Borussia Dortmund welcome Bayern Munich on Friday to start this weekend's Bundesliga action in Germany, giving the European and German champions the chance to open up a provisional five-point lead over RB Leipzig in the title race.
Bayern are unbeaten in 12 league matches but have drawn three of their last seven while Monchengladbach have been paying the price for their UEFA Champions League involvement with one win from their last five and three draws. The winter break came at the right time for Marco Rose's men and they returned to action in 2021 with a 1-0 win away at Arminia Bielefeld but Bayern continue to make life hard for themselves and ran out 5-2 winners against Mainz 05 after being 2-0 down at halftime.
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Such a comeback is less likely against a team of Monchengladbach's quality, so can Die Fohlen take a point or more and give Rose's suitors Leipzig the chance to close the gap? Here is how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Friday, Jan. 8
- Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
- Location: BORUSSIA-PARK -- Monchengladbach, Germany
- TV: ESPN+
- Live Stream: ESPN+
- Odds: Monchengladbach +400; Draw +360; Bayern -175 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Monchengladbach: Rose and his squad have been able to rest up over the holiday period and are now in better shape than they were toward the end of their UCL exploits with losses against Inter Milan and Real Madrid followed by domestic draws against SC Freiburg, Hertha BSC and Eintracht Frankfurt.
Although Marcus Thuram remains suspended for spitting, there is still plenty of quality in the Monchengladbach ranks with Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund and Union Berlin part of this five-game run, they must take points where they can -- especially if Bayern show any signs of vulnerability.
Bayern: This trip to Monchengladbach is the toughest match -- on paper -- of the upcoming five against the likes of Freiburg, FC Augsburg and Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga with Holstein Kiel in the DFB Pokal.
Flick and his men should be targeting a solution to their recent habit of falling behind and having to fightback in order to win matches between now and their UCL date with SS Lazio next month.
🎙️ Hansi #Flick on the slow start: "We've addressed it and want to go into the game with a different mindset and attitude. We want to win more challenges and do more when we don't have possession, which is important." #BMGFCB #packmas pic.twitter.com/Babz54ZJwS— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) January 7, 2021
Not every side will be as fragile as struggling Mainz and even at 2-2 only Manuel Neuer's brilliance prevented a third goal from being conceded.
Meanwhile, transfer-wise, speculation continues to swirl that David Alaba will join Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer as Leon Goretzka's contract renewal remains order of the day at Allianz Arena -- CBS Sports' very own Fabrizio Romano covered both topics in his latest Here We Go column.
Monchengladbach to punish Bayern for falling behind again with a narrow win that offers the chasing pack an opportunity to close the gap. Pick: Monchengladbach 2, Bayern 1