Bayern series, outsiders and Corona | Radio Dresden

Berlin (AP) – League leaders FC Bayern Munich opened the second half of the Bundesliga against old rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday. Until May 14th, they will play against relegation and for the European Cup places.

Also for the championship, of course, but the prospects for those pursuing the Munich team are extremely poor this season, even in winter. A great stranger still plays along.

Who will be the German champion?

The question hardly arises in view of Bayern’s lead. Followers Borussia Dortmund would have to catch up nine points and a number of goals in the second half of the season to prevent the Munich team from winning their tenth title in a row. That would take a medium-sized football miracle. Because even if the record champions remain weakened by corona infections – the Bayern B squad is strong enough to hold its own against most of the competitors.

Which team surprises?

In a positive sense, hardly anyone would have expected the strong performance of SC Freiburg so far. In the anniversary season of coach Christian Streich, the Breisgauer start on Saturday (3.30 p.m. / Sky) against Arminia Bielefeld as third in the second half of the table. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt and 1. FC Union Berlin (places five to seven) also want to confirm their good streak. On the other hand, the former championship candidate RB Leipzig, currently tenth, VfL Wolfsburg (13th) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (14th) have to make amends. At the bottom of the table, SpVgg Greuther Fürth has little hope of staying in the class, the gap to VfB Stuttgart on the relegation place is already twelve points.

What role does Corona play?

Even before Bayern’s opening game against Mönchengladbach on Friday evening (8.30 p.m. / Sat.1 and DAZN), numerous clubs reported numerous corona cases. The Omikron variant also puts a strain on sport. Before the season, the clubs had agreed that games would be staged if “at least 15 licensed players and / or amateurs / contract players in the licensed team are available”. So far, no game has been rescheduled in the top division. But there is not much space in the appointment calendar either. After all: towards spring, the Corona experts are cautiously making hopeful predictions about the pandemic.

Which club plays in which European Cup?

In the Champions League, all hopes rest on FC Bayern, who will play the first leg against Red Bull Salzburg in the round of 16 on February 16. One class lower in the Europa League, Borussia Dortmund (against Glasgow Rangers) and RB Leipzig (against Real Sociedad) first have to pass the playoffs for the round of 16 in February. Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen are already qualified for this. In the third-class Conference League, there is no longer a German club after Union Berlin’s exit.

What’s next after the season?

One week after the last match day, the DFB Cup final will take place on May 21, 2022. The Europa League final will take place in Seville three days earlier, and the Champions League final will take place in St. Petersburg on May 28th. The national players have no time to regenerate afterwards – the next game in the Nations League is already on June 4th for the selection of the German Football Association. After the game in Italy there will be a kind of mini-tournament against England (June 7th), Hungary (June 11th) and the Italians (June 14th). The Bundesliga season 2022/23 begins on August 5, one week after the first round in the DFB-Pokal.

And otherwise?

As always, there are a number of topics that keep fans and clubs busy outside of the actual games. The return of Bayern star Joshua Kimmich after his corona infection, for example. Or the transfer theater around BVB striker Erling Haaland, which should be entertaining until the summer. In addition, the conflict about how to deal with the 50 + 1 rule continues to smolder in the background, according to which the parent associations must always have the majority of the votes in order to prevent excessive influence from external donors. In addition, the 2022 World Cup is getting closer and closer to the end of the year (November 21 to December 18) – the debate on human rights and boycotts is unlikely to decrease.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220105-99-604420 / 3

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