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Benrahma Chelsea
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Transfer news: Benrahma to Chelsea; Johnson to MLS

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In the latest transfer news Said Benrahma has been linked with a move to Chelsea, while USMNT winger Fabian Johnson could be heading to MLS.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Starting in London, Said Benrahma could be making a short trip across west London from Brentford to Chelsea.

According to a report from French outlet RMC Sport, Chelsea have opened talks with Brentford about forward Benrahma. The 24-year-old has dazzled in England’s second-tier over the last two seasons and it is reported that both Leicester City and Arsenal want to sign the Algerian international. Per the report, Benrahma is valued at $42 million by Brentford.

Do Chelsea really need another winger/attacking midfielder?

With Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount already around, plus Tino Anjorin coming through the ranks, Hakim Ziyech arriving for the 2020-21 season and links to both Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, Frank Lampard is stacked with attacking options. With Willian and Pedro set to leave on free transfer this summer, they may need a little extra help out wide for next season and beyond.

Benrahma has scored 21 goals in 79 appearances for Brentford over the last two seasons and his trickery on the wing often bamboozles defender. Brentford have a great record of developing talented players and selling them on to Premier League clubs and it looks like Benrahma is the next off the conveyor belt. That said, a move to Chelsea may not be the best for his career as he will have stiff competition to start week in, week out.

Fabian Johnson MLS
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Switching to the USA, Fabian Johnson has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer as multiple reports claim the USMNT winger is in talks with MLS clubs about a move this summer when his contract in Germany ends.

Johnson, 32, is out of contract at Borussia Monchengladbach and is said to want a move to MLS. The USMNT wide-man, who has played at full back and as a winger, last played for the Stars and Stripes in 2017.

The German-American has struggled with injuries over the past few seasons and has become a bit-part player for a ‘Gladbach side who are battling for UEFA Champions League qualification heading into the final three games of the 2019-20 Bundesliga season.

Where could Johnson end up in MLS?

It is believed nobody has his discovery rights, so under MLS rules, as a USMNT player he would be offered to the club at the top of the allocation order. That is currently Inter Miami CF and they could certainly do with an experienced winger in their inaugural MLS season. FC Cincinnati are next on the allocation order and it is believed Johnson is asking for a TAM contract rather than becoming a Designated Player.

Johnson has quality on the ball and isn’t scared of his defensive responsibilities and if he can stay fit he will be a very good addition to an MLS squad. In the post-Klinsmann era he was one of the players who was cut adrift by the USMNT but when you think back to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Copa America Centenario, he was one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Bundesliga preview: Bayern Munich v. Borussia Monchengladbach

Bayern Munich Borussia Monchengladbach preview
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European placement is in focus as Bayern Munich runs away with the Bundesliga title, though the table leaders could swing another team’s top four fortunes on Saturday.

Borussia Monchengladbach needs a win at Bayern given its top four rivals are all meeting clubs either struggling, near the bottom of the table, or both.

[ MORE: New PL schedule ]

Bayern can win their eighth-straight title with a win if Dortmund drops points at Fortuna early Saturday.

Gladbach is in danger of losing its top four footing after leading the table earlier this season, only ahead of fifth-place Bayer Leverkusen on goal differential.

Two Ramy Bensabaini goals, the second a stoppage-time penalty, helped Gladbach beat Bayern on Dec. 7 at Borussia-Park. That was the last time Hansi Flick’s men lost a match dropping into seventh before their impressive but not surprising run to the top of the table.

The defending champs played at midweek, extending its unbeaten streak to 21 matches in all competitions dating back to a 3-1 win over Tottenham on the last day of UCL group stage.

Those midweek legs could be a challenge given Gladbach’s desperation to stay in the top four hunt, but the visitors won’t have influential striker Alassane Plea after his red card in a loss at Freiburg.

There are still weapons for the visitors but it’s going to be tough to beat the champs in their building.

How to Watch Bayern Munich v. Borussia Monchengladbach

  • When: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday
  • TV Channel: FS1
  • Stream LiveVia Fox Soccer
  • USMNT players in action: Fabian Johnson

Bundesliga Week 31 preview and predictions

Bundesliga Week 31 predictions
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European placement is in focus as Bayern Munich runs away with the Bundesliga title, though the table leaders could swing another team’s top four fortunes on Saturday.

Borussia Monchengladbach needs a win at Bayern given its top four rivals are all meeting clubs either struggling, near the bottom of the table, or both.

[ MORE: Week 30 takeaways, Team of the Week ]

You can check out the full schedulestandings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk.

[ MORE: New PL schedule ]


Friday

Hoffenheim v. RB Leipzig — 2:30 p.m. ET

Caretaker boss Marcel Rapp takes over the hosts, who sit two points back of sixth and are bidding to get another European berth. Rapp’s first match is a brutal one, as visiting Leipzig sits third and is smarting after dropping points for the third time, all draws, in five matches. Hoffenheim is also taking a step up in class after four-straight season strugglers (apologies to Hertha Berlin, who has since built on its win). Both teams can defend well, but it seems likely the visitors will find more goals in a 2-1 Leipzig win that strengthens their hold on third.

Bundesliga Week 31 predictions
Marcel Sabitzer of RB Leipzig and Ermin Bicakcic of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim  (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Saturday

Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Borussia Dortmund — 9:30 a.m. ET

Lucien Favre’s favored visitors have a seven-point lead on fourth and fifth place with four matches to play. They’ll more or less salt away a top four spot with a win at Fortuna, but don’t count out the scrappy and desperate hosts. Rouwen Hennings has three goals in his last two matches for Fortuna, but BVB’s back line has only been breached thrice in its last nine outings. It’ll be a cagey affair, but BVB wins 3-0 after opening up one of four teams to concede 60 league goals this season.

