Bundesliga is Back - The story so far

The German Bundesliga is returning this weekend, making it the first major European football league to resume amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

The eyes of the world are sure to turn upon it in ore, jealousy and perhaps worry for the player's safety.

However, The German Football League (DFL), are sure they have done everything to protect their players, announcing that they will be tested twice a week, enter the field alone, and use three team buses to adhere to social distancing.

So, it might not be the return of their Saturday afternoon rituals, or yours - watching your own beloved football team - but when all else fails, beggars can’t be choosers.

Whether you are new to the Bundesliga season or just need a recap of what happened in the first eight months before it was brought to a halt, here is all you need to know about the season so far.

August – Start as we mean to go on…

As always, the league hit the ground running in August with the Super Cup, which is played between the winners of the league and the winners of the German Cup.

However, just like everything in the 2019/20 season, even that wasn’t straight forward - with Bayern Munich doing the domestic double last season and leaving them without an opponent for the Super Cup.

Borussia Dortmund, last season’s league runners’ up, were called upon for the occasion, with new signings Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard making them the favourites.

Dortmund didn’t disappoint either, beating Bayern 2-0, before going on to complete the first month of the league unbeaten, just as RB Leipzig did.

At the other end of the table, newly promoted SC Paderborn struggled to rise to the occasion, finding themselves already in the relegation battle alongside SV Werder Bremen and Hertha BSC.

September – Oh dear, Dortmund…

As the second month of contest began, Dortmund went from being favourites and beating the reigning champions, to sitting mid-table, leaving their manager, Lucien Favre under extreme scrutiny.

Leipzig also slipped up for the first time, losing 3-1 to Schalke at the later end of the month, allowing Bayern to capitalise on their loss and Dortmund’s misfortune to top the table.

Things weren’t much better for Paderborn either, who still remained adrift at the bottom of the table having not won a single game in September.

October – The big two?

Even if you don’t normally watch the Bundesliga, football fans always know of the big two teams: Dortmund and Bayern, who win everything, but October was a little bit different.

For Bayern, it started with a 2-1 defeat at home to Hoffenheim. Followed by a 2-2 draw away at Augsburg.

Dortmund and Leipzig continued on their downward spirals, and their strong starts in August began to seem a thing of the past.

Taking advantage of the ‘the big two’ and Leipzig’s mistakes, Borussia Mönchengladbach were able to finish the month as league leaders with two wins in October.

November – Out with the old, in with the new

When things go wrong in football, who is the first person to see the door?

The manager.

‘Out with the old and in with the new’ was the new motto of the Bundesliga, after last month’s worrying displays across the board.

Starting with Bayern’s Niko Kovac, three managers lost their jobs within seven days in November, including Achim Beierlorzer and Sandro Schwarz who left their teams respectively, FC Köln and FSV Mainz, battling in the relegation zone.

December – The rebuild

Bayern, Leipzig and Dortmund now all looked to be back on track in the league, and in the Champions League, as they all progressed to the next round.

Now playing under Hans-Dieter Flick, Bayern were beginning to find their way again, after losing the first two games in the month, they then beat Freiburg and Wolfsburg.

Leipzig dropped only two points in the whole of December, and found themselves back on top of the Bundesliga, just in time for the winter break.

Another team to benefit from their new manager was Köln, who started to pick up some points winning four of their five league games this month, but their rise came at Düsseldorf’s decline leaving them to fall into the relegation zone.

January – All hail Haaland

The end of the winter break and the start of the transfer season came in January, and it was Dortmund who capitalised.

They brought in 19-year-old striker, Erling Braut Haaland. A prolific striker who had scored 16 goals in 14 appearances in Austria’s top division, for FC Red Bull Salzburg.

Speculation began back in September, when Haaland scored a hattrick in Champions League, about whether he could be the next Ibrahimović. And he certainly lived up to the comparison when he joined Dortmund.

The Norwegian striker scored five goals in his first two appearances in the league and began to challenge both Robert Lewandowski and Timo Werner in the race to finish top goal scorer.

February – The title race heats up

The Haaland effect continued to help keep Dortmund in the title race, as with his help the side managed 25 goals in just seven Bundesliga games following the return from the winter break.

The side won four games in February, with their biggest victory coming against Union Berlin; 5-0.

It wasn’t enough to put them at the top of the table though, as Bayern continued to lead the way leaving Leipzig also chasing their tails.

Newly promoted, Köln and Union Berlin were now on course to stay afloat with the big boys for one more season, as both teams moved into a mid-table position.

March - The unexpected pause

Only one matchday was played in March before the Coronavirus caused all DFL games to be postponed on Friday 13th – unlucky for some.

Bayern’s result against Augsburg ensured they maintained their top spot during the indefinite pause, and Dortmund managed to leap-frog Leipzig into second place after their 2-1 victory over Mönchengladbach.

Paderborn and Bremen didn’t go into the break as confident though, as they were left hanging in the relegation zone waiting for the league to resume so they could have one more go at clenching survival.

Bayern’s fight to stay on top, and Paderborn’s struggle to stay afloat, recommences this weekend. As the Bundesliga restarts behind closed doors.

It has been one of the most contested seasons in years, and you would be a fool to miss it.

Where to watch it?

Good news for all you BT Sport subscribers! All Bundesliga games will be televised over the course of the weekend. From Saturday's 2.30pm Revierderby between Dortmund and Shalke 04, to Monday night's showdown between Werder Bremen and Bayern Leverkusen.

This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk