Hoffenheim travel to the capital with a chance to jump Bayern and Dortmund in the standings with a win on Matchday 8.
|Marco Richter.||Photo: Hertha BSC/citypress|
It was a difficult international break for Hertha, as Jean-Paul Boetius become the club's second player this season to undergo surgery with a testicular tumor. Luckily, Marco Richter has wowed in a substitute role ever since his inspiring return back to the pitch.
Sandro Schwarz has a difficult task ahead with an improving Hoffenheim side coming to town. Hertha have given supporters a bit more hope thus far, but they can't keep settling for draws if they want to escape a looming relegation battle.
Chidera Ejuke has shown flashes of creative brilliance, but Dodi Lukebakio and Wilfried Kanga need to become more efficient up front. While the defense has looked well-organized despite the loss of Dedryck Boyata, the capital club have only scored seven goals through Matchday 7.
Goalkeeper Oliver Christensen stated that he does not want to lose to friend and Hoffenheim winger Jacob Bruun Larsen: "Jacob is a good friend of mine and we were roommates with the U21s. We've already spoken. I can't lose to him under any circumstances, it just won't do - we have to win."
Linus Gechter, Kelian Nsona, Jessic Ngankam and Jean-Paul Boëtius won't be in the squad. Rune Jarstein is still indefinitely suspended.
Without any European football to worry about, Hoffenheim sit in the top half of the table and have looked especially improved on the defensive end under Andre Breitenreiter. Ozan Kabak has stood out amongst the group of defensive summer signings to join the 'Kevins' (Vogt and Akpoguma) at the back.
With Angelino on the left wing, Robert Skov is likely to return from injury back on the right side once again. Andrej Kramaric is playing his favorite team on Sunday, as he's scored more goals against Hertha (9) than any other Bundesliga club.
With a win, Hoffenheim will move to 3rd in the table, with just Freiburg and Union ahead.
Breitenreiter stated that, "(Hertha) wait for the opponent to lose the ball and then transition very quickly. With players like Lukebakio, Hertha have the right tools to do this. But we want to play our game as always, be adaptable and create lots of chances."
Ihlas Bebou, Ermin Bicakcic and Benjamin Hübner are all likely out with injuries.