The Bundesliga’s return has officially been confirmed for May 16 after the German Football League (DFL) published new schedules for the top two tiers following the lockdown.
Germany’s will be the first of Europe’s five major leagues to restart amid the coronavirus pandemic following a decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the federal states.
The DFL published new dates for the May and June schedules on Thursday, with all 18 Bundesliga teams returning to the fray in Week 26 behind closed doors.
Borussia Dortmund will host Schalke in what promises to be a tense a Revierderby, while leaders Bayern Munich resume their campaign away to Union Berlin on Sunday, May 17.
Below is the full schedule of the Bundesliga return weekend. You can stream Bundesliga matches live on fuboTV.
Bundesliga Week 26 Schedule
Saturday, May 16
9:30 a.m. ET:
Borussia Dortmund vs. Schalke – FS1, FOX Deportes, fuboTV
RB Leipzig vs. Freiburg – FS2, TUDN, fuboTV
Augsburg vs. Wolfsburg – FOX Soccer Plus, fuboTV
Hoffenheim vs. Hertha Berlin
Fortuna Dusseldorf vs. Paderborn
12:30 p.m. ET:
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach – FS1, TUDN, fuboTV
Sunday, May 17
Koln vs. Mainz, 9:30 a.m. ET – FS1, FOX Deportes, fuboTV
Union Berlin vs. Bayern Munich, 12 p.m. ET – FS1, TUDN, fuboTV
Monday, May 18
Werder Bremen vs. Bayer Leverkusen, 2:30 p.m. ET – FS2, fuboTV
Here's a reminder of how things stand in Germany, with a mere six points separating leader Bayern Munich from fourth-place Monchengladbach.
The Bundesliga has been suspended since March 13 and is due to make its comeback after more than two months.
How COVID has impacted Germany and the Bundesliga
Darren Rovell of the Action Network looked at which sports are due to return after the impact of COVID-19 falls in some territories, with the UFC set to be the first to resume service:
The DFL confirmed it had undertaken 1,695 coronavirus tests with teams from the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga before squad training resumed, a second batch of tests from which two positive samples emerged.
It’s understood players will be tested for COVID-19 at least once per week as part of the new protocols, and they must return two successive negative tests to qualify to play.
DW Sports reported states will govern whether a club in their jurisdiction needs to go into quarantine should a positive test be returned after play resumes.
The Athletic’s Raphael Honigstein provided more background from Bundesliga chief Christian Seifert on why the country was so motivated to resume action this month:
The new dates announced on Thursday have the Bundesliga on schedule to finish the 2019-20 season by June 27, eliminating the extra hurdle of extending player contracts.
Bayern lead the standings by four points with nine matchdays remaining, though only six points separates first from fourth place.