Hertha Berlin v. Eintracht Frankfurt — 9:30 a.m. ET

The hosts suddenly have Europa League hopes despite a 1-0 loss to Dortmund, one that showed how far its come under Bruno Labbadia. Eintracht is still safe from the drop but looked rough in its midweek cup loss to Bayern. Should be straight-forward for scrappy Hertha in a 2-1 win.

Wolfsburg v. Freiburg — 9:30 a.m. ET

Freiburg — I like to call them Germany’s Burnley — finally got back in the win column with a nice 1-0 over Gladbach. Europe is not at all out of the picture when combining the clubu’s chance to meet sixth-place Wolfsburg after seventh-place Hoffenheim’s visit from Leipzig. It’s a tough match to predict because Wolfsburg’s been all over the map. One week they look top four quality, the next a dud. The safe call is a draw, but Wolfsburg has firepower and perhaps they find it more often than not in a 2-1 home win.

Koln v. Union Berlin — 9:30 a.m. ET

Both sides would feel fairly safe with a win, though neither has done much of it lately. Union’s failure to find goals is the scariest notion between the two sides, so we’ll figure a 1-0 win for safety-sealing Koln even if a nil-nil would surprise few.

Paderborn v. Werder Bremen — 9:30 a.m. ET

This is it for last-place Paderborn, who’ve played much better of late but can slip nine points back of the playoff spot with a loss and Fortuna result versus Dortmund. The latter is unlikely but Paderborn’s odds are still long, too long without a win. Bremen is also in trouble, five points ahead of Bremen and three back of the playoff spot, but has looked much better in recent weeks. A draw clobbers both of them. We like Bremen’s attacking power a bit more. 3-1 to Bremen.

Bayern Munich v. Borussia Monchengladbach — 12:30 p.m. ET

Bayern can win their eighth-straight title with a win if Dortmund drops points at Fortuna earlier Saturday. The defending champs played at midweek, extending its unbeaten streak to 21 matches in all competitions dating back to a 3-1 win over Tottenham on the last day of UCL group stage. Those midweek legs could be a challenge given Gladbach’s desperation to stay in the top four hunt, but the visitors won’t have influential striker Alassane Plea after his red card in a loss at Freiburg. There are still weapons for the visitors but it’s going to be tough to beat the champs in their building. 1-1 draw.

Bundesliga Week 31 predictions
Gladbach’s Marcus Thuram and Bayern’s Jerome Boateng (Photo by Federico Gambarini/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Sunday

Mainz v. Augsburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday

Mainz’s win last week made relegation feel very real for several dipping teams including Augsburg. Neither team has been able to find a lot of goals since coming back from the break, but Mainz has been better at the back since shipping five goals to Leipzig. This is a huge chance for Mainz, who will know just how high it climb after watching everyone below and above it play before Sunday. Mainz 1-0.

Schalke v. Bayer Leverkusen — Noon ET Sunday

Bayer played midweek but was able to cruise past Saarbrucken in the German Cup semifinal. If their backs are tired, perhaps Schalke can find a way through, but David Wagner’s men have looked really poor for months (even accounting for the break). If Kai Havertz is ready to go, it might be a blowout. Bayer 2-0.

Petersen’s header leads Freiburg past 10-man Gladbach

Freiburg v. Borussia Monchengladbach recap
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Nils Petersen’s second half goal led Freiburg to a huge 1-0 win over 10-man Borussia Monchengladbach at the Schwarzwald-Stadion on Friday.

Freiburg keeps its Europa League hopes alive by moving onto 41 points, one behind sixth and seventh.

Gladbach fails in a bid to go third and remains fourth with 56 points, ahead of Bayer Leverkusen on goal differential.

A second yellow card to Plea was a double curse to Gladbach, who went down a man and now will miss a star forward against Bayern Munich.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores, stats ]

Bayer’s Ramy Bensebaini utilized a slick backheel turn to nutmeg an opponent and send in a cross that was put out for a corner kick.

Freiburg keeper Alexander Schwolow made a tight-angle save on Alassane Plea just after the quarter-hour mark.

Gladbach saw a chance chalked off after two dangerous bids resulted in an offside deflection into the goal.

Florian Neuhaus came close to scoring again when Lars Stindl headed the penultimate move of a fine team play into the six, but he popped it over the frame.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 30 preview and predictions ]

Gladbach’s second half again settled into the Freiburg final third, but it was a home sub that paid dividends at the other end.

Petersen improved his club record for goals when he nodded Vincenzo Grifo’s free kick home in the 59th.

Stindl wasn’t too far from equalizing with a 17-yard shot at the hour mark, but Plea’s second yellow card damaged Gladbach’s hopes of a comeback.

LIVE, Bundesliga: Freiburg hosts top four hopefuls Gladbach

Freiburg v. Borussia Monchengladbach live
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Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram bring red-hot form and top four hopes to Freiburg when Borussia Monchengladbach visits the Schwarzwald-Stadion on Friday for a 2:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

Gladbach is ahead of fifth-place Bayer Leverkusen on goal differential and four points back of second-place Borussia Dortmund.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores, stats ]

Freiburg is winless in four and staring down a tough run of fixtures while their Europa League hopes have taken a massive hit.

There were six goals between the sides in late November when Gladbach took all the points in a 4-2 win.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 30 preview and predictions ]

Below is the schedule for the Bundesliga game early on Friday and how you can watch live on TV in the USA and online and follow along via the link above.

Bundesliga how to watch

  • TV Channels: FS2
  • Stream LiveVia Fox Soccer
  • USMNT players to watch: Fabian Johnson, Gladbach (not on bench)
  • Kick off time: 2:30 p.m. ET — Freiburg v. Gladbach