The second weekend of the Bundesliga return kicks off on Friday night and it does so with a battle of the two sides in the capital as Hertha Berlin host local rivals Union Berlin in the second ever derby at top flight level.
These two sides had very different results on their return to action last week with Hertha picking up a fine win on the road, while Union were on the wrong end of a Bayern Munich training session, so it will be interesting to see if those runs continue or form gets reversed.
The bigger of the two sides in Berlin, Hertha Berlin, are under new management and they got off to a winning start under their recently arrived coach last week. They picked up a fine 3-0 win at Hoffenheim which is a result that made one or two take notice and offers up what we might expect from them for the remainder of the campaign. They will be looking to resume where they left off last week and fancy their chances here.
If there is a concern for Hertha, their form at the Olympiastadion has been indifferent this season. They have only won three of their 13 assignments on their home patch so that is a record they will be looking to improve on before the season ends. If expectation from the crowd was a reason for their struggles then they are likely to benefit from the league continuing behind closed doors you would imagine.
This was meant to be a big occasion for Union Berlin but the circumstances that the match takes place under lessen the effect of it slightly. This is the second time Union were due to compete in a marquee match, with the first of them being last week when they hosted the champions Bayern Munich. That ended in disappointment when they were given a bit of a schooling, although they did well to keep the score down to 2-0.
In many ways it is hard to know what to make of them on that evidence because it was pretty clear from an early stage that keeping the score down was the primary aim. They left their top scorer Sebastian Andersson on the bench for that game which said everything we need to know, so you would think they would carry more intent about them here at the very least. Union have only won three of their road matches this term, so this is a chance to pick up their away form.
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January signing Krzysztof Piatek could be available for Hertha Berlin in this match which would be a further boost to a side who are beginning to find their groove. They remain without Salomon Kalou who has been suspended internally for breaking Covid-19 rules.
Union Berlin will surely bring top goalscorer Sebastian Andersson back into their starting line up after he was left out against Bayern Munich. They are however expected to be without defender Keven Schlotterbeck.
After what we saw from Union Berlin last weekend it is hard to be interested in backing them but to be fair to them they have had a good campaign and there is surely a lot more to come from them than what we saw against Bayern Munich. They will need to be because Hertha Berlin looked very slick in their win at Hoffenheim last week and you would think that there will be more to come after a competitive run out too.
That said, there is something about the home form and the derby nature of the match that makes me nervous about backing Hertha so I’m going to take over 2.5 goals. I mentioned last week that I’m expecting goals to be a theme of these behind closed doors matches and I’ve not changed my mind on that front. Eight of Hertha’s last nine have contained over 2.5 goals and if we ignore last week when Union didn’t want to play, seven of their previous nine also went over. I’m expecting Union to carry more intent here while Hertha look to have clicked nicely. The over is the way to attack this derby.
WON – Back Over 2.5 goals for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with Bet365