The Red Devils made it through to the semi-finals last season only to be beaten by eventual winners Sevilla, and are among the favorites to win the trophy again come May, but Sociedad will likely provide a stern test of their credentials.
The Bundesliga is ready to return on May 9 if the German government gives it the green light, league officials have confirmed.
The league has been suspended since mid-March due to the outbreak of coronavirus, which has infected more than 148,000 and killed over 5,000 people in Germany.
Its resumption, behind closed doors, remains dependent on government and all federal states’ approval, and Bundesliga chief executive Christian Seifert warned providing an exact date “would be presumptuous and is not in our hands”.
“If we start on 9 May, we are ready. If it is later, we will be ready again,” DFL chief executive Seifert said on Thursday.
Stunning news out of Germany as Bundesliga chief Christian Seifert says that it is unlikely that the matches will be played in front of fans until 2021!
That timeline is something that has been whispered recently. But this is the first time that someone with authority in football has made such a public comments.
Germany has managed the coronavirus pandemic as well as anyone in Europe, which puts them in a position to return to training, and competition, before any of the other top five leagues.
Werder Bremen v Hannover 96
Bremen manager Thomas Schaaf needs three points in thisderby if his lofty talk of targeting Europe is to come true. Captain Clemens Fritz, who is suspended, along with striker Marko Arnautovic, thinks avoiding a relegation battle might be a more realistic aim for the 12th-placed team. There’s talk of yet another system change; Schaaf has experimented with a 4-4-2 in training. Will that bring more solidity? It’s doubtful. Hannover (10th), who have looked refreshed after the winter break and held off Wolfsburg with ten man last week, will be without quite a few regular defenders but can bring back midfield enforcer Sergio Pinto. The visitors will play on the counter and hope to catch out Werder’s notoriously poor defence.
In football, there are 3 kinds of players; the one’s who are talented and get recognised and rewarded for their performances, the one’s who are not that talented and are lucky most of the time and get recognised for their performances and the one’s who are talented and never get recognised or rewarded at all.
Michael Ballack falls into the last category. The 35 year old German has had an illustrious career with some of Europe’s biggest clubs and as his career comes to an end, a medal that does not hang in his trophy cabinet is one every player dreams of – the champions league medal.