Football finally returned in Germany this past weekend, with fans given their first glimpses of what football for the next couple of months will look like. Regardless of how strangely quiet the stadiums were, it was still a welcome sight to see some of the best sides in Germany return to action. The second round of fixtures since the restart takes place this weekend, with some tantalising fixtures in store.
Hertha Berlin vs FC Union Berlin
The action in the Bundesliga will get underway on Friday evening as the Berlin derby will take centre stage. The winning side from this fixture will leapfrog their local rivals, and both sides come into the fixture off contrasting results last time out.
Union Berlin had a huge test on Sunday afternoon as they came up against Bayern Munich. The league-leaders were made to work hard to seal their 2-0 win, with Robert Lewandowski and Benjamin Pavard scoring the goals. Union Berlin didn’t offer much in the way of an attacking threat as they registered only two shots on target in the game. They have enjoyed an excellent debut season in the Bundesliga, but they may need a few more wins to make sure of their status in the top flight.
Hertha Berlin have been in decent form over their last five games, as they have only been beaten once. Their best performance of the season came on Saturday as they triumphed with a 3-0 win over Hoffenheim. Kevin Akpoguma put the ball into his own net to give Hertha Berlin a deserved lead in the second half before further goals from Vedad Ibisevic and Matheus Cunha wrapped up the win. A win this weekend could see them move into tenth place in the standings.
Hertha’s form will make them the preference in this fixture, as Union Berlin have failed to win in three league games.
Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund
The title race will be one of the most exciting aspects for fans to pay attention to between now and the end of the season, and it would seem that Dortmund have a newfound purpose judging by their performance last time out.
The team in second spot are still trailing Bayern Munich by four points, but a win this weekend could see that gap stand at just one point before Bayern take to the field. Dortmund have been perfect over their last five games as they have won all five. They produced one of the performances of the weekend to beat their local rivals Schalke at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday. Erling Braut Haaland opened the scoring before the break, before Rafael Guerreiro and Thorgan Hazard added further goals either side of half time. Guerreiro would score his second of the game with half an hour remaining.
Wolfsburg were one of the biggest winners over the past weekend as they jumped into the final Europa League spot as they were the only team placed between sixth and tenth to win. They have been in excellent form over their previous five fixtures as they have won three times and drawn twice. Their win this past weekend came against Augsburg in a testing afternoon. Renato Steffen put the visitors ahead just before the interval before Tim Jedvaj equalised ten minutes into the second half. However, they weren’t to be denied the three points as they re-took the lead in injury time through Daniel Ginczek. Regardless, this will be a much sterner test against Borussia Dortmund.
Every game will be must-win for Dortmund between now and the end of the season, and they will get a sixth win on the bounce in this fixture.
Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt
The league leaders will once again be kicking off after Dortmund have played, which means that the difference between them ahead of this fixture at the Allianz Arena could be just the one point. Frankfurt will also be looking for vital points of their own as their winless run has left them on the outskirts of the relegation battle.
Bayern have been near perfect since the winter break, as they have only dropped two points. Their efficiency was once again on full display this past weekend, as they didn’t need to get out of second gear to claim a 2-0 win over Union Berlin. Robert Lewandowski put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot, before Benjamin Pavard’s powerful header wrapped up all three points. Bayern never looked to be in danger of losing their lead when they went ahead, as they restricted Union Berlin to just two shots on target in the game. This will be a bigger test against Eintracht Frankfurt as they do boast a stronger squad.
Frankfurt’s season has been disrupted with injury problems, while they also failed to replace influential outgoing players such as Sebastien Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic. They have won just once in their previous five Bundesliga games, and that run also includes a run of four consecutive defeats. Their most recent defeat came on Saturday as they were beaten 3-1 by Borussia Monchengladbach. Alassane Plea opened the scoring for Monchengladbach after less than a minute, before Marcus Thuram and Ramy Bensebaini made sure of the points. Andre Silva did pull a late goal back for Frankfurt, but it was too little too late.
Frankfurt’s problems will continue to mount this weekend, as Bayern Munich will have far too much for them. Gamblers will be betting on Bayern to win, with a handicap of -1.5.