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Bundesliga wrap: BVB takes 4-point lead into Der Klassiker

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Niko Kovac’s Bayern Munich dropped points at home on Saturday, while Lucien Favre’s Borussia Dortmund found the goal it needed to get a win ahead of next Saturday’s big Der Klassiker at the Westfalenstadion.

[ MORE: Arsenal draws Liverpool ]

Bayern hosts AEK Athens in the Champions League on Wednesday while Dortmund visits Atletico Madrid a day earlier.

Bayern Munich 1-1 Freiburg

Lucas Holer’s 89th minute goal stunned the Allianz Arena, which had seen Bayern out-attempt the visitors 25-9 and hold Freiburg without a shot on target. Serge Gnabry‘s 80th minute goal was all the Bavarians could manage at home.

Wolfsburg 0-1 Borussia Dortmund

A very even game saw just one moment separate the two, as Jadon Sancho‘s cross soared over American center back John Brooks and Thomas Delaney headed back across goal for Marco Reus to head home.

BVB now has a four-point hold on the table lead in its bid to win a first title since 2012 and end Bayern’s six-season run as Bundesliga champions.

[ MORE: Leicester honors Srivaddhanaprabha ]

Hertha Berlin 0-3 RB Leipzig

Timo Werner scored twice for the third time this season — he has zero goals in his other eight league matches — as RBL picked up three nice away points.

Matheus Cunha, 19, scored his first Bundesliga goal for RBL, who sits a point behind second place Bayern.

Elsewhere
Stuttgart 0-3 Eintracht Frankfurt — Friday
Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Hoffenheim
Schalke 3-1 Hannover 96
Augsburg 2-2 Nurnberg
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Mainz vs. Werder Bremen — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 10 7 3 0 30 10 20 4-1-0 3-2-0 24
 Bayern Munich 10 6 2 2 18 11 7 2-2-1 4-0-1 20
 RB Leipzig 10 5 4 1 19 9 10 3-2-0 2-2-1 19
 Eintracht Frankfurt 10 5 2 3 23 13 10 2-1-1 3-1-2 17
 Mönchengladbach 9 5 2 2 20 12 8 4-0-0 1-2-2 17
 Werder Bremen 9 5 2 2 17 14 3 2-2-1 3-0-1 17
 1899 Hoffenheim 10 5 1 4 22 14 8 2-1-2 3-0-2 16
 Hertha BSC Berlin 10 4 4 2 15 13 2 3-1-1 1-3-1 16
 FC Augsburg 10 3 4 3 18 16 2 1-3-1 2-1-2 13
 SC Freiburg 10 3 4 3 14 16 -2 2-2-1 1-2-2 13
 VfL Wolfsburg 10 3 3 4 14 15 -1 1-2-3 2-1-1 12
 Bayer Leverkusen 10 3 2 5 16 21 -5 1-1-3 2-1-2 11
 FC Schalke 04 10 3 1 6 8 12 -4 2-0-3 1-1-3 10
 1. FC Nürnberg 10 2 4 4 11 22 -11 2-2-1 0-2-3 10
 FSV Mainz 05 9 2 3 4 5 10 -5 2-2-1 0-1-3 9
 Hannover 96 10 1 3 6 12 21 -9 1-1-2 0-2-4 6
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 9 1 2 6 6 21 -15 1-0-4 0-2-2 5
 VfB Stuttgart 10 1 2 7 6 24 -18 1-1-3 0-1-4 5

Report: Canada’s David agrees terms with Lille

Jonathan David to Lille
Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images
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Linked with some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, Canadian starlet Jonathan David is opting to stay closer to his current club.

Gent playmaker David, 20, had been linked with Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Arsenal with reports saying his agent was targeting a club somewhere between the quality of the Belgian top-flight and the UEFA superpowers, with Lazio, Porto, Ajax, Lyon, Everton, and Leicester City in that group.

If the reports are true, his agent is getting his way with David agreeing to terms with Ligue 1’s Lille, who are in the Europa League next year following a fourth place finish in France.

RMC reporter Mohamed Bouhafsi reports that Lille has offered $28 million to Gent, who would like to get $34 million. Seems like a bridge that can be crossed.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

It takes little more than an hour to drive from Gent to Lille.

The move could signal changes for Lille, who has a bevy of young attackers including American forward Timothy Weah, ex-Chelsea man Loic Remy, transfer rumor mill mainstay Victor Osimhen, and French youth international Jonathan Bamba amongst others.

David’s 18 goals tied for the Belgian league high with ex-Hull and Norwich man Dieumerci Mbokani, and scored five more goals in the Europa League including markers versus Saint-Etienne and Roma.

He has 37 goals and 15 assists in three seasons with the Belgian powers.

The Brooklyn-born David also has 11 goals in 12 caps for Canada, though those admittedly came against some of the minnows of CONCACAF.

VIDEO: Pulisic smashes home superb goal

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“Christian Pulisic goal for Chelsea” is a term we are getting more and more used to hearing.

The USMNT star scored again for Chelsea at Crystal Palace in a London derby, as he’s now scored three goals in his first five Premier League games back.

We are not exaggerating when we say that Pulisic has been the best player in the Premier League since the restart.

