The Berlin Derby takes centre stage this weekend in the Bundesliga as Hertha Berlin host city rival Union Berlin. The city’s second team, Union Berlin, took the spoils in the first meeting of the campaign. Union Berlin won 1-0 thanks to an 87th-minute Sebastian Polter penalty, giving the club the bragging rights over the capital. Now, Union Berlin will hope to complete the double and leapfrog Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga table.
Home team Hertha Berlin have blown hot and cold, but last weekend’s 3-0 win over Hoffenheim was everything fans had been waiting for. Coach Bruno Labbadia took over the club prior to the Covid-19 break and won his first match in charge of the blue and white. Hertha Berlin are 11th on 31 points from 26 games. They sit just one point higher in the table than Union Berlin.
While the home team are on a high, Union Berlin have lost back to back games. Last weekend, they fell 2-0 to Bayern Munich in a scrappy game at home. Union Berlin have won just six times in their last sixteen fixtures and seven points separate them from the bottom three. A loss could see them pulled closer to the relegation zone once more.
Can Union Berlin pull off a double over Hertha Berlin or will the home team avenge their earlier defeat?
Matches between Union Berlin and Hertha Berlin do not come along often. Prior to this campaign, the two sides hadn’t met since 2013 in the Bundesliga 2. Since 2005, these teams have met just five times in league play. Union Berlin have put together a strong record against Hertha Berlin in that time with mark of 2W-2D-1L.
Union Berlin go into the derby having lost back to back fixtures. The magnitude of the derby means that form goes out the window, however. The red and white have won just three times away from home this campaign collecting 11 points from 39 possible. They have struggled to score goals away from home with just 14 while conceding 25 times.
Hertha Berlin have been appalling at home with a mere 12 points from 39 taken. Labbadia’s work as coach is already paying off, however. They should be far better under the experienced coach than any of the men leading them prior to this season. Hertha Berlin have won a mere three games at the Olympiastadion. In their two previous meetings, Hertha Berlin have not won against Union Berlin at home.
Hertha Berlin can be backed at odds of 13/10 to win Friday night's match. Union Berlin are priced at odds of 9/4 to win their second Berlin derby of the season.
Labbadia has transformed the blue and white half of the capital. Hertha Berlin are coming off of a clean sheet versus Hoffenheim making it their sixth clean sheet win of the campaign. Labbadia does have a few personnel issues heading into the game on Friday night. Salomon Kalou missed last weekend’s match due to “personal issues”. He may sit out Friday night’s derby as well. Karim Rekik also missed the win over Hoffenheim.
Labbadia did not start January transfer signing Krzysztof Piatek but did bring him on in the second half. Brazilian Matheus Cunha scored for the blue and white and was lively throughout the fixture for the club. The 20-year-old has only scored twice this term but could feature again behind a central striker versus Union Berlin.
Union Berlin have several injury issues heading into the weekend. Maurice Opfermann Arcones is listed as recovering from a knock but may not feature. Sheraldo Becker is also listed as injured and may not return in time for the match. Akaki Gogia is back in training after suffering an ACL injury.
Polter, the game winning goalscorer in the first derby of the season, sat out Union Berlin’s loss to Bayern Munich. He could return to his place in the team for the derby.
Hertha Berlin to score a penalty - 6/1 - BET NOW
The first weekend back from the Covid-19 break saw several penalties given over the course of the three days of football. Union Berlin conceded a penalty to Bayern Munich on Sunday and with such a fiery match coming up on Friday, a penalty could settle things at the Olympiastadion. Union Berlin won the first derby of the season with a penalty. Can Hertha Berlin win at home with a penalty?
Over 2.5 goals - 19/20 - BET NOW
The return of the Bundesliga saw some big scorelines. Six of the eight games from matchday 26 saw over 2.5 goals scored. Although it is a derby and just one goal separated the teams last time out, Hertha Berlin’s attack with Labbadia in charge could run riot for a second straight week.
Matheus Cunha to score anytime - 21/10 - BET NOW
Cunha is just 20-years-old and a promising star in the making in Berlin. He could find his way to another club in the offseason due to the amount of potential in his locker. Cunha has scored three goals in 15 matches with all three goals coming in his last three Bundesliga matches. Cunha could be the next Roberto Firmino, who famously played as a second striker for Hoffenheim before making the move to Liverpool.
Labbadia has already turned around Hertha Berlin making them an incredibly exciting team last weekend versus Hoffenheim. Hertha Berlin have aspirations of being one of the Bundesliga’s top clubs. However, their desire to be great doesn’t always mesh with reality. Labbadia could be the man to transform the team.
Union Berlin will put up resistance to Hertha Berlin on Friday night. However, if Hertha Berlin play like they did against Hoffenheim, they should ease past their city rival. Hertha Berlin should pick up another big win and move three points closer to an unlikely top six finish.
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