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Hertha BSC vs Union Berlin preview:
Who will claim the Berlin derby bragging rights?

By Ben Sully   @SullyBen

The standout game in matchday 29 will take place at the Olympiastadion on Saturday evening when Hertha BSC and Union Berlin come face-to-face for the third time this season in the much anticipated Berlin derby.
Taiwo Awoniyi.
Taiwo Awoniyi.

Hertha BSC

The derby encounter represents Felix Magath's third game in charge as Hertha boss. Although, this will be the first time Magath will appear in the home dugout for Hertha after he was unable to attend his first match at the helm due to a positive COVID-19 test.

In Hertha's last home contest, Magath watched on from afar as his new side demolished Hoffenheim courtesy of a 3-0 scoreline before they suffered a 2-1 away defeat against Bayer Leverkusen last time out.

The encounter with Die Werkself may have ended in defeat, but there was plenty of positives to take from the contest, as Hertha put up a valiant fight against a top-four Bundesliga side.

However, if Hertha are to remain in the top flight then they must pick up points, with Saturday's hosts languishing in the relegation zone. They do sit level on points with Arminia Bielefeld who sit in the relegation playoff spot, and they are about to embark on a crucial set of fixtures, with Union, Augsburg, Stuttgart and Bielefeld all to play in the next four games.

Despite the early positive signs under Magath's tutelage, Hertha have won just one game in 2022, and that statistic will need to change if they are to avoid the drop. With wins proving hard to come by, there would be no better time to inject some impetus into a survival fight than by getting one over your local rivals.
Team News

Hertha will be buoyed by the fact that Peter Pekarik has shaken off a knock ahead of the derby fixture, although there are doubts over the availability of Niklas Stark.

Union Berlin

Union are aiming to qualify for European competition for the second season in a row, and with just six games remaining, they sit in seventh position - three points adrift of Hoffenheim in sixth place.

Die Eisernen have experienced mixed results in recent weeks with their last five league matches resulting in two victories, two defeats and one draw.

They did, however, emerge victorious from their most recent contest, with a Taiwo Awoniyi goal proving enough to guide Union to a 1-0 victory over FC Köln.

Although Urs Fischer's side will be buoyed by that result, their away form will not leave them feeling optimistic ahead of the derby, with all of their last four away games ending in defeat. What will particularly concern the Union boss is that his side failed to score in all four of those defeats.

Despite struggling on their travels in recent games, Union can be proud of their efforts this season, having accumulated 41 points this term - their highest Bundesliga tally after 28 games.

The visitors also have the chance to beat their local rivals for a third time this season after winning the reverse fixture 2-0 before clinching a 3-2 victory over Hertha in the DFB-Pokal in January.
Team News

Dominique Heintz could replace Paul Jaeckel in a back three, with the latter set to serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards, while Frederik Rønnow will keep his place in goal if Andreas Luthe is not fit enough to return.

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