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Hertha BSC - Stuttgart

Germany: Bundesliga
Hertha BSC
Olympiastadion BerlinFull time2-0
Stuttgart
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Hertha BSC vs Stuttgart preview: Crucial encounter in the Bundesliga relegation battle

By Ben Sully

Another important contest in the fight to remain in the Bundesliga will take place at the Olympiastadion on Sunday.

Stuttgart - who sit in the relegation playoff place - are just a point behind Hertha BSC, who are aiming to clinch consecutive victories.

Pellegrino Matarazzo.
Pellegrino Matarazzo.

Hertha BSC


After losing 4-1 in the Berlin derby, Hertha were beginning to contemplate life in the second tier, however, a 1-0 win over Augsburg last weekend has offered renewed hope for Sunday's hosts.


Although the scoreline was narrow, Hertha's performance against the Fuggerstädter warranted the three points, with a Suat Serdar strike proving enough to guide Felix Magath's side to just their second victory of 2022.

The second-worst defence in the top flight would have also been pleased to keep just their second away clean sheet of the Bundesliga season.

Despite beating Augsburg, Die Alte Dame are still embroiled in an almighty battle to remain in the Bundesliga, with Hertha just a point clear of Stuttgart, who occupy the relegation playoff spot.

Although they have home advantage in their favour, Hertha will be scarred by recent games at the Olympiastadion. They have lost six of their last eight home games in all competitions, with Hertha conceding at least three goals in each of those six defeats.

Hertha will be looking for another positive defensive display after their clean sheet last weekend, although they have conceded more home league goals than any other side in the Bundesliga. Twenty-two of their 31 goals conceded at the Olympiastadion have occurred in the second half of matches, suggesting that Hertha's backline begins to tire as the matches progress.
Team News

Magath has confirmed that Lukas Klünter will miss out after picking up a shoulder injury. Marco Richter is also unavailable as he serves a one-match suspension for yellow cards accumulation. Meanwhile, Dong-jun Lee, Stevan Jovetic and Alexander Schwolow are also out injured for the hosts.


Stuttgart


Stuttgart know that a win on Sunday would see them leapfrog Hertha in the league table.

The visitors may be winless in their last three matches, but they have been a tough team to beat in recent weeks, losing just one of their previous six matches.

After losing 2-0 at home to Borussia Dortmund, Pellegrino Matarazzo's side played out a goalless draw with Mainz last weekend, leaving them in the relegation playoff spot.

The visitors are just two points clear of the automatic relegation places, and with Bayern Munich and FC Köln still to play, Stuttgart will be fully aware of the importance of their next two matches against Hertha and Wolfsburg.

Die Schwaben have struggled on the road this term, with a failure to convert away draws into victories hampering their season. Stuttgart have drawn seven away league matches this season - more than any other team in the top-flight - while they have won just one Bundesliga match on their travels this season.

As they look for a second away win in the league, Stuttgart can take inspiration from the 2-0 victory they picked up in October 2020 in their last trip to the Olympiastadion.
Team News

The visitors are unable to call upon Silas, Daniel Didavi, Nikolas Nartey and Mohamed Sankoh, who are all sidelined due to injury issues.


Hertha BSC
(4-2-3-1)
37M. Lotka
2P. Pekarík
4D. Boyata (C)
20M. Kempf
21M. Plattenhardt ↪46
29L. Tousart
18S. Ascacíbar
6V. Darida ↪74
27K. Boateng ↪63
8S. Serdar ↪63
7D. Selke ↪78
Bench
32O. Christensen
14I. Belfodil ↩63
24L. Wollschläger
46A. Kade
3F. Bjørkan ↩46
5N. Stark ↩74
17M. Mittelstädt ↩63
31M. Dárdai
10J. Ekkelenkamp ↩78
Stuttgart
(4-3-3)
1F. Müller
15P. Stenzel ↪24
5K. Mavropanos
37H. Ito
24B. Sosa
3W. Endo (C)
2W. Anton
23O. Mangala ↪71
18T. de Melo Tomás ↪87
9S. Kalajdzic
22C. Führich ↪87
Bench
33F. Bredlow
50A. Tibidi ↩71
43L. Bazzoli
7T. Coulibaly ↩87
8E. Millot ↩87
11E. Thommy ↩24
20P. Förster
31M. Klimowicz
34Ö. Beyaz

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