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Rory McIlroy's return and the Bundesliga is back - Everything you need to know as sport returns to our screens

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Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy

Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy

Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy

Live sport is slowly beginning to crank back into gear after a two-month shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic and the first big fixtures are in the diary this weekend. 

With Germany's Bundesliga providing what could be a pivotal testing ground for football to make a successful return as they play a full round of fixtures, golf is also back on the agenda with Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson taking part in a skins game in Florida.

Here is a rundown of the sport set to take place this weekend, with more preparing to make a tentative return to action in the coming weeks.

FOOTBALL

Borussia Dortmund's home match against Schalke and Bayern Munich's away game at Union Berlin are among the eye-catching fixtures as Germany's Bundesliga resumes behind-closed-doors and all matches shown live on BT Sports in Ireland.

Bayern will be aiming to cement their position as title favourites with the reigning champions holding a four-point lead at the top of the table, while Dortmund their nearest challengers and RB Leipzig a further point behind.

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Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller is put through his paces by coach Hans-Dieter Flick during training in Munich. The Bundesliga is restarting on May 16th with no fans in attendance. Photo: REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller is put through his paces by coach Hans-Dieter Flick during training in Munich. The Bundesliga is restarting on May 16th with no fans in attendance. Photo: REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

REUTERS

Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller is put through his paces by coach Hans-Dieter Flick during training in Munich. The Bundesliga is restarting on May 16th with no fans in attendance. Photo: REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

Strict guidelines have been put in place to ensure the matches can proceed in Germany's top two divisions, yet the absence of Dynamo Dresden from the Bundesliga 2 fixture highlights the challenges of starting matches as all of their squad is in quarantine after two of their squad tested positive for Covid-19.

The Danish Super League are aiming to return on May 29th, while Austria's top division is also preparing to return to action on June 3rd.

England's Premier League clubs will stage their latest conference call on Monday in a bid to finalise a possible return to action in June, while the Italian and Spanish football authorities are also closing in on a possible date to resume matches, with a return date of June 12th mentioned for both.

GOLF

Rory McIlroy says he is relishing the chance to return to action as he takes part in a star-studded skins game that will also feature Dustin Johnson, Ricky Fowler and Matthew Wolff at the Seminole Golf Club in Florida.

The event will raise $4 million towards coronavirus causes and McIlroy has confirmed he intends to play a full schedule when the PGA Tour starts up with the Charles Schwab Colonial tournament in Texas in June.

"I miss the competition," said McIlroy. "I miss the buzz of getting into contention and playing in those last few groups on a Sunday and really feeling that.

"I also miss the locker room. I miss people. I miss being around people. I miss the banter that goes on and the camaraderie that people don't see.

"Obviously we're going to have to take as many precautions as possible to be able to put tour events on again, but the PGA Tour has got a robust plan in place, and if they can execute it the right way, I see no reason why we can't start on 11 June."

McIlroy's return to action is live on Sky Sports this Sunday at 7pm.

RACING

With racing in Ireland and the UK yet too be given the green light to return, Tokyo provides a stage for punters to have a bet this weekend.

The Victoria Mile is a Grade 1 flat horse race in Japan for four-year-old and above thoroughbred fillies and mares on Saturday, with Almond Eye a 4/7 favourite to carry off the big prize.

Meanwhile, British horse racing chiefs are planning top-level action soon after the sport returns with the season's opening two Classics pencilled in for the first weekend in June.

Under a provisional programme, the 2,000 Guineas would take place on Saturday 6 June, with the 1,000 Guineas a day later, with racing provisionally expected to return in Ireland on June 29th.

UFC

The UFC made a somewhat controversial return to action with a full card of fights last weekend and fans of the sport can lap up more in the early hours of Friday morning before another full card on Saturday night.

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Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) upset Tony Ferguson as UFC returned in Florida. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) upset Tony Ferguson as UFC returned in Florida. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

Justin Gaethje (blue gloves) upset Tony Ferguson as UFC returned in Florida. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The same Florida venue (VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville) that was used last weekend will be the stage the latest cards and there is more action this weekend, with Anthony Smith vs Glover Teixeira the main event on a fight night that also includes the heavyweight battle between Ben Rothwell vs Ovince Saint Preux.

Saturday's action includes the heavyweight clash between Alistair Overeem vs Walt Harris and a battle that sees Claudia Gadelha vs Angela Hill go head-to-head in a women's strawweight battle.

All the action will be screened on BT Sport.

Online Editors