7 Bundesliga Games To Look Forward To In May
Football fans over the world rejoiced as German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she would allow the German football league, the Bundesliga, to resume operations. Right now in parts of the world, football is the least of concerns but in saying that, it does feel good to have something a lot of people love back in our lives to provide enjoyment and entertainment. This is also a sign of the great job done in Germany to combat this virus and should be celebrated, providing there are no issues caused by the league resuming.
Nonetheless, football is back and come May 16th, the football world will be paying close attention to the German league with some doing so for the first time. With the season currently 25 games into its season, there is a lot to still play for. Championships, European football and relegation are all still to be decided with teams, top and bottom, looking to make up for the lost time. With this, there are plenty of meaningful games to be played and luckily, they come around to us straight away. The season has been an extremely exciting one thus far, with plenty of entertainment and an average of 3.25 goals per game - higher than both the Premier League and La Liga. With great players and a lot to still be decided, the end of the Bundesliga season looks to be a cracker. With all games being available on BT Sport, there will be plenty of entertainment all around. So on that note, here are 7 Bundesliga games you should be keeping an eye on this May.
1. May 16th: Borussia Dortmund v Schalke (2:30 KO)
The first game we have is the first game that will be broadcasted to us - via BT Sport - and it is set to be a cracker. Next Saturday the Bundesliga will kick off once again with the Revierderby between Dortmund and Schalke. Now derby games are always interesting and this shall be no different. This derby has always been a close affair, with Schalke leading overall in competitive games with 60 wins compared to Dortmund’s 52.
What adds some more flair to this game is the teams positions within the Bundesliga table. Dortmund are currently in second place and 4 points behind leaders Bayern Munich. The black and yellow outfit simply cannot afford to drop any more points as they continue to put pressure on the leaders. As for Schalke, they sit in the final Europa League qualification spot, but only by one point. If the Royal Blues want to try to cement a qualification spot as their own, there’s no better statement to make than by beating one of the top guns and showing that you have what it takes. A loss and a combination of other results could see Schalke drop down to 9th place so it is vital they take care of their own business.
The latest game between the two was a 0-0 draw, with both teams failing to walk away with the three points and bragging rights. Salif Sane and Suat Serder both struck the woodwork for Schalke in the first half whilst Jadon Sancho went close on a couple of occasions at the other end. With a close, competitive game earlier in the season, we can expect the same this coming Saturday.
2. May 16th: Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn (2:30 KO)
Commencing on the same day as the Revierderby comes a clash at the foot of the Bundesliga table as Fortuna Dusseldorf host Paderborn in a good old fashioned relegation six-pointer. The hosts currently occupy 16th place, where they would have to participate in a play-off match to avoid relegation should they finish there, whilst Paderborn sit lowly in last position and 6 points from Dusseldorf.
A win for Dusseldorf could see them cut the gap between them and 15th placed Mainz to just one point as they seek to secure their status in the Bundesliga. For Paderborn, this is simply a must win. When you’re at the bottom you can’t afford to drop points as you try to catch up to those around them. A loss in this game would see them 9 points away from the play-off place with 8 games to play. Considering Paderborn are still to play Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach, this is the type of game they have to be taking three points from or they’ll be returning to 2. Bundesliga after one season.
With both teams desperate to survive, we should expect a highly competitive game with all being left out on the pitch. Paderborn came out the victors in the reverse fixture, with goals from Abdelhamid Sabiri and Sebastian Schonlau sealing the victory. Paderborn will need something similar in order to pick up their third away win of the season and to also keep their survival hopes alive.
3. 23rd May: Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen (2:30 KO)
Back from the bottom to near the top are two teams fighting out for Champions League places. In all honesty, both teams could argue that they are still in with a shot of league glory, although even the most die hard of supporters would struggle to believe that outcome. Nonetheless, both teams are only 6 and 7 points off the top respectively. However, with the stiff competition in the league, this sees the teams occupy the 4th and 5th positions in the league, with Monchengladbach currently occupying the last Champions League spot.
As one point currently separates the two, this head to head could prove to make all the difference in terms of European competitions next season. Both teams only have Bayern Munich above them left to play after this fixture so could end the season very strong so the pressure added to this clash is magnified. The chance to be competing with Europe’s elite does a lot for a club so the incentive for these sides will surely lead to a tasty affair.
Monchengladbach will be favourites heading into this one as the home team as well as already defeating Leverkusen in league competition this season. A 2-1 victory with goals from Marcus Thuram and Oscar Wendt cancelled out a Kevin Volland equaliser as tensions flared later on with Leverkusen's Leon Bailey receiving a late straight red card after coming on as a sub.
