We look at the key fixture in each of the remaining nine Bundesliga gameweeks
We look at the key fixture in each of the remaining nine Bundesliga gameweeks

Bundesliga: Nine key fixtures to look out for when the 2019/20 season resumes

The Bundesliga is set to become the first major European league to resume play after the government gave it the green light this week.

The German football authorities put together a plan that will allow for the final nine gameweeks to be played behind closed doors, with regular testing in place for players and staff.

Angela Merkel announced on Wednesday that the league will be allowed to return in the second-half of May, with the German FA confirming that the season will continue on Saturday May 16.

Bayern Munich have ruled Germany for the past seven seasons, but the 2019/20 campaign sees them under pressure from four other teams.

Just eight points separates Bayern in first and Bayer Leverkusen in fifth, whereas the Premier League sees a 25-point gap between first and second while nine points separates first and third in LaLiga.

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The German top-flight boasts the most exciting title race among Europe's elite leagues. Bayern are the favourites to retain their crown, but those in the chasing pack have demonstrated their potential to de-throne the Bavarian giants.

At the other end, Paderborn and Werder Bremen will be hoping to drag themselves out of relegation trouble, although the bottom club have a ten-point gap between themselves and the safety of 15th.

With nine sets of fixtures remaining, the league table could completely change with a number of teams still having something to play for.

With that in mind, Tom Carnduff looks at each of the gameweeks and picks out the key fixture with its potential impact on the standings.

We also make our predictions for the outcome of each game. A bold move at this point as form changes, but it gives an indication of how both teams look at this current time.

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke

  • When: Gameweek One (26)
Suat Serdar (left) and Lukasz Piszczek battle for the ball
Suat Serdar (left) and Lukasz Piszczek battle for the ball

A fantastic fixture to mark the return of German top-flight football.

Bitter rivals Dortmund and Schalke meet in a Revierderby at the Signal Iduna Park; their 156th contest since the first in 1925.

The reverse fixture in October saw them play out a 0-0 draw but circumstances change and we should expect a contest with goals this time around.

It all points to a home win and bragging rights for Dortmund. They remain in the title race while Schalke's form since the winter break has been poor, although their season as a whole can be viewed as a positive.

  • Prediction: Borussia Dortmund - they've been the better side this season and the addition of Erling Haaland in January has given them further firepower. Add in the fact that Dortmund are the best home team in the league while Schalke's away results have been average. An outcome worth considering in the handicap betting.

Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen

  • When: Gameweek Two (27)
Jonathan Tah beats Patrick Herrmann in the air
Jonathan Tah beats Patrick Herrmann in the air

A key fixture in the race for Champions League football, although both remain in the title race at this point of the campaign.

Monchengladbach and Leverkusen are huge outsiders to finish in first but mathematically it's still possible. The focus will be on nailing down a spot in the top-four.

Marcus Thuram netted the winner in a 2-1 victory for Monchengladbach at the beginning of November and they will hold confidence that they can secure a similar outcome this time around.

Leverkusen are no pushovers though and they've seen a lot of points since mid-January. This is set to be a highly-entertaining contest.

  • Prediction: Draw - we're sitting on the fence here but both sides have been very good since the winter break. Monchengladbach are a very difficult team to face at home while Leverkusen have enjoyed plenty of success away. There would be little surprise if this game ended up finishing 2-2 or 3-3.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich

  • When: Gameweek Three (28)
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are both hoping for Bundesliga success
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are both hoping for Bundesliga success

Little more needs to be said about the importance of this fixture at this stage in the campaign.

Bayern Munich have been the dominant force in German football but Borussia Dortmund are back and have built a side who look capable of seriously challenging for the title over the next few seasons.

We'll have a better picture of the table when this game comes, given how four points separates the two teams, yet we can mark this game down now as a crucial one in the battle for top spot.

Der Klassiker never fails to entertain; the last six Bundesliga meetings have seen at least four goals scored in each.

  • Prediction: Borussia Dortmund - it was the familiar tale of Bayern schooling Dortmund in a 4-0 hammering in November but the home side look strong in front of their own supporters. They did also beat Bayern in their meeting at the Signal Iduna Park last season.

FC Koln v RB Leipzig

  • When: Gameweek Four (29)
Koln and Leipzig are set to meet on matchday 29
Koln and Leipzig are set to meet on matchday 29

A draw in the meeting between Dortmund and Bayern might suit Leipzig perfectly as they closely follow the current duo leading the way at the top.

A trip to Koln is not what any side will be wanting given their form since the winter break though. Only Bayern, Dortmund and Leverkusen can boast more points over the last ten games.

The positive for Leipzig is their away form puts them in a good place here. 25 points picked up from 13 trips on the road leaves them second in the away standings.

Koln are our outside fancy for securing a top-six spot which sets this up to be a fascinating fixture that could go either way.

