Robert Lewandowski is out to end his disappointing goals return against Fortuna Dusseldorf as Bayern Munich look to close in on an eighth successive Bundesliga title.

The prolific Poland striker has scored 229 goals in the German top flight over the past decade, but he has never previously netted against Dusseldorf in five attempts.

Bayern head into this weekend's fixture sitting seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who need to quickly respond from their Klassiker defeat when they head to Paderborn.

Elsewhere, third-place RB Leipzig host Cologne on Monday in what will be the first Bundesliga match played in the month of June for 25 years.


FREIBURG V BAYER LEVERKUSEN

- Leverkusen have lost just one of their last nine league encounters with Freiburg and are unbeaten in each of the last five.

- However, Freiburg have not lost any of their last six home Bundesliga meetings with Leverkusen on home soil, with four of the last six finishing goalless.

- Freiburg have won only one of their last seven league games and could go four successive games without a win for the first time this season.


MAINZ V HOFFENHEIM

- Mainz have lost just one of their last seven Bundesliga home games against Hoffenheim, with three of those games ending all square.

- Four or more goals have been scored in eight of the last nine Bundesliga matches between these sides.

- Mainz have conceded a league-high 61 goals this season at a rate of 2.2 per game. They had never previously let in more than 57 across an entire Bundesliga campaign.


SCHALKE V WERDER BREMEN

- Bremen have won more Bundesliga games against Schalke than they have versus any other opponent, claiming victory in 43 of the previous 101 encounters.

- Schalke are winless in 10 Bundesliga games - not since the end of 1996-97, when going 11 games without victory, have they been on a longer-such run.

- Maximilian Eggestein has had a hand in five goals in six league games against Schalke. He has not been directly involved in more than two against any other Bundesliga side.


HERTHA BERLIN V AUGSBURG

- Hertha had gone nine games without defeat against Augsburg prior to their 4-0 loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

- However, the capital club are unbeaten in their seven Bundesliga home games with Augsburg - their longest unbeaten run at home in the top flight against one side.

- Hertha's Marvin Plattenhardt has assisted four goals in his last four league outings, which is more than he accumulated in his previous 31 matches combined (three).


WOLFSBURG V EINTRACHT FRANKFURT

- Wolfsburg have won five of their last seven Bundesliga games against Frankfurt, with the only defeat in that run coming in January 2018.

- Frankfurt average 0.83 points-per-game against Wolfsburg in the German top flight - only against Blau-Weiss 90 Berlin (0.5 after two games) do they have a lower return.

- Maximilian Arnold had a hand in three goals for Wolfsburg against Leverkusen in midweek. His 11 goal involvements this term is a personal best for him in a Bundesliga season.

 

A touch of class #Kimmich #BVBFCB #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/Xdgk5CHLSF

— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 29, 2020 BAYERN MUNICH V FORTUNA DUSSELDORF

- Dusseldorf are winless in each of their last 11 Bundesliga meetings with Bayern - only against Hamburg (12 matches) have they endured a longer winless run in the division.

- Bayern have scored at least three goals in each of their last six league games against Dusseldorf, netting 24 in total at an average of four per game.

- Lewandowski has scored against 17 of the 18 current Bundesliga sides, the exception being Dusseldorf, having failed to score in his previous 381 minutes against them.


BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH V UNION BERLIN

- Gladbach have yet to beat Union, losing both previous competitive encounters, including a 2-0 loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

- Marco Rose's side have tasted defeat in two of their last three league home games - twice as many losses as their previous 11 top-flight matches combined.

- Gladbach have lost only one of their last 19 top-flight home games against promoted sides - 2-1 versus Leipzig in 2016-17 - which is also their only home loss against a Bundesliga debutant this millennium.

 

PADERBORN V BORUSSIA DORTMUND

- Paderborn have failed to win any of their five previous competitive games against Dortmund, a run that includes a 7-1 away loss in the DFB-Pokal four seasons ago.

