Bundesliga Return Preview: Kicking off with the Revierderby

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The Bundesliga returns on Saturday from behind closed doors. Here's our Bundesliga preview to whet your appetite.

Bayern Munich lift the Bundesliga trophy

After just over two months away, the Bundesliga returns this weekend and begins with a bang with one of the biggest rivalries in the world.

Whilst the tensions between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke might not be the same behind closed doors, the Revierderby still promises to be as competitive as ever.

Elsewhere, current champions and table-toppers Bayern Munich will look to return back to winning ways away to Union Berlin, who are faring well in their first ever Bundesliga season.

The battle against relegation and for European spots are very much alive with plenty to play for.

Here is your match preview for the return of the Bundesliga this weekend:

Saturday 16 May

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04 (14:30)

Borussia Dortmund fans prepare for the return of the Bundesliga

Without a doubt the pick of the games this weekend is the Revierderby, which opens the return of German football.

Unfortunately, the famous “Yellow Wall” will be empty for this meeting but the rivalry will remain intense nonetheless.

Going into the game, Dortmund still have hopes of winning the title but have a four-point gap to make up on Bayern Munich.

Schalke, on the other hand, ran into a poor run of form before the season came to a halt and there are a handful of teams waiting to take the final European place.

Rustiness may be an issue and Dortmund will be keeping an eye on the fitness of Axel Witsel and Emre Can who have picked up knocks in training.

Dortmund are overwhelming 10/19 favourites to come away with all three points.

FC Augsburg v VfL Wolfsburg (14:30)

Both teams have all to play for at differing ends of the Bundesliga table.

Augsburg, who are in their 9th consecutive top-flight season, sacked their manager Martin Schmidt just before the break and replaced him with Heiko Herrlich, who is yet to oversee a game.

The home side are now in a relegation battle and sit just five points ahead of the relegation play-off place.

Wolfsburg’s run of form was completely the opposite, going on a six-match unbeaten run and piling the pressure on Schalke.

Unfortunately for Die Wölfe, they will be without top goalscorer Wout Weghorst who will be suspended after picking up five yellow cards.

Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Paderborn (14:30)

A true bottom of the table clash as the bottom team travel to third bottom, with both teams eager to being their push out of relegation.

Fortuna have won just five times all season but have lost just once under new manager Uwe Rösler.

Paderborn face instant relegation back to Bundesliga 2 unless they go on a great run of form, with Steffen Baumgart’s team 10 points behind 15th place.

The away side picked up their first win of the season in the reverse fixture and a similar result could prove a huge boost.

RB Leipzig v SC Freiburg (14:30)

Marcel Sabizter celebrates a goal

As with Dortmund, Leipzig will still have hopes of the Bundesliga title but have a five-point gap to make ground upon.

Turning draws into wins will be imperative for Leipzig who will have all eyes on forward Timo Werner, who could be playing his last few games at the club and is 2/1 to be the first goalscorer.

Freiburg are another club creeping up behind Schalke for the final European place.

Christian Streich’s team have been poor on the road recently and face a difficult return this weekend, but have numerous players returning from injury which could be the kickstart they need.

TSG Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin (14:30)

Another team pushing for Europe is Hoffenheim who sit just two points behind Schalke but need a turnaround in form.

The hosts are without a win in five and were demolished 6-0 by Bayern Munich in their last home game.

Hertha Berlin are being sucked into a relegation battle and have conceded 10 goals in their last three games.

However, they appointed Bruno Labbadia during the break and will hope not to be looking over their shoulders for much longer.

Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Mönchengladbach (17:30)

Frankfurt may also be weary of the relegation places following a poor run of form which saw them all but crash out of the Europa League.

Mönchengladbach may be too far off from Bayern Munich but remain solidly in the Champions League spots but face competition from Bayer Leverkusen.

Sunday 17 May

FC Köln Mainz 05 (14:30)

FC Köln have little to play for sitting happy in mid-table, whereas Mainz have a huge relegation battle on their hands.

Mainz sit just four points ahead of Dusseldorf and are in danger of dropping down to Bundesliga 2 for the first time in 11 years.

Union Berlin v Bayern Munich (17:30)

Robert Lewandowski playing for Bayern Munich

Union Berlin could finish their maiden season in the Bundesliga with a top-half finish and won’t be pushovers for current champions Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich lead at the top by four points but they know any slip-ups could pave the way for Dortmund or Leipzig to overtake them.

Bayern are clear favourites to win but a shock could be on the cards and Union Berlin are 12/1 to pull it off.

Monday 18 May

Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen

Sitting in the relegation zone, Werder Bremen could be dropping out of the Bundesliga for the first time since 1981 unless results improve.

They face a difficult task on Monday against Leverkusen, who are eyeing up the Champions League and have looked unbeatable recently.

Jordan is a journalism graduate with a background in sports journalism covering football across a number of online publications, who now works in Gibraltar producing content for Mansion.
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