  • Prediction: RB Leipzig - while Koln have been impressive during this half of the season, their issues come when faced against a side in the top-four. The three defeats since January have come against Bayern, Dortmund and Monchengladbach and that trend should continue is a close contest.

Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich

  • When: Gameweek Five (30)
Bayer Leverkusen celebrate a goal against Bayern Munich
Bayer Leverkusen celebrate a goal against Bayern Munich

There's a good chance that Leverkusen's position in the title race will be gone by the time this game arrives but they'll still have a lot to play for as they aim for a top-four finish.

Leverkusen's recent form against Bayern has actually been quite good following years of convincing defeats. They won 3-1 in their home meeting with the current champions last season while a Leon Bailey double gave them victory at the Allianz Arena in November.

Add in their current form at the time of writing and it's set to be another tough afternoon for the Bavarian giants, who are locked in a title race with Dortmund and Leipzig.

This is a game not to be missed and, despite the odds being likely to significantly favour Bayern, Leverkusen will hold confidence that they can get something.

  • Prediction: Draw - we're speculating a bit on Leverkusen's form at the time of this game but they have been excellent this side of the winter break and have already beaten Bayern this season. Bayern will know the importance of getting something against a strong home side and may have to settle for a point.

Paderborn v Werder Bremen

  • When: Gameweek Six (31)
Werder Bremen and Paderborn are battling to avoid the drop
Werder Bremen and Paderborn are battling to avoid the drop

Much of the discussion has been about the title race but there's a key game at the bottom of the division as Paderborn welcome Werder Bremen.

Both sides have had poor campaigns and look certainties to be involved in relegation in one way or another. The key battle for them will be in ensuring that they have a second chance through the relegation play-off.

Weirdly, these two have both picked up more points away than they have at home. It's unusual for a side at the bottom end of the table to struggle so much in front of their own supporters but enjoy some success away.

Paderborn and Bremen have combined for a total of eleven points over their last ten games each. It's not set up to be a classic, but it is a game that will be vitally important at this point in the season.

  • Prediction: Werder Bremen - usually you'd go with the home side in a game involving the bottom two teams but Bremen's away record has seen them pick up near three times as many points on the road. Neither side has been fantastic but it's worth going with the visitors for victory - and they could be priced as the outsiders in this one.

Borussia Monchengladbach v Wolfsburg

  • When: Gameweek Seven (32)
Borussia Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg are both hoping for European football next season
Borussia Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg are both hoping for European football next season

A key game with both sides battling for European places, although Monchengladbach are targeting the Champions League while Wolfsburg will have to settle for the Europa League.

Wolfsburg were successful when these two sides met in December thanks to Maximilian Arnold's 91st minute winner but it'll be a big ask for them to get another three points here.

Like Leverkusen, Monchengladbach's tiny chance of the title will be long gone by this point but they should still firmly be in the race for a top-four finish.

Home games like this will be crucial and they'll fancy their chances of picking up the win.

  • Prediction: Monchengladbach - both teams should have a lot riding on this contest when they meet but it's difficult to look past a Monchengladbach side who have been strong at home this season.

RB Leipzig v Borussia Dortmund

  • When: Gameweek Eight (33)
Dortmund and Leipzig are hoping to secure the Bundesliga title
Dortmund and Leipzig are hoping to secure the Bundesliga title

Could this huge clash on the penultimate round of the season end up being a title decider?

Well, we'd need a collapse of sorts from Bayern Munich, alongside Borussia Dortmund beating them in their earlier meeting while also overtaking them in the standings.

There's a real possibility this game could have an impact on the title. We're backing it to go down to the wire, so both sides will be desperate for victory to keep themselves in contention.

Whatever happens, this is set to be a highly-entertaining game and one of the highlights of the remaining rounds of fixtures to be played.

  • Prediction: Draw - we're going to sit on the fence here and say that this one ends in a draw. Both will know the importance of this fixture and will be reluctant to lose, but that's not to say that it will end 0-0. A draw could suit Bayern perfectly and there's a good chance these two quality teams end up sharing the points.

Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich

  • When: Gameweek Nine (34)
Bayern Munich face Wolfsburg on final day
Bayern Munich face Wolfsburg on final day

There's no major fixture that stands out on final day although we're sticking with Bayern Munich given how they are expected to win the title.

A tough game at Wolfsburg awaits, although they will be boasted by the fact that Leipzig and Dortmund would have played each other the week before.

This fixture to watch out for could change, dependant on how the table stands at the time, but given Dortmund's clash with Hoffenheim and Leipzig's trip to Augsburg, Bayern have the toughest final fixture of the title race trio.

It might not be a straightforward victory either. Bayern may have another Bundesliga trophy in sight but Wolfsburg have European aspirations of their own and will be really up for the fixture if top-six remains a possibility.

  • Prediction: Bayern Munich - Wolfsburg may well have something to play for in this contest but Bayern have a history of success and performing on the big occasions. If the title still needs to be won, the current champions will certainly show up.

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