- However, Dortmund only have a lower win percentage against Bayern (25 per cent) in the entire Bundesliga than they do versus Paderborn (33 per cent).

- Dortmund fired a blank against Bayern are aiming to avoid going back-to-back matches without scoring a Bundesliga goal since March 2015.

 

COLOGNE V RB LEIPZIG

- Out of all the teams Cologne have faced at least twice in the Bundesliga, their loss percentage against Leipzig (60 per cent) is higher than against any other side.

- Cologne are without a win in their last four Bundesliga games - their longest wait for a victory under Markus Gisdol, with all four matches played behind closed doors.

- Leipzig are unbeaten in nine league matches either side of the two-month shutdown, though six of those games have ended in draws.

Union Berlin have announced striker Sebastian Polter will not play for the club again this season due to "unsupportive behaviour".

The Bundesliga side released a statement on Thursday saying the 29-year-old, whose contract expires this year, has played his final match for the club.

He will, however, continue to train with the team.

Club president Dirk Zingler said: "It is one of the fundamental values of 1. FC Union Berlin that we, as Unioner, form a solid, tight-knit community in which we stand up for each other and for our club.

"Sebastian, the only player in the first-team squad, coaching and backroom team, does not do this, unfortunately.

"This is not understandable for us and extremely disappointing. It's my immediate task, during difficult times, to protect the cohesion of the club's employees and squad, so we do not jeopardise the goals on the park.

"We have therefore decided that Sebastian will no longer be part of our matchday squad with immediate effect."

Polter, who joined Union from QPR in 2017, has started only two Bundesliga matches this season.

He has scored twice in 13 appearances in the top flight in 2019-20, in a 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich in October and a 1-0 win over rivals Hertha Berlin in November.

After Borussia Dortmund saw their Bundesliga title hopes seemingly end with defeat to Bayern Munich in the Klassiker, Lucien Favre's side could slide to third place on Wednesday.

A victory for RB Leipzig over Hertha Berlin would take Julian Nagelsmann's team up to second spot in the table.

There are some growing winless runs in the German top flight, with worrying times for the likes of Union Berlin and Hoffenheim.

Alarm bells will be ringing at Schalke, however, if their fruitless streak stretches to 10 games. David Wagner's side tackle third-bottom Fortuna Dusseldorf.

RB LEIPZIG V HERTHA BERLIN

- Leipzig usually enjoy this fixture, having won six of their previous seven Bundesliga matches against Hertha – losing the other 3-2 at home in December 2017. They have won more Bundesliga games against Hertha than against any other side, and have scored 26 goals in those seven previous clashes.

- Leipzig have taken 54 points from 27 matches this Bundesliga season, just shy of the 55 they had at this stage of their debut top-flight campaign in 2016-17.

- Striker Timo Werner has had a hand in 31 Bundesliga goals for Leipzig this season, with 24 goals and seven assists, including a hat-trick against Mainz at the weekend. Since detailed data collection began in 2004-05, no other player has been involved in as many goals at this stage of a season.

- Hertha have been rejuvenated under new boss Bruno Labbadia, with a 3-0 win over Hoffenheim followed by a 4-0 victory against city rivals Union Berlin last Friday. Curiously, every goal in those two games came between the 51st and 77th minutes.

UNION BERLIN V MAINZ

- Mainz parted company with head coach Sandro Schwarz after losing 3-2 when these two teams met in November. It was just Union's second win in seven competitive matches against Mainz.

- Union sit 13th in the Bundesliga but have not won in their past four Bundesliga matches, losing their past three, including a 4-0 derby loss to Hertha. It is their longest winless run in the Bundesliga, albeit this is their first season in the league.

- Mainz must set aside their latest Leipzig humiliation. Their 5-0 loss at the weekend followed an 8-0 defeat to the same opposition earlier in the season. The last Bundesliga team to concede 13 goals in a single season against one team were Ulm in 1999-2000 against Bayer Leverkusen.

