Germany: Bundesliga
FT
2 - 1
(2 - 1)
Hertha BSC
Stuttgart
M. Kempf (29), F. Niederlechner (45)
S. Guirassy (38)
By Jonathan Dicks@Jonathan_Dicks

Hertha BSC vs. Stuttgart preview: A massive relegation fixture

Two teams at the bottom of the table face off in a massive relegation tie, but it may already be too late for the blue capital club.

Hertha BSC


The light at the end of the tunnel is looking dim, as Hertha are now 6 points away from the relegation-playoff spot with four matchdays to go. Even former coach Felix Magath said this week that, "For me, Hertha are as good as relegated."

Yet, Pal Dardai’s side don’t have the worst schedule in the world to conclude the season, but claiming only one point against Stuttgart this weekend probably won’t be enough. Dodi Lukebakio needs to step up and the return of Stevan Jovetic could fill a huge creative void up front.

Dardai mentioned, “We saw a team on the pitch in Munich. It's a pity the boys didn't reward themselves for that. The team has to stay that compact. All players are healthy, that's nice.”
Team News

Kelian Nsonsa is the only confirmed out for Hertha, while Ivan Sunjic is still seemingly banned from team activities. Jovetic, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Marton Dardai and Marco Richter were seen back in team training this week. However, it’s unclear if Tjark Ernst and Tolga Cigerci are fit enough to play.

Stuttgart


Stuttgart will undoubtedly take a large contingent of supporters to the Olympiastadion on Saturday afternoon to see off their 5th consecutive matchday without a loss. They did fall out of the DFB-Pokal semis to Frankfurt midweek, but nonetheless, Sebastian Hoeneß has done a stunning job since taking over.

Die Schwaben are finally scoring goals again as they’ve put away 11 in their last 5 competitive games. It’s no coincidence that Serhou Guirassy has returned to fitness, while Borna Sosa and Josha Vagnoman are back playing in their regular positions.

Still, Stuttgart are only 1 point above 17th place and it doesn’t get any bigger this weekend against a relegation-threatened rival.

Hoeneß commented, “Berlin are individually well equipped, will be playing in front of a full house and have shown many times that, particularly at home, they’re a tricky team to play against. It’s going to be hard work against a team who are fighting for their lives.”
Team News

Konstantinos Mavropanos, who could not complete the Pokal match on Wednesday, won't be available. Atakan Karazor has to serve a yellow-card suspension, but Waldemar Anton and Tiago Tomas are probable.

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