The wait is over for Bundesliga fans and there are a number of tasty match-ups in store at the start of the Rückrunde.
To get you back into the swing of things, bundesliga.com earmarks a selection of potentially huge subplots to Matchday 18...
Battle of the Borussias
Borussias Mönchengladbach and Dortmund take centre stage less than 24 hours later. Gladbach are firmly back in the hunt for the UEFA Champions League places after a nightmarish start to 2015/16, albeit still some nine points behind second-in-the-table BVB. Germany international forward Marco Reus is always one to keep an eye on in this fixture, having set the BORUSSIA-PARK alight between 2009-2012, but it is his Dortmund team-mate, African Footballer of the Year 2015 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has stolen the spotlight so far this term, not least after notching a Bundesliga-high 18 Hinrunde goals.
Any lingering doubts about Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez's global pulling power were put to bed during Bayer 04 Leverkusen's winter training camp in Florida. The Mexico international striker must have set a new record for mid-season fan selfies in the Sunshine State, but then again he has taken the Bundesliga by storm. With ten of his 11 Bundesliga goals coming in his last eight appearances, the 27-year-old megastar will be confident of firing fifth-placed Leverkusen to victory at rock-bottom TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon.
Bringing his own dash of Mexican spice to proceedings, Bundesliga newcomer Marco Fabian will be hoping to hit the ground running à la 'Chicharito' at Eintracht Frankfurt. The El Tri international playmaker opened his account with a fine brace in the Eagles' 3-3 friendly draw against Eintracht Braunschweig and could well hold the key to unlocking faltering VfL Wolfsburg's defence at the Commerzbank Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Fresh for the fight
Last but by no means least, FC Schalke 04 entertain SV Werder Bremen in Matchday 18's closing fixture. Andre Breitenreiter's side joined Leverkusen in Florida earlier in the month and have also brought in midfield duo Younes Belhanda and Alessandro Schöpf as they prepare to break back into the top-four reckoning. In contrast, beating relegation is the primary objective for a Bremen side collectively crossing their fingers that Turkey's warm winter sun raises more than just their vitamin D levels.