- Mainz sit 15th and have conceded a league-high 60 goals this season, more than in any previous season in their existence.

AUGSBURG V PADERBORN

- Augsburg have won four of their past six competitive matches against Paderborn (D1 L1), including a 1-0 success earlier this season when Philipp Max's goal made the difference.

- A 3-0 win at Schalke last time out ended Augsburg's run of four Bundesliga defeats in a row and gave them a first clean sheet in 2020.

- Augsburg have a rocky recent record at home against promoted teams, winning five and losing five of their past 10 such fixtures. The last promoted team they beat at home were Paderborn – 3-0 in November 2014.

- Paderborn sit bottom of the Bundesliga with 18 points from 27 matches. No team with 18 points or fewer at this stage of a season have ever avoided relegation from the league.

HOFFENHEIM V COLOGNE

- Rather a favourite fixture for Hoffenheim, they have won each of their past three Bundesliga games against Cologne and are unbeaten in the past seven in their rivalry. They have only managed to string together a longer sequence of Bundesliga wins against one team – winning five in succession against Hannover from 2013 to 2015.

- Hoffenheim will need to buck the trend of their recent 2019-20 season results, however, having not won in their past seven Bundesliga matches (D3 L4), their longest winless run since going eight games without a victory from October to December in 2015.

- Cologne's Jhon Cordoba scored his 11th goal of the season on matchday 27, a late equaliser against Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday. He has now netted more goals in his 23 appearances this term than in his previous three Bundesliga campaigns combined (10 goals in 69 games).

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF V SCHALKE

- Schalke have lost only one of their past six competitive matches against Fortuna (W3 D2), but that 4-0 home setback in March 2019 will be fresh in the memory.

- Fortuna sit precariously in 16th place but are unbeaten in their past five games (W1 D4) under Uwe Rosler. They have drawn six of eight games under Rosler – the only other coach in Bundesliga history to draw six of his first eight matches was Thorsten Fink with Hamburg in 2011.

- If Fortuna go ahead, they might not stay ahead, having thrown away a league-high 22 points from winning positions this season. However, they face a slumping Schalke side who have gone nine games without a Bundesliga win, scoring just twice in that dismal run.

Quickfire goals from Vedad Ibisevic and Dodi Lukebakio sparked a second-half rout as Hertha Berlin earned the derby bragging rights in a 4-0 win over Union Berlin in Friday's Bundesliga clash.

After a forgettable goalless first half at the Olympiastadion, which was once again without fans in attendance as Germany's top flight began its second weekend back following the enforced hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, captain Ibisevic emphatically headed home Marvin Plattenhardt's left-wing cross in the 51st minute.

Hertha came under fire for their close-proximity celebrations in last week's 3-0 win at Hoffenheim and Ibisevic told his team-mates to mark his goal with socially-distant congratulations, though he did plant a playful headbutt on the chest of Dedryck Boyota, who denied he kissed Marko Grujic on the cheek in the Hoffenheim win.

Just 69 seconds after his goal, Ibisevic played in Lukebakio and he coolly rounded the on-rushing Rafal Gikiewicz before sliding into the empty goal.

A fine outing for Ibisevic continued when he teed up Matheus Cunha, scorer for a fourth Bundesliga game in succession, to brilliantly side-foot into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the box.

Union's misery was compounded when Boyata headed home Plattenhard's corner with 13 minutes to go.

The win saw Hertha move up to 10th, while Union were two places and four points back.

Erling Haaland has a chance to create more Bundesliga history when Borussia Dortmund take on Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Cologne's Mark Uth is another striker on a strong run who will be hoping to help his team pick up a victory over relegation-threatened Fortuna Dusseldorf, while Kai Havertz will be out to maintain his impressive second half of the season.

Bayern remained four points clear at the summit following a victory over Union Berlin on the league's return from a two-month coronavirus stoppage last weekend and are up against Eintracht Frankfurt.

RB Leipzig fell further off the pace and would no doubt welcome a repeat of their Timo Werner-inspired 8-0 thrashing of Mainz from earlier this season when the pair meet again on Sunday.

