James Rodriguez claims Borussia Dortmund are under Bundesliga pressure and Liverpool are beatable
Borussia Dortmund’s 14-minute capitulation against Hoffenheim on Saturday has opened up the possibility of Bayern Munich catching the Bundesliga leaders before the end of the season, so says James Rodriguez.
Bayern can cut the gap at the top to just two points when they visit Augsburg on Friday evening, before Dortmund’s game at Nurnberg on Monday night.
Manager Niko Kovac has had a tough debut season at Bayern, but James says the pressure is now on Dortmund in the title race, not the reigning champions.
Only once before in Bundesliga history has a team with 50 or more points after 21 games not gone on to win the league (the same number Lucien Favre's men have); on that occasion, it was Bayern who caught up with Schalke, Dortmund's local rivals.
James is hoping history can repeat itself.
The Colombian said, via Goal.com: "They know if they slip up they've still got to come here, so they're under pressure.
"I think we're going to maintain a high level and I think it's Dortmund who are under pressure."
Both sides have 13 games to play in the German top flight, with Champions League commitments to contend with too.
Dortmund go to the Allianz Arena on April 6 in what could be a crucial fixture depending on the points gap between the two heavyweights when that clash comes around.
Dortmund face Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie this week, while Bayern head to Anfield a week on Tuesday for their first leg match against Liverpool.
James is confident that Bayern can move forward in Europe as well on as home soil, and will have much to play for towards the back end of the season.
According to Sport BILD, via the Bundesliga’s official website, he said: "I'm very much looking forward to facing Liverpool. You can't make mistakes in these games, but I think we can cause Liverpool problems.
"We have a team that's good enough to go through if it goes well."
The attacking midfielder has been inconsistent this season, mainly down to having a frustrating time with injuries, but has started each of Bayern’s last three competitive matches, and says he is getting closer to being back at his peak.
He added: "I'm feeling better all the time. I was out for nearly three months. I'm providing more quality with each game, but I can still play better."
If Bayern are to catch up with Dortmund and progress against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, it is likely that James will need to be on-form.
With Thomas Muller suspended for both legs in the Champions League after his red card appeal was rejected, the number 10 role is likely to be James'.
Still only on loan from Real Madrid, and with his future uncertain, it could be a big few months for him.
Since his starring role in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, James' career, it would be fair to say, has stalled somewhat.
Now 27, he has the perfect opportunity to show his words are true as he looks to fulfil his potential.