In response to
In response to

Bundesliga countdown

Munich - After five agonising weeks of waiting, the Bundesliga restart is finally upon us!

Click here to refresh this page will keep you up to date with all the latest ahead of Friday night's blockbuster clash between Borussia Mönchengladbach and league leaders FC Bayern München…

Friday 24 January

Ji travels to Dortmund

Dong-Won Ji

has already agreed to join

Borussia Dortmund

in the summer, and the South Korea forward may well face his future team-mates on Saturday when

FC Augsburg

will be going head-to-head with BVB. The 22-year-old took part in the final training session after suffering from a dead leg, and has made the flight to North Rhine-Westphalia: "FCA on their way to Dortmund," tweeted FC Augsburg. "Also on board: Dong-Won Ji, who is match-fit."

FC Schalke 04 may have to do without defender Benedikt Höwedes away at Hamburger SV this weekend. Coach Jens Keller said “he was on the toilet all afternoon” with a stomach upset.

Borussia Dortmund suffered four defeats in their last six Hinrunde matches, so victory at home to this season's surprise package FC Augsburg is of vital importance to Jürgen Klopp and Co. Click here for our exclusive preview on tomorrow's match at Signal Iduna Park.

Borussia Mönchengladbach will fancy their chances against FC Bayern München tonight, and with good reason. Click here if you still need need convincing that the Foals can cause an upset against Pep Guardiola's team tonight.


Bundesliga 2 side

Fortuna Düsseldorf

tweeted an image of the

FC Bayern

team bus pulling into their training ground earlier this afternoon. Given its proximity to Mönchengladbach, the club agreed to allow the Bavarians to make use of it as they prepare for tonight's clash with the Foals:

We're just a matter of hours away until Bundesilga hostilities are renewed, with

Borussia Mönchengladbach


FC Bayern München

in the Matchday 18 curtain-raiser at 20:30 CET. Check our

list of global television broadcasters

to find out where to tune in wherever you are.



have announced that goalkeeper

Lars Unnerstall

will be loaned to Swiss side FC Aarau until the end of the season. The 23-year-old's contract with the Royal Blues runs until 30 June 2015. Click


for an overview of all the winter comings and goings so far.


The biggest ever win in the opening fixture of a Bundesliga


was collected by

Borussia Mönchegladbach

on January 7, 1967 (Matchday 18 of the 1966/67 campaign). The Foals, coached at the time by Hennes Wiesweiler, managed to hit double figures, beating

FC Schalke 04

11-0 (Goals: Bernd Rupp four, Herbert Laumen three, Jupp Heynckes and Gunter Netzer both two).

DID YOU KNOW? Only three different Bundesliga sides have ever managed to remain unbeaten throughout an entire Rückrunde and FC Bayern München have even managed it twice. Eintracht Frankfurt 1976/77 (eleven wins, six draws), FC Bayern 1986/87 (12 wins, five), Borussia Dortmund 2011/12 (15 wins, two draws) and FC Bayern 2012/13 (16 wins, one draw) have all achieved the unprecedented feat. The record titleholders have already come through the entire Hinrunde unscathed and will be hoping to re-create that form in the second half of the season, which kicks-off with an encounter against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

FIFA 14 Predicition: Check out EA Sports' simulated prediction for Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. FC Bayern München, courtesy of the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel:

Birthday boys:

It's not all sweat, grunting and training drills for

Eintracht Braunschweig

ahead of their trip to

Werder Bremen

on Sunday. The Lions still found time to celebrate with

Ermin Bicakcic


Norman Theuerkauf

who respectively turn 24 and 27 today. Many happy returns!

Thursday 23 January

'17 cup finals': The first half of the season was a record-breaking one for 1. FC Nürnberg as they went the entire Hinrunde without registering a win. Centre-back Per Nilsson's performances were one of few positives for der Club, but the Swede knows the side need to raise their game to ensure they're not in the midst of a relegation battle come the end of the campaign. "We've got 17 cup finals ahead of us," explained Nilsson in an interview with "We're not going to bury our heads in the sand if we don't manage [to attain safety], but against certain opponents at home we have to go into it with the clear aim of picking up three points. We're starting again from scratch, but the winter break was very good for us."

FIFA 14 Predicition: Check out EA Sports' simulated prediction for Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. FC Bayern München, courtesy of the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel:

Klopp cautious: First up for the Borussia Dortmund in the second half of the season are the surprise package of the first half of the season FC Augsburg. Head coach Jürgen Klopp is cautiously optimistic, but couldn't hide his excitement at finally "getting going again". "We had very few days off and used the days to work out some of the kinks," explained Klopp. "Our priority was to work on the problem zones that were prevalent in the first half of the season. We’ve got to cut out the mistakes. On Saturday we’ll be facing a highly-motivated and capable side, but it's not outside the realms of possibility that we'll pick up a win."

Guardiola gearing up: Talking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Friday's encounter, Guardiola claimed it was "good to be back after the long break". Despite having enjoyed his first experience of the Bundesliga's winter break, his first taste of Germany's top flight has not been forgotten. "Gladbach will be a very tough game. The first match against them was a real awakening in the Bundesliga for me. We lost two years ago against Borussia, but we won there last year. Records don't mean too much."

Wednesday 22 January

The big three-o:

After returning to training for the first time since suffering a knee injury in the DFB Cup encounter with FC Augsburg,

Arjen Robben

has further reason to celebrate. The Dutch international turns 30 today, but will be keen to prove he isn't over the hill when the Bundesliga restarts. Happy Birthday Arjen!