Ahead of the next round of Bundesliga fixtures, we bring you the best Opta Facts.

FRIDAY
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin
- Hertha lost 1-0 in the previous meeting in November 2019, which was the first time the two clubs faced each other in the Bundesliga. Hertha have never lost two Berlin derbies in a row in professional football.
- Union have won two of their past three Bundesliga away games (2-0 against Werder Bremen and 2-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt), picking up more wins and points than in their first 10 top-flight away matches this season (one win, five points).

SATURDAY
Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen
- Leverkusen have lost each of their last three Bundesliga games against Gladbach – they only ever lost four in a row against the Foals across 1980 and 1981.
- Havertz has recorded 10 of his 13 Bundesliga goal involvements this season in the Ruckrunde. He has had a hand in at least one goal in each of his last five top-flight games (four goals, three assists).

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund
- Wolfsburg have only taken one point from their past nine Bundesliga games against Dortmund – a goalless draw at Signal Iduna Park in January 2018.
- Haaland needed just nine games for his first 10 Bundesliga goals – only Paco Alcacer and Gert Dorfel required fewer matches (both eight). Haaland will equal the top-flight's record with an 11th goal in his 10th outing.

Freiburg v Werder Bremen
- Bremen have a higher winning percentage (56 per cent) and average more goals per game (2.2) against Freiburg than they do against any other current Bundesliga side.
- Werder's 18 points from 25 games represents their worst Bundesliga season. In league history, all of the 37 teams that have had 18 points or fewer after 25 games have been relegated.

Paderborn v Hoffenheim
- Paderborn have failed to score in all five of their competitive matches against Hoffenheim – they have only ever endured a longer barren streak in professional football against Kaiserslautern (six games between 2006 and 2010).
- Paderborn are six points behind 16th-place Fortuna Dusseldorf. Since the introduction of the three-points-per-win rule in 1995-96, no Bundesliga team has made up such a deficit after 26 games.

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt
- Bayern have won each of their last 10 Bundesliga home games against Frankfurt – their longest winning run at home to any current top-flight side.
- Frankfurt are the weakest team away from home in the Bundesliga this season, picking up just seven points. They have lost nine of their 12 away games this term and have yet to keep a clean sheet on the road.

SUNDAY
Schalke v Augsburg

- Schalke have scored just two goals in their past eight Bundesliga games, fewer than any other side in this time frame. They have equalled a negative club record from 1965-66 with just four goals in nine Ruckrunde games.
- Augsburg's Florian Niederlechner has scored four goals in six Bundesliga games against Schalke – more than he has netted against any other top-flight team.

Mainz v RB Leipzig
- At least three goals have been scored in each of the seven Bundesliga meetings between Mainz and Leipzig.
- Mainz have 27 points and a goal difference of -19, which represents their second-worst Bundesliga campaign at this stage – they were only worse off after 26 games in 2017-18 (25 points).

Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf
- It has been nearly 31 years since Dusseldorf's last win away to Cologne in the Bundesliga - they celebrated a 3-1 victory in October 1989.
- Uth has had a hand in a goal in each of his eight Bundesliga games for Cologne (five goals, four assists); his longest such run in the competition.

Robert Lewandowski is being backed to challenge Gerd Muller's record of scoring 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season.

The powerful Pole took his season's tally to 26 goals in 24 league games with a penalty that set Bayern on course for a 2-0 win at Union Berlin on Sunday.

In their first game back after the coronavirus suspension, Bayern were the dominant side without being at their very best.

Lewandowski's influence fluctuated, but he remains the man to whom Bayern look for goals, and head coach Hansi Flick is confident there are plenty more to come in this campaign.

Bayern have just eight games remaining in the league, so it would take a supreme effort for Lewandowski to match or pass Muller, who set the record while playing for Bayern in the 1971-72 season.

But providing Bayern can offer him the right service, Flick does not discount it happening.

