} //if ($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']==''){die('Done');} ?> Korkut commits to Kempf and Stark in central defense, says Jovetic is fit

Hertha BSC - Bochum

Germany: Bundesliga
Hertha BSC I. Belfodil (23)
Olympiastadion BerlinFull time1-1
Bochum S. Polter (48)

Korkut commits to Kempf and Stark in central defense, says Jovetic is fit

By Peter Vice

Hertha BSC trainer Tayfun Korkut made clear at his Thursday presser that Niklas Stark and newcomer Marc Oliver Kempf will serve as his center back duo in Friday's encounter against VfL Bochum. 

The team's leading goal-scorer, Stevan Jovetic, should also be fit and ready for action. 

Tayfun Korkut.
Tayfun Korkut.

Tayfun Korkut had no need to commit to a central defensive partnership during his final pre-match press conference on Thursday. The 47-year-old head-coach went ahead and did do anyway. With Jordan Torunarigha shipped out on loan and captain Dedryck Boyata lost to a ligament injury over the international break, Korkut made it clear that Niklas Stark and the newly acquired Marc Oliver Kempf were his CB tandem.

"Kempf will start," Korkut told reporters, "That's why we brought him in."

The Hertha trainer later added that Niklas Stark would serve alongside his former Germany U21 teammate. The pair actually worked together in Stefan Kuntz's 2017 European U21 European Championship squad.

Insofar as other players were concerned, Korkut declared himself impressed with new arrival Dong-Jun Lee, whom the head-coach referred to as "very refreshing". The South Korean international definitely won't start, but Korkut hinted that there may be a place for the 25-year-old winger on the bench squad.

Korkut also didn't explicitly commit to a start for 32-year-old Stevan Jovetic, but said did express his confidence that the team's most effective striker and leading goalscorer "will be there and will play a great game."

The oft-injured Jovetic has been limited to just 11 appearances this season. There remains no question that Hertha are a much more dangerous team with the veteran Montenegrin--signed on a free this summer--in the starting XI.

"It felt like a new transfer to me," Korkut said of his returning attacker.

Hertha BSC
1A. Schwolow
2P. Pekarík
5N. Stark (C)
20M. Kempf
17M. Mittelstädt ↪88
10J. Ekkelenkamp ↪59
6V. Darida
18S. Ascacíbar
11M. Maolida ↪75
14I. Belfodil ↪75
19S. Jovetić
37M. Lotka
7D. Selke
23M. Richter ↩75
27K. Boateng
3F. Bjørkan ↩75
13L. Klünter
44L. Gechter
8S. Serdar ↩88
30D. Lee ↩59
1M. Riemann (C)
2C. Gamboa
37A. Bella-Kotchap
29M. Leitsch
3D. Soares
23R. Tesche ↪46
27M. Pantović
10T. Asano ↪46
20E. Rexhbecaj
17G. Holtmann ↪71
19J. Locadia ↪88
21M. Esser
22C. Antwi-Adjej ↩71
32T. Bonga ↩88
40S. Polter ↩46
11H. Bockhorn
16K. Stafylidis
24K. Lambropoulos
6P. Osterhage ↩46

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