Episode VI: Return of the Bundesliga

Ok, no. It's not a new Star Wars movie. But maybe it's almost as good.


The Bundesliga returns tomorrow after a hiatus that stretches back to March 11. Games begin at 9:30 a.m. EST and I haven’t been this excited in a while. 


Live major sports: back.


Rejoice.


Whether you’re a German football junkie or new to the game just so you can watch live sports again, here’s everything you need to know about the return of the Bundesliga.


Current standings

Surprise, surprise, Bayern Munich is top of the table. Just like it has been for each of the last seven seasons. But unlike some other years, it’s not a runaway just yet.

The top of the league was clustered for much of the first half of the season, with no real frontrunner emerging even as of now. 


Five teams still have a legitimate shot of winning the title. From Bayern in 1st to Bayer Leverkusen in 5th. With nine gameweeks remaining, the title race is hitting its hot point at the perfect time.


The top four teams qualify for the Champions League. Fifth place qualifies for the Europa League and sixth goes through Europa League qualifying in the summer. 


At the other end of the table, the relegation battle is far from decided. Newly promoted Paderborn looks the most likely to go down, sitting 10 points from safety. 

In the Bundesliga, the bottom two sides get relegated automatically. The 16th place finishers play a relegation playoff with the 3rd place team in Bundesliga 2. 


Rule changes

All of the base rules for the game still apply. Fouls are still fouls, yellow and red cards will be given out, the field size remains the same. 

The one big change is the switch from three allowed substitutions per team to five.

Every team will be allowed five substitutions per game, at three opportunities throughout the game in an effort to reduce any time-wasting. 


Coronavirus cautions