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15th May 2020

Everything you need to know about the Bundesliga so far



From this weekend onwards, you’ll have some live football to watch

The Bundesliga season restarts this weekend after more than two months without football.

With no other European football taking place, you’ll want to know your stuff, so here’s a mini guide to the Bundesliga campaign so far.

The German giants struggled massively at the start of the season – by their own standards at least – but have rallied to climb back into first place.

Even a 7-2 win against Tottenham in the Champions League wasn’t enough to save Niko Kovac’s job – with the manager departing after 5 wins in the opening 10 Bundesliga matches.

Kovac was replaced by caretaker Hansi Flick, who oversaw a 4-0 thumping of Borussia Dortmund in his first game in charge, and has since earned a permanent contract thanks to Bayern’s surge back into top spot.

Dortmund’s last three visits to Munich have seen them lose, 5-0 and 4-0, so it’s fair to suggest there’s a sizeable gap between the two teams.

Graphic of Dortmund crest, with the 6-0,5-0 and 4-0 scorelines coming in from left, cracking it more each time

BVB are only four points below Bayern in the table, though, with RB Leipzig and Borussia Moenchengladbach not far behind.

With Dortmund and Gladbach still to face the leaders in the final 9 games, there could be plenty more twists and turns in the title race.

From Leverkusen wonderkid Kai Havertz and Leipzig sharp shooter Timo Werner, to the striker’s teammate Dayot Upamecano and Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, there’s no shortage of talent in the Bundesliga.

It’s no wonder Premier League clubs send a squadron of scouts to Germany each week – and the Bundesliga having a head start on other leagues resuming could see a host of young stars play themselves into the shop window.

England fans had been looking forward to watching Sancho tear it up at Euro 2020, but now chance to see how the 20-year-old has developed into one of the best players in the Bundesliga.

The London-born youngster sits third in the top scorer rankings with 14 goals and has provided 15 assists to spearhead Dortmund’s title challenge.

German football fans are known for their passion and protests. If there’s something they’re not happy about, they won’t take to forums – they’ll take to the streets and the stands.

Billionaire Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp has been the main source of their ire this season and indeed for much of the past few years. Hoffenheim’s clash against Bayern Munich ended in bizarre scenes after the away fans unveiled a banner calling Hopp a “son of a whore”.

A similar banner was pictured at Union Berlin, with fans objecting to what they see as Hopp “buying success” and flouting German football’s 50+1 rule, designed to prevent a single investor from holding a majority share of any club.

It’s not just the stands that have seen conflict.

In November Eintracht Frankfurt captain David Abraham was banned for seven weeks and fined €25k after barging Freiburg boss Christian Streich to the ground as he raced to take a throw-in.

He was banned for seven weeks and fined €25,000, but Streich was keen to play down the incident saying “we don’t need to make a big thing out of it”.

Now 41, Claudio Pizarro is in his fourth permanent spell at Werder Bremen, having won six titles plus the Champions League during two tenures at Bayern Munich.

The Bundesliga legend has his work cut out to keep Bremen in the top flight though, with the 2004 champions currently eight points adrift of safety.

They’re historically one of Germany’s best sides, and this season are challenging for the title, but Gladbach remains a painfully difficult name to spell correctly the first time.

You can go with the umlaut: Borussia Mönchengladbach or the ‘e’: Moenchengladbach. That’s pretty much the only advice we can give on the matter.