After a suspension that lasted more than two months due to Coronavirus pandemic, Bundesliga football in Germany is back.
The Bundesliga returns today with six matches as it becomes the first major European league to continue the game following the COVID-19 suspension.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was convinced by the German Football League (DFL) to allow football to resume by agreeing to submit to an extraordinary set of guidelines to prevent the deadly virus.
The stadiums will have no spectators and silent except for players’ shouts and referees’ whistles.
Whilst the continued virus infection, Germany has suffered far fewer deaths from coronavirus than other large European countries, but it is still too dangerous for crowds to return.
Borussia Dortmund will take on local rivals Schalke 04 in the Ruhr Derby on Saturday.
Dortmund, who can field two of the hottest young talents in the game in Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, are four points behind league leaders Bayern, but they can put the pressure on with three points against their rivals.
It’s not just Dortmund and Bayern competing for the title, though.
RB Leipzig are in third place, a point behind BVB, and their coach Julian Nagelsmann hopes the extended break can provide an advantage in what he described as being a “nine-game tournament”.
“The whole situation is like before a tournament. We all had a short break, then a relaxed phase and now an intense preparation,” he told magazine Kicker.
“We’re going to try to win this nine-game tournament – with the theoretical possibility of finishing first.”
Leipzig restart the season at home to Freiburg.