhine-Westphalia, Gelsenkirchen: Soccer: Bundesliga, FC Schalke 04 - Borussia Dortmund, 14th matchday in the Veltins Arena. Jadon Sancho (r) from Dortmund and Weston McKennie from Schalke in the duel. Photo: Ina Fassbender/dpa - IMPORTANT NOTE: In accordance with the requirements of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga or the DFB Deutscher Fußball-Bund, it is prohibited to use or have used photographs taken in the stadium and/or the match in the form of sequence images and/or video-like photo sequences. (Photo by Ina Fassbender/picture alliance via Getty Images)

picture alliance via Getty Image

The 2019-20 Bundesliga season returns this weekend and my goodness are we glad to be writing a preview focusing on the nine games, of which a Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke headlines.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores ]

Matchweek 26 in the Bundesliga will of course see games played in empty stadiums, which is the plan for the rest of the season and beyond. If you’re new to Germany’s top-flight, here’s a guide to help you pick a club to support.

With an almighty title battle set to take place in the final weeks of the season, the Bundesliga will provide epic drama with plenty on the line up and down the league as it is the first of Europe’s ‘big five’ to return amid the coronavirus pandemic. Strict safety protocols are in place as Bundesliga teams have been training for weeks ahead of these games and the outbreak in Germany has been largely controlled due to widespread testing.

[ MORE: Bundesliga latest news ]

Below is a look at what lies ahead this weekend, as you can check out the full schedule, standings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk.

Borussia Dortmund v. Schalke: 9:30 a.m. ET, Saturday

Focusing on this weekend, Borussia Dortmund host bitter rivals Schalke with both teams desperate for the win. Schalke are in sixth place and ahead of a cluster of teams in the race for a Europa League spot, while Dortmund are in second and four points off leaders Bayern Munich.

USMNT fans will have a close eye on this game with Giovanni Reyna, 17, a rising star for Dortmund, while Weston McKennie is a regular for David Wagner’s Schalke. Even without fans the atmosphere will be intense for this huge rivalry, especially with so much on the line and especially because games have been suspended for over two months. Lucien Favre has a stacked young squad to choose from, as Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho, Reyna and Mario Gotze give him plenty of options in attack. Marco Reus, Emre Can and Axel Witsel are all said to be out of this clash as they work their way back to full fitness. The Revierderby is a great way to get things going again.

Bundesliga return date

DORTMUND, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 18: (L-R) Giovanni Reyna of Borussia Dortmund, Erling Braut Haaland of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League match between Borussia Dortmund v Paris Saint Germain at the Signal Iduna Park on February 18, 2020 in Dortmund Germany (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Union Berlin v. Bayern Munich: 12 p.m. ET, Sunday

The newly-promoted upstarts have settled into life in the Bundesliga extremely well as Union Berlin sit pretty in midtable. Bayern are top of the table but have a host of challengers and Hansi Flick’s side have a tough remaining schedule. Flick was handed a long-term contract after doing a fine job to turn things around but there’s no doubt the suspension hit Bayern’s momentum hard as Alphonso Davies and Co. were in fine form in March as they tried to surge towards an eighth-straight title. Bayern can’t afford to drop points with big games against Leverkusen, Dortmund and ‘Gladbach to come.


MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 21: Robert Lewandowski (C) of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrates his second goal with teammates Alphonso Davies (L) and Joshua Zirkzee during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and SC Paderborn 07 at Allianz Arena on February 21, 2020 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern)

Getty Images for FC Bayern

Quick look at the other games...

Plenty of USMNT stars are in action around the Bundesliga with Timmy Chandler having a great season for topsy-turvy Eintracht Frankfurt who host Fabian Johnson’s Borussia Monchengladbach who are fourth. Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig have great momentum and are challenging for the title and in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League. Julian Nagelsmann’s talented side host SC Freiburg who are battling for European qualification. John Brooks’ Wolfsburg are in the hunt for Europe too and they host struggling Augsburg. Fortuna Dusseldorf and Paderborn square off in a huge game at the bottom as USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales will be key for the home side, while goalkeeper Zack Steffen has been struggling with a knee injury. Josh Sargent’s struggling Werder Bremen host Bayer Leverkusen who are in the top four hunt as all eyes will be on the host of young Americans in the Bundesliga.


LEIPZIG, GERMANY - DECEMBER 21: Tyler Adams of RB Leipzig controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and FC Augsburg at Red Bull Arena on December 21, 2019 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bongarts/Getty Images

Saturday, May 16

9:30 a.m. ET: Augsburg v. Wolfsburg
9:30 a.m. ET: Borussia Dortmund v. Schalke
9:30 a.m. ET: Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Paderborn
9:30 a.m. ET: Hoffenheim v. Hertha Berlin
9:30 a.m. ET: RB Leipzig v. SC Freiburg
12:30 p.m. ET: Eintracht Frankfurt v. Borussia Monchengladbach

Sunday, May 17

9:30 a.m. ET: Cologne v. Mainz
12 p.m. ET: Union Berlin v. Bayern Munich

Monday, May 18

2:30 p.m. ET: Werder Bremen v. Bayer Leverkusen

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