BUNDESLIGA fanatic Jonny O'Sullivan (@libero_the) oversees the best bets from Saturday's 2.30pm kick-offs.
Football is back!
We can have a temporary break from our unlimited exercising time and a non-family game of cricket in the park and do what we have all been yearning for; sitting on the couch and watching football.
Fans across the world will no doubt be scrambling to get a team to get behind in the upcoming weeks as proceedings will hopefully run smoothly in what will be the most welcome of distractions to the nightmare we currently exist in.
Before Armageddon arrived, Bayern Munich took a four-point lead at the top of the table, with Borussia Dortmund four points behind. RB Leipzig and the surprise package of the season, Borussia Monchengladbach, sit in third and fourth respectively and still have a legitimate shout for the title, should Bayern collapse. Bayer Leverkusen's recent resurgence has resulted in them chasing Champions League spots.
At the bottom, Paderborn, Werder Bremen and Fortuna Dusseldorf are in a battle for survival as all three times have been cut adrift from the rest of the pack. Both Bremen and Paderborn have not won in their last five, with each side only picking up one point each.
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke | Saturday 16th May 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
The Revierderby is the perfect match to restart the Bundesliga season. Two clubs with different ambitions and a bitter rivalry will be going head-to-head. Sadly, this derby will be lacking one of the key ingredients to make it a tasty affair – the fans.
However, what is on offer is an abundance of attacking talent which will excite any neutral. Jadon Sancho, Jullian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard and Erling Haaland provide Dortmund with firepower that could be too hot to handle for any major side in the world. Schalke have plenty of talent themselves, particularly in the form of Armine Harit, who has been delightful to watch this season, providing plenty of ‘clutch' moments.
Even so, the weight of the firepower falls heavily in Dortmund's favour. They have scored the second-most amount of goals in the league (68 in 25 matches) and have threats coming from every angle. Sancho has provided 15 assists and scored 14 times and has no doubt been their standard performer.
Brandt will be performing from a deeper position, due to Axel Witsel and Emre Can being unavailable, which will allow the Dortmund's flying wingback's to have an even more prominent role in the team, providing a relentless option. The duo of Raphael Guerreiro and Achraf Hakimi have been sensational all season, scoring five goals and creating 12 goals.
No doubt even further attention will be on Haaland as the giant phenomenon has an opportunity to further showcase his prolific instinct. The Norwegian striker has nine goals in just 512 Bundesliga minutes and will relish performing against a defence who is lacking Ozan Kabak, arguably their best defensive player this season.
Dortmund has scored 31 goals in their last 10 Bundesliga matches and, if fitness is not too much of a concern, it would be surprising if the goalscoring came to. halt.
Schalke are currently without a win in their last six. Some of those defeats left little room for positivity, such as a 3-0 loss away to Mainz and 5-0 home defeat to Dortmund's competition rivals, RB Leipzig. Although they still cling onto a European place, Schalke will be looking over the shoulders at the likes of Wolfsburg, Freiburg and Hoffenheim, who are all within three points of the Royal Blues, and so catching Leverkusen seems an impossible dream right now.
Schalke have only managed to score one goal in their last seven Bundesliga matches and are facing a Dortmund team who have been left to stew on a 2-0 defeat in Paris for two months. It appears an impossible task for Schalke to overcome their rivals who are filled with so much talent and raw aggression.
If fitness is not too much of an issue, then a win without the added pressure of fans in the stadium appears a formality for Dortmund, who certainly have a lot of young players looking to put on a show in front of millions of extra fans on Saturday. My preferred plays are Dortmund to score Over 2.5 Goals (8/5 Bet365) and Dortmund to win to nil (2/1 SkyBet).
RB Leipzig v Freiburg | Saturday 16th May 2020, 14:30 | BT Sport
With nine games to go, Leipzig will consider themselves in the thick of a title race. Despite being priced at over 10/1 to win the league, they have always maintained an aggressive stance at the top end of the table, with the likes of Timo Werner scoring goals for fun.
With the devastating blend of the firepower of the aforementioned Werner and having the joint-best defence in the league, Leipzig should not consider themselves lucky to be in the position they find themselves in. Knocking out Tottenham with considerable ease before the unscheduled break proved what a superb outfit they are.
A team who is in superb form in the league, as well as across the continent, Leipzig are unbeaten in their last eight home matches, winning six of them. Although having no fans will bring with it a strange element to the match, the quality of Leipzig's players under the leadership of Nagelsmann, one of the most exciting young coaches in world football, should flourish.
When Leipzig win in the Bundesliga, they usually comfortably brush their opponents aside. The hosts have won 14 games this season and 12 of them have been with a cushion of two or more goals. This is matched with Freiburg losing by a margin of two or more goals in six of their last eight defeats and so taking the hosts to cover the -1 handicap appeals at evens with Betway.
Football will be a welcome break from Werner flirting with other clubs in front of Leipzig's eyes and he can get back to doing what he does best- scoring goals. There is no doubt that he will be keen to resume where he left off if he is keen for a move to the Premier League whenever the transfer market will allow him to get his move.
The German international has scored 21 goals in 25 matches this season and will be a key figure in anything Leipzig can achieve this season. It would be no surprise if his hunger for goals will be a key feature in Saturday's action and the 3/1 (SkyBet) to score twice or more stands out.
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke – Borussia Dortmund to score Over 2.5 Goals (8/5 Bet365)
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke – Borussia Dortmund to win to nil (2/1 SkyBet)
RB Leipzig v Freiburg – RB Leipzig -1 handicap (1/1 Betway)
RB Leipzig v Freiburg – Timo Werner to score two or more goals (3/1 SkyBet)