The moment is finally upon us, after what seems like an age, professional football is returning to one of the big European leagues when the Bundesliga kicks off on May 16th 2020! In anticipation of the event, grills can be heard being fired up and bottles of beer are being placed on ice!
Before this festival of football kicks off, The Goalmouth Scramble are previewing the fixture list and trying to give you an idea of how the games might go, let’s kick off!
Borussia Dortmund vs FC Schalke 04
This is a big one, it is the first game in the list and features the team aiming to break the Bayern Munich monopoly on the title, Borussia Dortmund, who are four points off top spot going into the weekend. Schalke, on the other hand, are also in a chase for a European place, as they are one of four teams within 2 points of each other in the race for 6th.
Going on previous form probably won’t do us much good in this first preview of the restart, since both teams haven’t played since early March, so it’ll probably come down to the pure strengths of each squad. Also, there has been no preseason to get the teams a feel for being on the pitch and Dortmund will be without their yellow wall, their largest and loudest stand at Signal Iduna Park.
Therefore then, this match is probably going to be 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund, as they still have home advantage and arguably a much stronger squad to boot. You can expect the likes of Jadon Sancho, Erling Braut Haaland and captain Marco Reus to work as well together as they were before the virus, a combination that Schalke shouldn’t stand a chance against.
Prediction: 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund
Key players: Sancho, Haaland & Reus (Dortmund) (Schalke) Serdar, Kenny & Harit
RB Leipzig vs SC Freiburg
RB Leipzig are another team making a chase for top spot, sitting one point behind Dortmund and will know that it is crucial that they win their remaining home games for the season, therefore they will be well up for this game. Freiburg were looking like chasers for a Champions League place during the first half of the season, but since then they have started to drop off a bit and find themselves sitting in ninth.
It has to be another home win in this one, Leipzig are slowly starting to get used to chasing for titles after 3 seasons in the Bundesliga so will definitely be well prepared, especially after being halted on a high after smashing Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League last time out.
Prediction: 2-0 to RB Leipzig
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs Hertha Berlin
Hoffenheim are in their first season since losing promising young coach Julian Nagelsmann and, after a rocky start, they slowly climbed the table and are currently one of the aforementioned teams in the two-point race for Europe. Hertha Berlin, on the other hand have been having a season that was a little out of sorts for them, having played in the Europa League places two years ago, whilst they fired their coaches seemingly at will. They also had the embarrassment of hiring former national team coach Jurgen Klinnsmann before he even had his coaching licence renewed, before firing him again just before the league cut out.
Therefore, I am going for a 2-1 home win for this game, Hoffenheim have much more to play for, whilst Berlin seem to be an example of mismanagement this season. They also found themselves at one point languising in the relegation zone, which they are now well clear of, so probably just want this season over with as soon as possible!
Prediction: 2-1 to Hoffenheim
Key Players: Kramaric, Grillitsch & Kaderabek (Hoffenheim)
Boyata, Rudy & Mittelstadt (Hertha Berlin)
Fortuna Dusseldorf vs SC Paderborn 07
This game is a real relegation battle between two teams at the wrong end of the Bundesliga table. Both are having a season to forget, despite Paderborn having shown some gutsy performances at times.
Ultimately, I am going to have to say that I think this game may well be a 1-1 draw, as I don’t think either side are good enough to secure a win over the other here.
Prediction: 1-1 Draw
FC Augsburg vs VfL Wolfsburg
Augsburg are another team like Hertha, not having a particularly great season and only 5 points off the relegation playoff places. Wolfsburg, meanwhile are a point off the Europa places, however Augsburg are a team that can always spring a surprise on a team.
Therefore, I am going for another 2-1 win for the home team, as I feel that this is the kind of game that Augsburg’s team can win.
Prediction: 2-1 win for Augsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Moenchengladbach
The final match takes place between Eintracht Frankfurt, who have been struggling with their league performances this season, yet find themselves in the semi finals of the cup and still in the Europa League (although they were thumped 3-0 at home to Basel before the second leg). Moenchengladbach, meanwhile, went out poorly in the Europa League group stages and fell in the second round of the cup, yet find themselves 4th in the league and in with a good chance of a European place for next season.
This is probably the toughest game to predict, as both teams can come out and be either the best or worst team on the pitch at different times. However, I believe that Eintracht will have had time to reflect on their poor league performances and will be looking to pull themselves away from a relegation fight first off. Therefore, I will be putting them down to win 2-1 at home today.