BUNDESLIGA SEASON 2019/20 Weekend Preview
So far, not shut down by the COVID-19 … The Revierderby headlines Matchday 26 with Borussia Dortmund hosting local rivals FC Schalke 04 on a weekend where fans will be absent across stadiums in Germany due to the coronavirus. Note: Due to the continued spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), numerous games involving Bundesliga clubs will be played behind closed doors.
The Revierderby Headlines Matchday 26 with Borussia Dortmund Hosting Local Rivals FC Schalke 04
Dortmund bowed out of the UEFA Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain midweek but have the perfect opportunity to bounce back and give their fans something to celebrate with the Revierderby on Saturday afternoon.
Captain Marco Reus may still be missing for Lucien Favre’s side, but goal-hungry Erling Haaland is ready to face the Royal Blues for the first time since his winter arrival.
While Dortmund is chasing the Bundesliga title, Schalke are looking to keep their hands on sixth place and the final UEFA Europa League qualification spot. Schalke may be on a seven-game winless run, but form goes out the window for such games and history may help David Wagner and his charges, who have lost only one of their last eight derby meetings with Dortmund – winning 4-2 at the Signal Iduna Park last season in one of the campaign’s most thrilling encounters.
Goal-hungry Erling Haaland will face the Royal Blues for the first time since his winter arrival.
League leaders FC Bayern München will embark on a historic trip to the German capital on Saturday evening where they will play at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei for the first time in a league fixture, against 1. FC Union Berlin.
The defending champions are currently four points clear of Dortmund in the table and have won their two Bundesliga games since Robert Lewandowski’s injury, 6-0 and 2-0 respectively.
Fellow title-chaser RB Leipzig play host to SC Freiburg at the same time as the Revierderby, fresh off the back of a history-making midweek performance. Julian Nagelsmann became the youngest coach in UEFA Champions League history to win a knockout tie, steering Leipzig to the quarter-finals of a European competition for the very first time against Tottenham Hotspur.
League leaders FC Bayern München play their first league match at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei when they travel to the German capital on Saturday evening to take on 1. FC Union Berlin.
Other members of the chasing pack behind Bayern, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, are both away from home this weekend as they face Eintracht Frankfurt and SV Werder Bremen respectively. The Foals will hope to gallop past the Eagles on Sunday, while Leverkusen’s trip north will take place on Monday night.
Gladbach were also in action on Wednesday as they faced Rhine Derby rivals 1. FC Köln in the rescheduled Matchday 21 fixture. The Foals ran out 2-1 winners with Breel Embolo scoring one and assisting the other to help Marco Rose’s side move to within just two points of Dortmund on the ladder.
The weekend gets underway on Friday the 13th with both Fortuna Düsseldorf and SC Paderborn 07 looking to avoid any bad luck charms to start the weekend off right. In-form Erik Thommy – who has scored three goals in his last four games – will be one to watch from the home side in the relegation six-pointer.
The other two Saturday afternoon games see TSG 1899 Hoffenheim host Hertha Berlin and 1. FC Köln welcome 1. FSV Mainz 05 to the RheinEnergieStadion; FC Augsburg host VfL Wolfsburg in the second Sunday game.