4. 23rd May: Hertha v Union Berlin (2:30 KO)
Taking place on the same day in the nation’s capital is the Berlin derby with Hertha taking on Union Berlin. Again, derby games are always an interesting affair as you get an extra gear regardless of your squad or form, especially those within the same city. There’s a lot of pride to be played for and this will be showcased for sure in the Berlin derby.
To add to this, the teams sit mid table with Union in 11th and Hertha 13th, seemingly comfortable outwith the relegation battle. However, the teams are extremely close with only two points separating the two and the derby brings the chance for Hertha to overtake their city rivals. This game is purely about bragging rights as not only the winners can taunt their rivals about this single match but perhaps for the season as a whole.
The promotion of Union Berlin saw them become the first team from the former East Berlin to reach the Bundesliga. With the famous history of the city and political divide that once took place in this great city, it has undoubtedly added a little extra dig into the game. The previous meeting showcased this rivalry as the game was halted due to fireworks being fired from the Hertha fans onto the pitch and into the Union support. Hertha fans burned Union shirts and scarves during the game and Union ultras attempted to invade the pitch in order to confront their rivals. The first Berlin derby in the top flight in over 40 years was far from a friendly affair, with a Sebastian Polter penalty giving Union the victory. A rivalry of this intensity but behind closed doors will be an odd sight but an incredibly intriguing one at that.
5. 26th May: Leverkusen v Wolfsburg (7:30 KO)
As previously mentioned, Leverkusen are in the running for a Champions League position but in 7th and just outside the Europa League spots sit Wolfsburg. At this moment, Wolfsburg are only a point away from Schalke with European qualification still very much a possibility.
Leverkusen will be desperate to maintain a gap between themselves and the teams below them and as they play catch up, won’t be able to drop any points. Wolfsburg, however, will be more desperate due to their position being in more jeopardy. Despite their European bids, they are only 4 points above 10th. Depending on results, it could be a great season or one to forget for the Wolves.
Wolfsburg will need better luck than in their previous meeting as Leverkusen ran out 2-0 winners. A Karim Bellarabi goal followed by a last minute finish from teenager Paulinho sealed a victory for Leverkusen away from home in a tight affair. If Wolfsburg can reverse their fortunes in this fixture, it could kick them on to try and push for a late Europa League spot.
6. 26th May: Dortmund v Bayern Munich (7:30 KO)
Not only the biggest game of this month but of the entire season, the final game between Dortmund and Bayern is set to be a cracker. This is the first real instance of a game between two huge massive clubs which alone will get people to tune in. The lure of talents such as Lewandowski, Sancho, Muller and Reus is enough to excite any fan and with the current lack of football, any fan will be wanting to tune into this one.
Despite the obvious star power, the game could very much decide the title race or at least eliminate Dortmund from it. A Bayern win would certainly put them in pole position but the emergence of Red Bull Leipzig may still be in touching distance. However, a Dortmund win would blow the race wide open for the final six games of the season. There could end up being a situation where only two points separate 1st from 3rd and as a neutral, a close title race would be best for viewing pleasure.
Dortmund have only won one of the last 6 Der Klassiker, and have shipped a massive 24 goals in those games as well. The previous meeting early in the season saw an easy 4-0 win for Bayern where an inform Lewandowski netted either side of a Serge Gnabry tap in before a late Mats Hummels own goal secured an emphatic win. With the record Bayern have in recent years, it’s hard to bet against them but with Dortmund’s attacking prowess, anything can happen. The sad thing about this game will be the absence of the yellow wall due to the game being played behind closed doors.
7. 30th May: Cologne v RB Leipzig (2:30 KO)
Following the aforementioned Der Klassiker, I stated that RB Leipzig are very much still in the title race. Depending on the result in that game, Leipzig could very well be the final challengers to Bayern Munich as they aim for a 30th Bundesliga title.
Cologne seem safe in 10th place so all eyes will be on Leipzig adding pressure to them. Having never properly been in a title race. Leipzig’s bottle will be tested to see if they can capitalise on possible dropped points by the country's two biggest sides. They’ve shown they can compete consistently this season, with solid performances in the league as well as in Europe but whether they can keep it up is yet to be seen.
Leipzig ran out easy 4-1 winners in November so Cologne will certainly be looking for revenge. On matchday 12 Leipzig eased to a win with their big stars Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg scoring alongside centre back Konrad Laimer. A humbling defeat and one that Cologne will be looking to remedy and throw a spanner in the works of Leipzig’s title bid.
We are lucky to have this entertainment back in our lives and this month should produce some great games for us all to enjoy. Hopefully, the decision to resume this does not have any repercussions due to the Coronavirus and we can safely return to something normal in our lives. Starting this weekend, enjoy the games with some of the best players in the world and most importantly, stay safe!