CRYSTAL PALACE – CHELSEA STREAM LIVE

Pulisic was switching between right and left flank and caused Palace plenty of problems, as Frank Lampard spoke about many people comparing him to Eden Hazard in the week.

“Christian is more direct. He has the ability to break a line and run forward which is a great trait in the modern game,” Lampard said. “Why I shy away from it the other night is because Eden has been here and done it over a period of time to an incredible level. Christian has it in his hands to make a real impact over time. It’s great to see him [doing well] but there’s a lot of development to come. Christian is taking responsibility to change games.”

The Pennsylvanian native certainly looked like Hazard at Selhurst Park as the latest Pulisic goal for Chelsea was a beauty.

For his goal he was set free by Willian, as he worked the ball onto his left foot and smashed home at the near post. What a strike.

Check out the latest Pulisic goal in the video above, as he now has nine goals in his debut season in the Premier League.

Crystal Palace – Chelsea, Watford – Norwich: Stream, How to watch

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Crystal Palace – Chelsea promises to be an intriguing clash at Selhurst Park on Tuesday (start time, 1pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a London derby, while Watford – Norwich is a massive game in the relegation battle (start time, 1pm ET online via NBCSports.com).

Christian Pulisic continues to be the main man for Chelsea as the USMNT star put in another superb display in their 3-0 win against Watford and the Blues remain on track to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League. As for Palace, they have lost their last three games on the trot without scoring and Roy Hodgson’s side look destined for a midtable finish.

CRYSTAL PALACE – CHELSEA STREAM LIVE

WATFORD – NORWICH STREAM LIVE

As for Watford, they need a win to boost their survival hopes and if they get it, they will send bottom club. Norwich even closer to their relegation zone.

Below is everything you need to know ahead of Crystal Palace – Chelsea and Watford – Norwich.


Team news

Palace will be without James Tomkins, Jeffrey Schlupp and Martin Kelly, while Hodgson may bring back Cheikhou Kouyate and Scott Dann who were rested.

Chelsea will be without N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic through injury, as Billy Gilmour starts in central midfield.

Watford bring in Masina and Welbeck after the loss at Chelsea.

Norwich bring Pukki back into the starting lineup.

Odds and ends (full matchweek odds)

Crystal Palace are huge underdogs (+650) as Chelsea (-220) are the red-hot favorites given their three wins from their first four games of the restart. The tie at +335 is where the value is at because as we saw with Chelsea’s shock defeat at West Ham last week, they can be dominated from set pieces and hit on the counter. Those two aspects are huge strengths of Palace’s game.

Watford are the favorites (-152) while Norwich (+440) are hoping for their first win, and points, since the restart. The tie at +285 seems intriguing to me.

Predictions

We are all expecting a Chelsea win here but don’t be surprised if Wilfried Zaha has a day at makes it a very tough outing for this leaky Chelsea defense. Palace have been fired up and shocked Chelsea before but I think the Blues, led by Pulisic, have too much for Palace. 3-1 to Chelsea. As for Watford against Norwich, I’m going for a 1-1 draw. Watford have been bad since the restart and Norwich have nothing to play for, really. That is dangerous.

Transfer news: Ake to Man United; Rice to Chelsea

Nathan Ake Manchester United
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In the latest transfer news Nathan Ake has been linked with a move to Manchester United, while Declan Rice could be heading back to Chelsea.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Starting in Manchester, a post-game chat between Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nathan Ake has turned heads following Man United’s 5-2 win against Bournemouth at the weekend.

Apparently Solskjaer told Ake: “We need a left-footed centre-back, so keep going.”

Ake, 25, has been linked with a return to Chelsea (who have a $48 million buy-back clause) and Manchester City, but it appears Nathan Ake to Manchester United has some legs. Solskjaer has been looking for a new center back with Kalidou Koulibaly, Dayot Upamecano and others linked to line up alongside Harry Maguire.

Victor Lindelof has struggled at times and is ahead of Eric Bailly in the pecking order and Man United do need to strengthen their defense slightly as they have plenty of options in midfield and attack, although a new true holding midfield could be a must in the next few windows.

If Bournemouth are relegated from the Premier League, Ake will surely leave and Man United could pick him up for a lot less than $48 million.

Declan Rice to Chelsea
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Switching to west London, Declan Rice could be heading back to Chelsea this summer.

A report from The Times states that Chelsea want Rice, 21, to return and become a ball-playing center back to shore up their defensive unit.

The report goes on to state that the boyhood Chelsea fan is seen as the perfect successor to John Terry at the heart of the Chelsea defense.

Rice has shone in recent weeks and is the one player in West Ham’s team who has been consistent despite their struggles at the wrong end of the Premier League table this season.

Chelsea have been searching high and low for defensive reinforcements and want more power and strength at center back. Rice can play at center back and in a three he would be prefect. His main position is in holding midfield and his flexibility to strengthen Chelsea’s shaky defense would be key. Rice is close friends with Mason Mount and after leaving Chelsea’s academy as a 14-year-old he has forged out a very good career for himself as a regular for West Ham and England.

Rice would cost a huge sum and this move to Chelsea may hinge on whether or not West Ham are relegated in the final weeks of the 2019-20 Premier League season.