Hertha BSC head to Union Berlin in what will be an electric atmosphere for an unusual Berlin derby on Matchday 1.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Union have quite the season ahead of them, as three competitions await including an exciting Europa League campaign. First things first, they are looking to take care of business against their bitter rival in the first game of the year.
Taiwo Awoniyi is gone, but he's replaced by American Jordan Siebatcheu and both-footed Jamie Leweling. They are exciting young attackers that will undoubtedly wreak havoc on opposing defenses when paired with speedster Sheraldo Becker.
Urs Fischer believes that, "Hertha are well organized and compact, the hallmarks of the new manager are already clear to see...We have analyzed the cup game, the two pre-season friendlies, as well as the games from last season, and know we need to be more uncompromising."
It will be a sensational atmosphere at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. A Berlin derby on Matchday 1? What a treat.
Timo Baumgartl has incredibly returned to training after completing his chemotherapy treatments. He isn't quite ready to make his return to the pitch, but this recovery is nothing short of spectacular news. Fabio Schneider is also out with a knee injury.
Hertha are coming off a heartbreaking loss to Eintracht Braunschweig in the first round of the DFB-Pokal which isn't exactly what new trainer Sandro Schwarz had in mind. The former Mainz coach isn't the only change at the top, as many Hertha fans are pleased with their new president and former ultra Kay Bernstein.
Both have their hands full in trying to get this chaotic club looking back up the Bundesliga table. They had another interesting summer, but in un-Hertha fashion actually brought in a net gain of €10 million. Jonjoe Kenny from Everton will likely start at right-back, while Ivan Sunjic was brought in for midfield reinforcements.
In a press conference, the former Mainz man Schwarz states, "We want to be industrious, to use our pace and to bring our own game onto the pitch." One has to feel that a Berlin derby on Matchday 1 is a blessing in disguise for Hertha.
They are able to test themselves away against a quality opponent, nonetheless their rival Union. If Hertha lose in the first game of the season, fans could shrug it off to say Schwarz and his new squad need time to develop. But if Hertha are able to somehow win this derby, wow.
Supporters may start parading through the streets of Berlin. This feels like a win-win for Hertha.
Jessic Ngankam, Kelian Nsona and Marco Richter are all out with injures, while Lucas Tousart is suspended. Dong-jun Lee is unlikely to be in the squad due to a knee injury.
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Pokal round-up: Frankfurt progress, Hertha Berlin stun Mainz, and Nürnberg complete comeback in extra-time