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Bundesliga is back: All you need to know about German Bundesliga

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With nearly every major sports league across the world still on hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Bundesliga resumes this weekend following a two-month absence. Ahead of Saturday’s return to the pitch, here’s everything you need to know about German soccer’s top flight.

Where and when to watch?

The season returns on Saturday, May 16 with a half-dozen matches broadcast by FOX Sports in the United States and Sportsnet in Canada. Both networks will also stream matches online.

Schedule for this weekend’s games

DATEMATCHTIME (ET)TV
May 16Borussia Dortmund vs. Schalke9:30 a.m.FS1 and Sportsnet
May 16RB Leipzig vs. Freiburg9:30 a.m.FS2 and SN World
May 16Augsburg vs. Wolfsburg9:30 a.m.Fox Soccer Plus and SN1
May 16Hoffenheim vs. Hertha Berlin9:30 a.m.Fox Soccer Match Pass and SN World Plus
May 16Fortuna Dusseldorf vs. Paderborn9:30 a.m.Fox Soccer Match Pass and SN World Plus
May 16Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Monchengladbach12:30 p.m.FS1 and Sportsnet
May 17FC Koln vs. Mainz9:30 a.m.FS1 and Sportsnet
May 17Union Berlin vs. Bayern Munich12:00 p.m.FS1 and Sportsnet
May 18Werder Bremen vs. Bayer Leverkusen2:30 p.m.FS2 and Sportsnet

Borussia Dortmund’s matchup with bitter foes Schalke is the standout fixture, as the clash represents one of the fiercest rivalries in European soccer.

Testing, quarantine, and other logistics

All eyes are on the Bundesliga, which, besides attracting fans desperate for sporting action, will also be a reference point for other major leagues looking to restart play amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The German Football League (DFL) has employed a task force to kick-start the resumption of the 2019-20 campaign. Matches will be played at empty stadiums and 25,000 tests will be used to check players, coaches, and first-team staff. Players are tested twice a week and before each match, and all first-team staff for the league’s 18 clubs have been isolated as part of seven-day training camps leading up to Saturday’s restart.

In the event of a positive coronavirus test for a player or staff member, a 14-day quarantine period will be imposed.

How is the season shaping up?

For 16 of the league’s 18 sides, there are 11 matches left on the docket – Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen each have a match in hand. Plans are to have the domestic campaign completed by the end of July before European competitions resume in August.

When the season is completed, the top four teams qualify for the Champions League, while the fifth- and sixth-place sides book spots in next season’s Europa League. A third Europa League berth is allocated to the winner of the German domestic cup, the DFB-Pokal.

Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency / Getty

The bottom two sides are automatically relegated to the second tier, 2. Bundesliga, while the 16th-place team and the third-place team from the second division play a two-legged playoff at season’s end to secure a position in the top flight.

Here’s what the Bundesliga table has looked like since the league halted operations on March 13:

# Team MP W D L F A G P
1 Bayern Munich 34 26 4 4 100 32 +68 82
2 Borussia Dortmund 34 21 6 7 84 41 +43 69
3 RB Leipzig 34 18 12 4 81 37 +44 66
4 Borussia Mönchengladbach 34 20 5 9 66 40 +26 65
5 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 34 19 6 9 61 44 +17 63
6 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 34 15 7 12 53 53 +0 52
7 Wolfsburg 34 13 10 11 48 46 +2 49
8 SC Freiburg 34 13 9 12 48 47 +1 48
9 Eintracht Frankfurt 34 13 6 15 59 60 -1 45
10 Hertha BSC 34 11 8 15 48 59 -11 41
11 Union Berlin 34 12 5 17 41 58 -17 41
12 Schalke 04 34 9 12 13 38 58 -20 39
13 1. FSV Mainz 05 34 11 4 19 44 65 -21 37
14 1. FC Köln 34 10 6 18 51 69 -18 36
15 Augsburg 1907 34 9 9 16 45 63 -18 36
16 Werder Bremen 34 8 7 19 42 69 -27 31
17 Fortuna Dusseldorf 34 6 12 16 36 67 -31 30
18 Paderborn 34 4 8 22 37 74 -37 20