"Lewy makes a good impression, I think he is in top form," said Flick.

"Today we failed to incorporate him into our game as much and we have to do that better in general in our offensive game.

"He scored again, is at 26 goals, and has eight games left to break Gerd Muller's record. That is not going to be easy but he has the quality.

"If someone can do it, it's him."

Lewandowski has 40 for the season already, when domestic cup goals and those in the Champions League are taken into account, reaching that mark for a fifth successive season.

While he continues to be feted, Sunday saw Bayern leave room for improvement, as Flick acknowledged.

Their lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund is back up to four points, however the teams go head to head later this month in a game that could yet threaten Bayern's momentum.

Flick said: "We had several opportunities to score, especially in the second half, but we didn't take advantage of them.

"Like for example on counter-attacks when we had some space. That's what we have to do better.

"Of course, we knew that at first not everything would go as planned. But the important thing was that we continued to resist and kept being concentrated and in the end won the game."

Thomas Muller said Bayern Munich's first Bundesliga game since the coronavirus stoppage felt similar to the start of a new season.

After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the suspension of most sport across the globe in March, the Bundesliga became the first major league to return behind closed doors this weekend.

Leaders Bayern triumphed 2-0 at Union Berlin on Sunday, with Robert Lewandowski slotting home a first-half penalty and Benjamin Pavard sealing the victory 10 minutes from time.

For Muller, who had a goal ruled out for offside following a VAR check in the opening period, the occasion led to feelings more akin to the excitement of a new campaign.

"We came with the aim of taking the three points back with us and we've done it," said Muller, quoted on Bayern's official website.

"At certain points there was room for improvement, especially in the first 25 minutes when we had too many long balls.

"That got a little better. With the first goal we had a little more security and should have had more before the break. The game was okay, but it could have been better.

"There was a tingling sensation, like before the first Bundesliga matchday in August.

"We are four points clear and have moved one step closer to our main goal."

Robert Lewandowski had been away longer than the Bundesliga.

But in a world where uncertainty surrounds us, there was still a certain inevitability the Pole would make the difference for Bayern Munich at Union Berlin.

A penalty got him there, after Neven Subotic carelessly booted Leon Goretzka, and Benjamin Pavard's late header made the points safe.

And so that's 40 goals again for Lewandowski, reaching that dizzying mark for a fifth season in succession, with eight Bundesliga games remaining and Champions League and DFB Pokal campaigns to complete.

The striker missed Bayern's three games immediately prior to the German season being suspended in March, after hurting his knee in Bayern's 3-0 hush-hushing of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

But Lewandowski is back in time for Bayern to renew their assault on success at home and in Europe, and given his first 40 goals of the campaign came in just 34 games, what price him making it to the half-century before the season's end?

The penalty, calmly slotted to the bottom right corner after a twitchy run-up, rewarded Bayern for a strong enough first-half showing, one in which they had already seen a Thomas Muller tap-in disallowed after a VAR check.

That had been a classic marginal call - the sort for which we almost became nostalgic during football's grim hiatus.

And of course the goal, when it arrived in the 40th minute, was met by near silence, which is going to take some getting used to.

This is a centenary year for Union's old-school ground, the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei (Stadium of the Old Forestry), and the flag-flying and scarf-waving that is usually such a feature was replaced by the barest of backdrops.

Banks of empty seats can provide colour, but empty terraces speak of bleak times, and there are three major standing areas at Union - one at each end and another running the length of the pitch.

Taking into account the fact each terrace would benefit from a lick of paint, or a truckful, there was a majorly austere vibe to this occasion, and the once-familiar energy and noise isn't returning any time soon.

But Germany could take a bow after an apparently successful weekend. Its decision to bring back the Bundesliga - the first of Europe's major leagues to return - came on the back of the country's seemingly effective steps to control the COVID-19 spread.

