Bundesliga Matchday 26 preview: Behind closed doors


We live in difficult times right now. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) virus pandemic going on, several sports around the world have cancelled or suspended events over the next few months. At the time of this writing, the Bundesliga is proceeding with all nine matches this weekend to be played behind closed doors with over 2,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Germany right now. 

Last Wednesday saw the first-ever Bundesliga match before an empty stadium as Borussia Mönchengladbach defeated FC Cologne, 2-1 to move back into fourth place. RB Leipzig were able to play their Champions League tie with Tottenham Hotspur with an audience and advance to the quarter finals while Borussia Dortmund played PSG at an empty house at the Parc-de-Princes and fell, 3-2, on aggregate.

Eintracht Frankfurt played their Europa League match against FC Basel, losing 3-0. The second leg of the tie is schedule to also be at the Frankfurt-Stadion due to COVID-19 restrictions in Switzerland. Bayer Leverkusen played Rangers before a crowd at Ibrox, winning 3-1. 

We now present an abbreviated preview of Matchday 26 (All times CT) since it is apparent that these matches will go ahead in front of empty stadia for the foreseeable future. 


Dusseldorf are trying to get out of the danger zone while Paderborn is trying to get off the bottom. Fortuna have just one win in 2020 while Paderborn have lost four on the bounce. Paderborn has never won a game on Friday night in the Bundesliga (three draws, three losses).

BORUSSIA DORTMUND vs. SCHALKE  (Saturday at 9:30am, Fox Soccer Plus)

BVB will look to close the gap between themselves and Bayern Munich at the top while Schalke, winless in their last seven, are looking to consolidate their top six position. This will be the first Revierderby to be played behind closed doors after the lowest this match has ever drawn was 27,000.

RB LEIPZIG vs. SC FREIBURG (Saturday at 9:30am, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Red Bull Arena in Leipzig will be empty for this match unlike on Tuesday night when they vanquished Spurs. They will be looking to consolidate their top four spot after a goalless draw last weekend against Wolfsburg. Freiburg ended a three-match winless streak with victory over Union Berlin and enter this match one point off sixth-place Schalke.

HOFFENHEIM vs. HERTHA BERLIN (Saturday at 9:30am, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Hoffenheim are two points out of sixth despite being winless in their last five in league fixtures. The PreZero Arena has not been a happy hunting ground for the hosts losing seven of 13 there. Hertha are unbeaten in their last five away matches as they look to distance themselves from the bottom three some more. However, they have won just once in their last 12 vs. Hoffenheim.

FC COLOGNE vs. MAINZ (Saturday at 9:30am, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Despite losing on Wednesday, the Billy Goats remain tenth and are likely to be playing in the top flight next season. They had won three straight prior to Wednesday at Borussia Park. Mainz were pegged back late last week by Fortuna and ended up losing goalkeeper Robin Zentner for the rest of the season with a ligament injury on his knee. Florian Muller will deputize for the rest of the year. 

UNION BERLIN vs. BAYERN MUNICH (Saturday at 12:30pm, Fox Soccer Plus)

Union are also likely to remain in the top flight next season as they are currently 11th in the table. They have a tall order against a Bayern side who have their biggest lead of the season at four points as they seek their eighth straight title. They are unbeaten in their last 15 in all competitions (11 in the Bundesliga).


After netting 10 points out of 12 to start the Ruckrunde, Frankfurt have lost three straight. Yes, they are in the Pokal semi final and in Europa League, but their dip in league form has seen the fall to 12th in the table and just six points clear of the danger zone. The Foals are after their seventh away win of the season as they look to consolidate their top four credentials after winning their rearranged fixture with FC Cologne.

FC AUGSBURG vs. WOLFSBURG  (Sunday at 12:00pm, FS2)

Heiko Herrlich takes over for Martin Schmidt as Augsbug look to stop their winless run at five and keep them from the danger zone. Wolfsburg are looking to crack into the top six, but will have to make do without Wouf Weghorst who is suspended due to yellow-card accumulation. 


The Green-Whites have ten matches left to save their top flight status. They will not be helped by the absences of Jiri Pavlenka (groin) and Davy Klassen (yellow cards). They have lost their last six at the Weser-Stadion and haven’t scored in their last five there. Leverkusen are looking to enter the top four after earning a 3-1 advantage in their Europa League tie with Glasgow Rangers. They have earned the third most points (19) in the Ruckrunde behind Bayern (22) and Dortmund (21), both of whom Diie Werkself have beaten this season.


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