This will be a much anticipated weekend in soccer, as the Bundesliga has decided to return even though we are facing a horrific pandemic. We have not had any professional soccer in Germany since March 11 when Borussia Monchengladbach beat FC Cologne 2-1. Heading into this weekend, here are five storylines soccer fans should keep an eye on.
5) No fans in the stands. This could be a significant adjustment for players as they will play in empty stadiums. There will be no cheering when a player scores. There will be no booing of the officials. Without spectators, it will be interesting to see how the games materialize as a whole and if players find other means to get themselves up for the games on the pitch.
4) How to watch the games in North America? If you are in the United States, you can watch the Bundesliga through FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer Match Plus, fuboTV, Vidgo, Hulu, Live TV, and Sling Blue. In Canada, all games can be seen online through Sportsnet NOW or Sportsnet World. On Saturday, Rogers Sportsnet will be broadcasting Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 at 7:30 a.m. MT with Frankfurt and Monchengladbach at 10:30 a.m. MT on regular television. Then on Sunday, Rogers Sportsnet will broadcast FC Cologne versus FSV Mainz 05 at 7:30 a.m. MT and then Bayern Munich versus Union Berlin at 10 a.m. MT.
3) Two best games of the weekend. There are two games on Saturday where both teams are above .500. Those are the games between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke as well as RB Leipzig and SC Freiburg. Dortmund is currently second in the Bundesliga with a record of 15 wins, four losses, and six draws for 51 points. FC Schalke is in sixth place in the Bundesliga with a record of nine wins, six losses, and 10 draws for 37 points. RB Leipzig is in third place with a record of 14 wins, three losses, and eight draws for 50 points, and SC Freiburg is in seventh place with a record of 10 wins, nine losses, and six draws for 36 points.
2) A player on Werder Bremen is quarantining. According to the Associated Press, an unnamed player on Werder Bremen has to quarantine for two weeks because a family member has coronavirus. We do not know who that player is at this time, but we should know by Monday when Werder Bremen plays Bayer Leverkusen. Werder Bremen is one of three teams that are currently outside the top 15 in the Bundesliga, and in a relegation position. The other two teams are Fortuna Dusseldorf and SC Paderborn, who play against each other on Saturday.
1) Watch out for Robert Lewandowski. The 31 year-old striker from Warsaw, Poland currently leads the Bundesliga with 25 goals. He also has the luxury of playing on the top team in Germany as Bayern Munich currently has 17 wins, four losses and four draws for 55 points.