The reproduction - or R - rate is reported to be around a manageable 0.75, and while the country is close to reaching 8,000 deaths from the pandemic, that figure is tragically dwarfed elsewhere in Western Europe. The United Kingdom and Italy have passed 30,000 and Spain and France are not far away from that grim mark.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her team have left governments elsewhere pondering their own handling of the crisis, and the Bundesliga has struck a similarly effective tone.

The return of football in South Korea had a sense of the shambolic about it, but in Germany there has been impressive social distancing, substitutes sitting several seats away from each other in the stands, leaving the pitchside dugouts to coaching staff.

Face masks, too, were on show. Besides the players on the field and the head coaches roaming the touchlines, it was difficult to spot anybody not masked up.

It is such small things, however sobering, that seep back into society. It's about setting an example, and given Bayern's trip to the German capital was being broadcast worldwide, it was not a small audience that was witnessing the German way of operating.

Bayern weren't great, incidentally, but their lead is back up to four points after being trimmed by Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

And head coach Hansi Flick has now seen his team plunder 50 goals in his 16 Bundesliga matches since taking charge – a record quick time for reaching the landmark.

An eighth successive Bundesliga title is likely but not inevitable, given Dortmund, with the likes of Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, are such an exciting proposition.

Bayern and Dortmund must still meet in Der Klassiker. Fans or no fans, that should still amount to a great occasion.

But Bayern are now unbeaten in their last 16 matches, interim coach Flick has become permanent coach Flick, and Lewandowski is at it again. The rust will surely fall away.

Beyond Germany, Bayern's great goal-getter might not have the starry cachet of a Messi or a Ronaldo. Within Germany, the last two months have changed nothing: here, they still bow at the feet of king Lewy.

Bayern Munich's 2-0 win over Union Berlin on Sunday saw them reach the 50-goals mark under Hansi Flick in just 16 matches - a new Bundesliga record.

Germany's top division made its return on Saturday after a break of more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But some things just do not seem to change - Bayern were as slick and effective as before the hiatus, easing past a Union side who rarely back down from a tussle.

Robert Lewandowski - who took his individual tally to 40 for the season in all competitions - and Benjamin Pavard got the goals, as Bayern continued where they left off and restored their four-point cushion at the summit.

Flick took over from Niko Kovac in November last year and has overseen an impressive improvement, earning a three-year contract in April.

Robert Lewandowski reached 40 goals for the fifth successive season when he put Bayern Munich 1-0 ahead at Union Berlin on Sunday.

The Bundesliga's most prolific striker made no mistake with a penalty late in the first half, after Leon Goretzka was hacked down in the 39th minute by Neven Subotic.

It took him to 40 goals from just 34 appearances in 2019-20, with Lewandowski again proving his value to the reigning German champions.

Since netting a relatively modest 25 goals in his first season at Bayern in 2014-15, the Poland star has notched successive hauls of 42, 43, 41, 40 and Sunday's spot-kick took him to another 40, with the promise of more to come in 2019-20.

Bayern Munich welcomed back Robert Lewandowski as Hansi Flick's side resumed their Bundesliga title push at Union Berlin.

Almost two-and-a-half months since their last league outing, a 2-0 home win over Augsburg, Flick's men were back on duty in the capital on Sunday.

The break in action, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has allowed Lewandowski to recover from a knee injury.

And the prolific Polish striker was in the starting XI for Sunday's behind-closed-doors clash against mid-table Union, leading the attack with support from Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller.

Head coach Flick, handed that post on a permanent basis since Bayern last played, was missing injured quartet Philippe Coutinho, Corentin Tolisso, Niklas Sule and Javi Martinez.

Union were without their head coach, Urs Fischer, who travelled to Switzerland during the week after the death of his father-in-law. He has since returned to Germany but must pass a coronavirus test early next week before re-joining his squad.

Bayern headed into the game with a one-point lead over Borussia Dortmund, who returned to action with a 4-0 win over Schalke on Saturday.

Bundesliga leaders and defending champions Bayern Munich make their return to action at Union Berlin in Sunday's late kick-off.

