Hoffenheim vs. Hertha BSC preview:
The tense relegation fight continues
By Jonathan Dicks @Jonathan_Dicks
Hertha travel to the PreZero Arena in hopes of taking all three points from lowly Hoffenheim, who somehow still haven’t won a Bundesliga match since October 14th.
|Photo: TSG Hoffenheim|
Hoffenheim narrowly lost all three points again last weekend to Freiburg and it’s fair to say they deserved some sort of result. This means that TSG haven’t won a Bundesliga match in five months and Pellegrino Matarazzo is yet to even secure a draw.
Things couldn’t be any worse for the last-place side, as Saturday will likely be the end of the road for Matarazzo if he doesn’t claim all three points. Veterans such as Andrej Kramaric, who was an unused sub on Matchday 24, need to step forward and save the club from a catastrophic relegation.
Matarazzo mentioned, "We want to call upon the excellence from last week. Up for it on the pitch, displaying team spirit. And then take it up another notch. We want to transfer our discontent into energy."
Their lengthy injury list includes Jacob Bruun Larsen, Grischa Prömel, Kasper Dolberg, Stanley Nsoki and Justin Che. Kevin Vogt and Sebastian Rudy are available once again, while Ozan Kabak is suspended after his red card.
Hertha aren’t exactly sitting much prettier in 15th place with only two points between themselves and Hoffenheim. But, they have shown a bit more promise in recent weeks and even snatched a point away from Mainz the last time out.
The blue capital club have the 3rd-worst defense in the league and need the likely back three of Uremovic, Kempf and Dardai to play more consistent football. It’s unclear if Sandro Schwarz, who’s currently dealing with an illness, will roam the touchline on Saturday.
At a press conference, assistant coach Volkan Bulut said, "Staying up only happens if we work together. And that's due not only to the eleven players on the pitch, but also those on the bench who are pushing the others."
Kelian Nsona, Chidera Ejuke and Jean-Paul Boëtius are all unavailable.