Since the sporting calendar was first decimated by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Belarusian Premier League has been the only ongoing football competition in Europe.

On Saturday, however, the Bundesliga becomes the first of the continent's 'big five' leagues to return to the field.

The last set of German top-flight fixtures played before the suspension of play on 13 March was match-week 25, leaving nine rounds of fixtures for 16 of the 18 teams, with Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen each having a game in hand.

But how is the Bundesliga title race, relegation battle and hunt for the European places poised?

Title Race

Bayern Munich 55 points

Borussia Dortmund 51

RB Leipzig 50

Borussia Monchengladbach 49

It's not unusual to see Bayern Munich sitting atop the division and it's also how things stand currently. 

The Bavarian giants had made a poor start to the campaign, which culminated in the sacking of double-winning boss Niko Kovac.

The Croatian had not entirely convinced despite meeting the minimum requirement of a title win but a run featuring two defeats and three draws from the opening 10 games of this season was enough to push the Bayern board to part ways with the manager.

Hansi Flick stepped up from the role of assistant and has steadied the ship to the point that they are now four points clear at the top and back on course for an eighth title in a row.

After suffering consecutive league losses on match-weeks 13 and 14, Bayern embarked on an imperious run of domestic form, winning 10 of their last 11 Bundesliga fixtures including an away draw with fellow title challengers RB Leipzig in early February.

Alphonso Davies (C) warms up during a 14 May training session

For those who witnessed them dismantle Chelsea in the Champions League last-16, they looked impressive. Robert Lewandowski is still a big threat to opposition defences - he has 25 league goals in 23 games this season - and young players like Canadian Alphonso Davies is impressing from the flanks.

They take on Union Berlin on Sunday but tough fixtures remain for Bayern. Borussia Dortmund await on 26 May, with Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach still to come after that.

For Dortmund, that upcoming fixture against Bayern is in the must-win category if Lucien Favre's team are to win their first Bundesliga title since the Jurgen Klopp era.

But before that, they mark their return to domestic action with the unpredictable wildcard of a local derby against Schalke 04 on home soil.

Dortmund haven't beaten their fierce rivals at Signal Iduna Park in the Revierdeby since 2015. They certainly have the youthful attacking talent to overcome the challenges on the horizon in the shape of Jadon Sancho and January's potent arrival Erling Haaland, the scorer of nine league goals in just eight games.

The problem for Dortmund, however, has been defensively, especially from winning positions, which has proven costly in key games.

Promisingly, they won all four of their last league games before the postponements, keeping three clean sheets.

While most of their remaining fixtures after this weekend are eminently winnable on paper, the Bayern game and penultimate fixture against Leipzig stand out as notable exceptions.

Leipzig had led the table for portions of the campaign but four draws and a defeat in their last seven games has seen Julian Nagelsmann's team drop down to third, albeit still within striking distance.

They have been balancing Bundesliga commitments with a Champions League run but with Europe remaining postponed, it allows Leipzig to focus solely on the league for the next few weeks.

The east Germans face eighth-placed SC Freiburg this weekend but after that they do not meet a team currently in the top half until they visit Nagelsmann's former team Hoffenheim (currently ninth) six rounds from now.

 Florian Kohfeldt, head coach of Werder Bremen (L) and Leverkusen counterpart Peter Bosz

And aside from their home game against Dortmund on 20 June, the two other fixtures remaining for them are against bottom-half sides.

While they might not be loved by fans of other Bundesliga clubs, RB Leipzig do have a real chance of building up a head of steam.

When it comes to dark horses with an outside chance, one would have to look at the Foals, aka Borussia Monchengladbach. A strong start to the season saw the 1970s powerhouse spend seven weeks at the top until matchweek 14 and they have remained in the Champions League places (top four) ever since.

While they are six points shy of Bayern at the top, with a head-to-head to come on 12 June, they will also have to keep an eye below them.

European Places

Bayer Leverkusen 47 points

Schalke 37

Wolfsburg 36

Freiburg 36

Hoffenheim 35

Bayer Leverkusen are Monchengladbach's next opponents after their first fixture back against Eintracht Frankfurt and only two points separate fourth from fifth.

Leverkusen are also in good form, having won seven of their last nine games which has built a 10-point cushion over Schalke in sixth.

David Wagner's Schalke occupy the final Europa League qualifying spot but do have a chance to eat into Leverkusen's lead on 12 June when they meet a week after the latter face Bayern.

But Schalke will also have an eye below them with Wolfsburg, Freiburg and Hoffenheim all within two points of sixth.

Relegation Battle

Mainz 26

Fortuna Dusseldorf 22

Werder Bremen 18

Paderborn 16

Paderborn are 18th and last, 10 points below definitive safety but six off the relegation playoff place occupied by Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Traditional giant Werder Bremen are also in trouble with the four-time champions just two points above Paderborn on 18 and in a real struggle to extend their stay in the top flight.

They do have a game in hand against Eintracht Frankfurt however, and if they were to win that, they would move within a point of Dusseldorf.

Mainz and Augsburg are four and five points above the relegation playoff place respectively, which gives them a small amount of wiggle room as the proverbial squeaky bum time arrives.