The first of Europe's top five leagues to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic, Germany's top flight gets back under way on Saturday.

Bayern could see their advantage at the summit cut to just one point if Borussia Dortmund beat rivals Schalke.

Hansi Flick's side are then involved in one of two Sunday matches - before another follows on Monday.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the key numbers from the final three fixtures of this matchweek.
 

Cologne v Mainz

8 - Mainz have not won on any of their eight Bundesliga trips to Cologne (D4 L4). They have not faced any other side away in the top flight as often without winning. Meanwhile, only against Eintracht Braunschweig (20 games) do Cologne have a better unbeaten home Bundesliga record.

24 - Cologne have won eight of their past 11 league games, losing only to leaders Bayern, second-placed Dortmund and fourth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach. Since matchweek 15, they have collected 24 points - trailing only Bayern (31) and BVB (25).

7 - January loan signing Mark Uth has been involved in at least one goal in each of his first seven league games for Cologne (four goals, four assists).
 

Union Berlin v Bayern Munich

2 - These sides are meeting in a competitive match for just the second time. Their first clash earlier this season ended in a 2-1 Bayern win in Munich.

1866 - Bayern will play their 1866th Bundesliga match, moving level with Hamburg in the all-time list. Only Werder Bremen (1890) have been involved in more top-flight games.

4 - The defending champions have a four-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table for the first time this season. They have never thrown away an advantage this big this late in a season.

3 - Bayern have scored at least three times in each of their past five away league matches, setting a Bundesliga record.

73 - Flick's outfit have 73 goals in their first 25 league games this term. Only Bayern themselves in 1973-74 and 2013-14 (both 24) have topped that tally at this stage of a campaign.

5 - Union have five wins in their past eight home league games, keeping a clean sheet in each of these victories. However, Sunday's hosts have conceded three or more goals in four of their eight matches since the Bundesliga's mid-season break.
 

Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen

62 - Leverkusen have scored more away Bundesliga goals at Werder than they have against any other side.

6 - Bremen have lost their six most recent Bundesliga home games, failing to score in each of their past five at home - setting a pair of unwanted club top-flight records.

21 - Werder have dropped more points from winning positions than any other side in the Bundesliga this season.

19 - Bayer have 19 points from their eight matches since the mid-season break, their joint-best ever start to a Ruckrunde (also 19 points from eight games in 1999-2000).

Bayern Munich will approach Sunday's Bundesliga trip to Union Berlin like any other match, but Hansi Flick knows the league leaders will have the eyes of the world on them.

Germany's top flight will become the first major football competition to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic this weekend.

The Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke is the highlight of Saturday's schedule, but defending champions Bayern - four points clear of BVB at the summit - will return to action in Sunday's only late kick-off.

Speaking at a remote news conference ahead of facing 11th-placed Union, Flick backed Bayern to deal with the weight of expectation and impress.

"Not much will change except for the face masks in the dugout," he told reporters. "We discussed with the players what they can and will expect.

"More than 200 countries will watch the players, so we have a huge audience to whom you can show yourself. We want to deliver a top performance."

Flick will be granted an extra two substitutions - five in total - following an IFAB rule change, and the head coach acknowledges he does not yet know how his players will handle the return to a 90-minute match.

"It's a good question because we don't know if the team can do anything over 90 minutes," he said.

"We trained well and had an internal friendly with three periods of 20 minutes on Sunday. We had a very high intensity there.

"But clearly we all don't know where we are. We have to deal with the situation and let there be no doubt."

Bayern are without injury absentees Philippe Coutinho, Corentin Tolisso and Niklas Sule, yet Javi Martinez is the only other doubt.

"If a player had had concerns, they could have decided not to play - without consequences," Flick said. "But we are all there except for the injured."

He added of Barcelona loanee Coutinho: "In the last few weeks before the break, Philippe has already shown what qualities he has.

"You noticed in training that he arrived differently in the team. He is very sensitive and an excellent football player.

