It's over! The long winter break is finally behind us! The Bundesliga returns on Friday, bringing its many goals and lax approach to defending. While Bayern Munich have practically already been crowned champions, many questions remain: Can Wolfsburg remain in the top three? When will Schalke melt down again? Are Hamburg ever going to go away? And, perhaps the biggest question of all ... what on Earth will happen with Dortmund?
Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich
Watch: GOLTV USA, MyGermanTV + (USA), BT Sport 2 (UK), ARD Das Erste, TeleClub Sport Live, Sky Go Deutschland (Germany)
Rarely does it happen that the difference in quality between the first and the second team on the table is as big as it is in the Bundesliga, but it would be wrong to assume that Wolfsburg will just turn over and let Bayern do their thing. Both sides seem almost incapable of playing out low-scoring games, and although it's likely Wolfsburg's defense will crack, there's at least the hope that the hosts can pull one over on the league's giants. Really, what excuse do you have not to watch this game?
Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund
Watch: GOLTV USA, Fubo TV (USA), BT Sport 1 (UK), TeleClub Sport Live, Sky Go Deutschland, Sky Bundesliga 1/HD (Germany)
Half of the season is behind us, but no, we just can't get used to the fact that Dortmund is second ... from the bottom. They cannot stay there until the end of the season (they can't, right?) but just avoiding relegation is not going to satisfy BVB fans. A second-half run to the European spots seems like mission impossible at the moment, but Dortmund aren't actually that far from starring in their own feel-good movie, and with a win away against one of the league's best teams, who knows? Leverkusen, however, will be highly aware of the many teams trying to sneak into third, and will likely take much pleasure in derailing Dortmund's dreams.
Plus, if you add together Dortmund's desperation and Leverkusen's need to achieve and mix it all up with their rather open styles of play, there's bound to be the potential for either excitement or lots of laughs. Or both!
Augsburg vs Hoffenheim
GOLTV USA, BT Sport 1 (UK), TeleClub Sport Live, Sky Go Deutschland, Sky Bundesliga 1/HD (Germany)
The first two games were obvious choices, but you might be asking yourself ... why choose this game to watch? Well, first of all, you should make it a point to always watch Hoffenheim. In what might be the funnest league, they are possibly the funnest team. They score a lot, but they also love to concede a lot. Four or five goals in a game are not such a rare thing when Hoffe are involved. Augsburg aren't quite as good at knocking in multiple goals, but they do let some slide from time to time, and they've also been known to break down at the back. Plus, they've gotten this far without drawing, which has to mean entertainment.
Bundesliga Results, Round 18
Wolfsburg 4-1 Bayern Munich
Freiburg 4-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Mainz 05 5-0 Paderborn
Hamburger SV 0-2 Köln
Schalke 04 1-0 Hannover
Stuttgart 0-1Borussia Mönchengladbach
Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Borussia Dortmund
Werder Bremen 2-0 Hertha Berlin
Augsburg 3-1 Hoffenheim