Bayern Munich will look to recover from their monumental collapse against Wolfsburg at the weekend when the leaders host Schalke in the Bundesliga on Tuesday.
The champions did not have the most pleasing of returns from the winter break, with Wolfsburg catching them cold, and then some, in a 4-1 victory.
Pep Guardiola admitted his team deserved to lose after the abysmal performance, and Bayern Munich will now look to bounce back against a Schalke side determined to build on their 1-0 win from the weekend.
"It's not possible to win every game," said a philosophical Guardiola. "Nobody wants to lose, but sometimes you have to lose if you want to get better."
The loss would have certainly acted as a wake-up call for Bayern Munich, who have been cruising the league this season, emphasised by the fact that they still hold an eight-point lead over second-placed Wolfsburg.
"We need to recover the points we dropped in Wolfsburg and bounce back straight away," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was quoted as saying by the team's official website. "The first few games after the restart always tell you where you're heading. We need to be wide awake again at once and get back to peak form."
Schalke, in fourth on 30 points, 15 behind Bayern, will look to do the same and counter-attack Bayern, who are prone to mistakes against pacy players, especially when they hold that high line.
Guardiola, of course, is well aware of that fact. "If we let our opponents build up pace and counter attack, we're done for," said Guardiola. "We have to get that under control. The whole team has to play better on Tuesday evening. Schalke are one of the best teams in Germany with superb defensive organisation.
"If we win, we will be happy. If we draw, we'll have a seven point [lead], if we lose, five points, we have to continue forward. If we win, we are the best in the world, if we lose, we are a catastrophe.
"But that happens at all the big clubs in the world, so it's not a big surprise for me. The most important thing for me is to try to get the players to understand why we won, and why we lost. That's the most important thing for a coach.
"I have to convince them about the idea of the game. I can't tell them that they need to win against Schalke, they've already won everything before. I have to convince them what is best for the team."
Where to Watch Live
The match is scheduled for an 8 pm local time (12.30 am IST, 7 pm GMT) start with live coverage in India on Neo Prime. Viewers in the UK can catch the game live on BT Sport 2 or Watch BT Sport.
The game will be shown live in the US and Canada on Gol TV, while audience in Germany can catch the game on Sky or Sky Go.
Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can catch the action on Bein Sports Arabia 4, with the live streaming option on Bein Sports Connect, with Australia viewers able to watch the game live on Bein Sports Australia or Bein Sports Connect Australia.
Team news: Bayern Munich: Franck Ribery, Philipp Lahm, Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez and Rafinha remain on the sidelines, while Guardiola will have to make a decision on the likes of Dante and Sebastian Rode, who struggled against Wolfsburg, especially with the option of bringing Holger Badstuber back from a long-term injury available.
Schalke: Main striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is suspended after being given a six-match ban by the Bundesliga, for his sending off against Hannover, while Ralf Fahrmann, Leon Goretzka, Sead Kolasinac, Jefferson Farfan, Julian Draxler and Chinedu Obasi are all unavailable for selection.
Expected lineups: Bayern Munich: Neuer; Jerome Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Rode, Xabi Alonso, Schweinsteiger, Bernat; Robben, Muller; Lewandowski.
Schalke: Giefer; Howedes, Kirchhoff, Nastasic; Uchida, Fuchs; Neustadter; Barnetta, Meyer; Choupo-Moting, Kevin-Prince Boateng.