If you were looking to find anything to watch this weekend well you’re in luck. Last week the Bundesliga, Germany’s Top Flight League, announces that they will resume matches the weekend of the 16th, and it’s finally here. If you’re new to German soccer we here at Downtown Sports Network have you covered. In this article, Downtown Sports Network will give you three must-watch games for the Bundesliga this weekend.
Borussia Dortmund vs FC Schalke 04
If you had to pick a weekend to begin watching the Bundesliga, you picked a good one to start. The first game features the Revierderby between rivals Borussia Dortmund, and FC Schalke 04.
The first-ever matchup between these two clubs began back May 3, 1925, over 95 years ago, where FC Schalke won the first game 4-2. That speaks to how long this derby has been going on that it’s creeping up on 100 years between the two sides. The all-time series belongs to FC Schalke with a 60-43-52 record. The previous game between the two happened back in October where it finished with a 0-0 draw.
What makes this game important, besides it being a derby between rivals, is that European implications are on the line and points in the table. Germany as a whole sends the top four teams to the Champions League, 5th place gets in Europa League automatically, and 6th place has to go through a Europa Qualification process.
That is important to know because Borussia Dortmund is in second place with 51 points, four behind league leaders Bayern Munich (55). A win for Dortmund gets them one point behind Bayern with eight games left after this weekend. On the other hand, FC Schalke is in 6th place with 37 points, 10 points behind 5th place Bayer Leverkusen (47) who hold the automatic spot for the Europa League. Although, with nine games left including this weekend, that’s a tall order for Schalke to make that kind of a comeback with so little time but still doable.
This derby as a whole outside of the table (standings) is that this is one of Germany’s fiercest rivalries that always catches people’s attention not only in Germany but around the world as well. The game starts at 8:30 am eastern time so it’s definitely a good start to the weekend with a rivalry game with a lot on the line.
RB Leipzig vs SC Freiburg
Another game to keep an eye on is third-place RB Leipzig vs eighth place SC Freiburg. Unlike Dortmund, and Schalke, these two aren’t rivals but points in the table are on the line for these two teams.
RB Leipzig is in third place with 50 points only one behind Borussia Dortmund, and five behind Bayern Munich. If Leipzig gets the win and all three points that would get them above Dortmund and only two points behind Bayern for the league lead. Furthermore, it would cement them with a very high chance of making it into the Champions League next season as well. As of now, Leipzig doesn’t have any Bundesliga titles but they still have a chance to make a push with eight games left if they win tomorrow against SC Freiburg.
Although, don’t overlook SC Freiburg’s place in the table as the team did manage to beat RB Leipzig in their last matchup back in October with a 2-1 victory at home. Even though the game tomorrow will be at RB Leipzig, Freiburg still look to capture the season double (sweep). They are currently in 8th place with 36 points, only one behind 6th place FC Schalke (37). A win for Freiburg will leapfrog them about Schalke for sixth place and a possible chance for the Europa League Qualifiers as well. That goes back to why Schalke will need to beat Dortmund tomorrow or they could fall back to possibly between 7th and 9th. That is why this game matters to watch this weekend because of the implications of where teams will be with eight matches to go.
The game will be at 8:30 am.
1. FC Köln vs 1. FSV Mainz 05
The last matchup to highlight is the first Sunday game between 1. FC Köln vs 1. FSV Mainz 05. This matchup is mainly for positions within the table as Köln are in 10th place with 32 points, and Mainz in 15th with 26 points, four points from a relegation playoff (demotion to Bundesliga 2).
Köln at one point this season was dead last in the league but have rallied to be in 10th place before the league was suspended due to Covid-19. The last few seasons have seen the club bounce back and forth between Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. But, this season it looks like a good possibility the club has gotten some form of consistency and hopes to stay for more than one season in the top flight. A win for Köln would see them jump to possibly 9th in the table which doesn’t seem much but it gets them farther away from the relegation zone, and relegation playoffs.
1. FSV Mainz 05, on the other hand, are only one point away from the relegation playoff. The relegation playoff is where the third-place team in Bundesliga 2 has a two-leg home-and-home matchup with the 16th place team in the Bundesliga. Whoever wins will either get promoted to the Bundesliga, and demoted to Bundesliga 2, or they stay in their respective leagues for another season. Mainz can not afford to lose points when they are followed closely behind by Fortuna Düsseldorf who is only one point back.
Grant it this game doesn’t have European place implications or winning the league, but staying in the Bundesliga with the tv revenue and exposure means so much to these clubs. That is why Köln vs Mainz is a good starter for the two Sunday games after a hectic Saturday slate to restart the Bundesliga.
Game is at 8:30am.
If you do get a chance to watch any live sports this weekend, hopefully, it is the Bundesliga because the atmosphere is unlike any other. Furthermore, with there only being nine games left in the season with a lot on the line, tensions will be high. There are other games to watch as well but hopefully, these three are a good starting point for the weekend.
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