"I really enjoy working with him. We hope that he can be involved again soon."

The Bundesliga is back and the new schedule has been confirmed by the German Football League (DFL).

After the German government on Wednesday granted permission for the top two tiers to return behind closed doors, DFL chief executive Christian Seifert confirmed games will get back under way on May 16.

The Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke will headline the first group of matches, while league leaders Bayern Munich are in action next Sunday and Bayer Leverkusen will travel to Werder Bremen the following day.

The rest of the Bundesliga season has also been mapped out, with the eight rounds of fixtures – and Werder's game in hand against Eintracht Frankfurt – to be contested before the final day on June 27.

 

Matchday 26 (all times local):
May 16 – 15:30: Borussia Dortmund v Schalke
May 16 – 15:30: RB Leipzig v Freiburg
May 16 – 15:30: Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin
May 16 – 15:30: Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn
May 16 – 15:30: Augsburg v Wolfsburg
May 16 – 18:30: Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach
May 17 – 15:30: Cologne v Mainz
May 17 – 18:00: Union Berlin v Bayern Munich
May 18 – 20:30: Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen

Matchday 27 (from May 22-24):
Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt
Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen
Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin
Mainz v RB Leipzig
Freiburg v Werder Bremen
Schalke v Augsburg
Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf
Paderborn v Hoffenheim

Matchday 28 (May 26-27):
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich
RB Leipzig v Hertha Berlin
Bayer Leverkusen v Wolfsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt v Freiburg
Werder Bremen v Borussia Monchengladbach
Hoffenheim v Cologne
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Schalke
Augsburg v Paderborn
Union Berlin v Mainz

Matchday 29 (May 29-June 1):
Bayern Munich v Fortuna Dusseldorf
Borussia Monchengladbach v Union Berlin
Wolfsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt
Hertha Berlin v Augsburg
Mainz v Hoffenheim
Freiburg v Bayer Leverkusen
Schalke v Werder Bremen
Cologne v RB Leipzig
Paderborn v Borussia Dortmund

Matchday 24 (June 2/3):
Werder Bremen v Eintracht Frankfurt

Matchday 30 (June 5-8):
Borussia Dortmund v Hertha Berlin
RB Leipzig v Paderborn
Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich
Eintracht Frankfurt v Mainz
Werder Bremen v Wolfsburg
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Hoffenheim
Freiburg v Borussia Monchengladbach
Augsburg v Cologne
Union Berlin v Schalke

Matchday 31 (June 12-14):
Bayern Munich v Borussia Monchengladbach
Wolfsburg v Freiburg
Hoffenheim v RB Leipzig
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Borussia Dortmund
Hertha Berlin v Eintracht Frankfurt
Mainz v Augsburg
Schalke v Bayer Leverkusen
Cologne v Union Berlin
Paderborn v Werder Bremen

Matchday 32 (June 16-17):
Borussia Dortmund v Mainz
RB Leipzig v Fortuna Dusseldorf
Bayer Leverkusen v Cologne
Borussia Monchengladbach v Wolfsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt v Schalke
Werder Bremen v Bayern Munich
Freiburg v Hertha Berlin
Augsburg v Hoffenheim
Union Berlin v Paderborn

Matchday 33 (all at 15:30 local time on June 20):
Bayern Munich v Freiburg
RB Leipzig v Borussia Dortmund
Hoffenheim v Union Berlin
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Augsburg
Hertha Berlin v Bayer Leverkusen
Mainz v Werder Bremen
Schalke v Wolfsburg
Cologne v Eintracht Frankfurt
Paderborn v Borussia Monchengladbach

Matchday 34 (all at 15:30 local time on June 27):
Borussia Dortmund v Hoffenheim
Bayer Leverkusen v Mainz
Borussia Monchengladbach v Hertha Berlin
Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich
Eintracht Frankfurt v Paderborn
Werder Bremen v Cologne
Freiburg v Schalke
Augsburg v RB Leipzig
Union Berlin v Fortuna Dusseldorf

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