Bayern Munich could seal the Bundesliga title this weekend if they beat rivals RB Leipzig on Sunday and both Schalke and Dortmund fail to win.
Another weekend without the infamous Monday Night Football could serve as a confirmation that the DFB have finally abandoned the recently introduced fixtures.
This was the right moment for RB Leipzig to have a go at the ‘extra-day of rest’ given the fact that they are set to feature in a title-decider match. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men just travelled 6,760 to and from Russia, to face Zenit in the second leg of the Europa League, emerging victors in the double header.
For all the wrong and right reasons, the two teams that should have been given advantage for the reasons stated by the DFB for Monday games won’t have it. Neither did they have it in their previous games even when they really deserved it.
Is it just a matter of setting the red carpet for Bayern or just a move to confirm they have abandoned the infamous fixtures?
Do not miss Hamburger SV v Hertha Berlin live on Sanyuka TV and Star Times
Hamburger SV v Hertha Berlin preview
Hamburger were hit 6-0 by Bayern Munich last week and are lying second from bottom without a win in their last thirteen games, a feat that had Bernd Hollerbach fired in the mix after just seven games in charge.
Caretaker, Christian Titz, is now charged with responsibility to lead HSV when they take on Hertha Berlin this Saturday. He inherits an uphill task to save The Red Shorts from relegation with eight games to play and a seven points gap from play-offs place.
For starters, after being announced caretaker, Titz did not take time to state what his time will mean to every player at the Club; “It’s very important that the fans continue to show us such great support, as they have done in difficult times in recent years. It makes a huge difference for the players, especially those without much experience.”
“The same goes for the goalkeepers and captain issue. There will definitely be changes in the starting XI – a mix of young and experienced players.” Added Hitz, who introduced many youngsters to the first team training with midfielder Ondrej Duda and striker Davie Selke the biggest prospects. This makes his starting line-up difficult to predict.
Nicolai Müller remains sidelined with an ankle injury alongside Bjarne Thoelke and Albin Ekdal.
Only Palko Dardai is out for Hertha and it will be interesting to see how Per Skjelbred challenges Arne Maier for a starting place in midfield while Vladimir Darida and Ondrej Duda also compete for one in attack.
As Hamburger struggle, Hertha haven’t been impressive either after failing to score in their last four games.
Match stats as per Bundesliga.com
- Titz is Hamburg’s 18th coach in 10 years.
- Arp’s goal in the reverse fixture – a 2-1 win for Hertha – saw him become Hamburg’s youngest ever scorer at 17 years, nine months and 23 days of age.
- HSV have won their last two home games against Hertha with an aggregate score of 3-0.
- Salomon Kalou is Hertha’s top scorer with nine goals. The Ivorian also has one assist to his name this season.
- The capital club have never gone five matches without scoring.
- Hertha have won seven of their last nine matches against the Bundesliga’s only ever-present club.
Christian Mathenia; Gōtoku Sakai (c) – Kyriakos Papadopoulos – Van Drongelen – Douglas; Gideon Jung; Tatsuya Ito – Wallace – Aaron Hunt; Filip Kostic – Jann-Fiete Arp
Coach: Christian Titz
Hertha: Rune Jarstein; Peter Pekarik (c) – Niklas Stark – Karim Rekik – Marvin Plattenhardt; Maier – Fabian Lustenberger; Mitchell Weiser – Lazaro – Solomon Kalou; Davie Selke
Coach: Pal Dardai
SC Freiburg v VfB Stuttgart – Friday 10:30PM
Eintracht Frankfurt v 1. FSV Mainz 05
FC Augsburg v SV Werder Bremen
Borussia M’gladbach v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Hamburger SV v Hertha BSC
VfL Wolfsburg v FC Schalke 04
Borussia Dortmund v Hannover 96
- FC Köln v Bayer 04 Leverkusen
RB Leipzig v Bayern Munich