On the mend:

Robbie Kruse

has undergone a successful knee operation in Augsburg. The

Bayern Leverkusen

winger tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in training last week, which will keep the Australia international out for the rest of the 2013/14 season and could rule him out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

DID YOU KNOW? Nearly 50 years have passed since Eintracht Frankfurt played their first Bundesliga home match. In March 1964, the Eagles beat Hertha Berlin 4-0 at the Waldstadion, with Willi Huberts grabbing a hat-trick. Frankfurt went on to finish third that season, while Hertha only narrowly avoided relegation.



for the lowdown on the future of former Germany international goalkeeper

Tim Wiese

, who is a free agent after his contract at 1899 Hoffenheim was terminated by mutual consent.

Tuesday 21 January

Borussia Dortmund

warmed up for the Bundesliga restart in stunning style with a 6-1 friendly win over MSV Duisburg. Over 24,000 spectators watched on as birthday boy Henrikh Mkhitaryan grabbed a brace and an assist, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Robert Lewandowski (twice) and Julian Schieber also got on the scoresheet.

1899 Hoffenheim

and former Germany international goalkeeper

Tim Wiese


parted company

. The 32-year-old custodian, whose deal was due to run until 30 June 2016, had been training with the reserves but decided to terminate his contract early. The club announced the news on their official Twitter account:

Cold, wet and dreary.

That was the weather in Bremen today, but not the outlook for captain Clemens Fritz. Although he is not an option against Eintracht Braunschweig this Sunday, he could be back in action soon. "All going well, he will be back in team training within a fortnight," said his coach Robin Dutt. The warmth of the treatment room probably beat being outdoors, however, as this photo of the team training suggests:

There are fears that

Bastian Schweinsteiger


Arjen Robben

may not be fit for Friday night's first Bundesliga fixture of 2014. Neither were able to train on Tuesday, although their team mates seemed to be enjoying themselves all the same.

and are fighting to be fit for VfB Stuttgart's clash with 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the weekend. The former is now back in full training after a knee operation during the winter break while the latter is also trying to shake off a knee problem. You can see what Stuttgart got up to during a winter training camp in South Africa by clicking here.

Many happy returns!

: There are a few birthdays in the Bundesliga today with Henrikh Mkhitaryan (25), Simon Rolfes (32) and Kevin Kratz (27) all coming of age.

Monday 20 January

Not in the hunt:

SV Werder Bremen


Aaron Hunt

could miss his side's Matchday 18 fixture at home to Eintracht Braunschweig on Sunday after finsihing training early due adductor muscle complaints. The club confirmed the 27-year-old will "rest for one to two days" in a tweet on Monday afternoon:

DID YOU KNOW? On this day in 1968, Matchday 20 of the 1967/68 enjoyed the not so rare feat of a goal-ridden weekend. However, what set this particular Matchday apart is that all 18 top-flight sides scored at least once with a total of 40 goals scored. Chief amongst the results were a 5-2 win for Eintracht Frankfurt against 1. FC Kaiserslautern and a 3-3 draw between 1. FC Köln and FC Bayern München. Furthermore, there was an upset as 1. FC Nürnberg, who went on to win the title that season, suffered a 3-1 loss to Hamburger SV.

Touch and go:

FC Schalke 04 captain

Benedikt Höwedes

says he doesn't know whether he'll be fit for the Royal Blues' first Bundesliga match of 2014 against Hamburger SV this weekend. The 25-year-old, who has been sidelined with a thigh complaint, said he felt good after S04's friendly defeat to Rot-Weiß Oberhausen. "It was important for me to get some playing time," he said. "I didn't have any problems. Of course, I still have the necessary physical fitness. It'll be close, but we have to see what will happen between now and the HSV match. I'm not ruling anything out."

Major Koo:

At his official unveiling as a 1. FSV Mainz 05 player, South Korea captain

Ja-Cheol Koo

couldn't hide his delight: "I have wanted to join Mainz for a long time," said the 24-year-old midfielder, who made just ten appearances for VfL Wolfsburg during the first half of the season.

Sunday 19 January

Sahar to Bielefeld?:

Hertha Berlin's Israeli international

Ben Sahar

looks set to join Bundesliga 2 outfit Arminia Bielefeld. The former Chelsea FC striker is yet to feature for the capital city side this season and has spent much of the


plying his trade for Hertha's reserve side. "Ben Sahar is on his way to Belek, to clear up the last few details with [Bielefeld]."

Nielsen's new home: Settling in at a new club isn't always easy, but Eintracht Braunschweig's new signing Havard Nielsen seems to have settled right in with the Lions. "I feel really good in Braunschweig and in this team," the Norwegian international told the club's official website following the 2014 Wintercup. "Our sporting perspective is strong. There aren't many points separating us from the relegation play-off spot, but we'll have to work very hard. I want to help the team and, of course, to score goals."

Bobic looking abroad: VfB Stuttgart enjoyed a successful trip to South Africa during the winter break and flying the Bundesliga flag as the league's official ambassadors has given sporting director Fredi Bobic a taste of what's capable with progressive marketing strategies in foreign countries. "We've got to further develop ourselves in that respect, but above all, searching out new sources of revenue has to be a collective effort," explained the former German international in an interview with Kicker magazine. "The German market has already been exhausted, but in a global context there are still plenty of possibilities."