Hertha must claim all three points in what will be an extremely tense affair on Saturday against Bochum, who are also fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table.
The task is simple for the blue capital club on Saturday afternoon. They must win to have any chance of playing in the first division next year, but even three points may not be enough.
This is Dodi Lukebakio’s 100th appearance for Hertha, in what will be their last game at the Olympiastadion this season. Luckily, Die Alte Dame haven’t lost in their last 13 competitive home games against Bochum.
In a plea to his team this week, trainer Pal Dardai said, "Over 60,000 fans will be there (on Saturday) and that's brilliant. Our team needs to fight for those supporters. We must win on Saturday for all the fans and staff at the club. For all of us."
Kelian Nsona, Tolga Cigerci, Filip Uremovic, and the suspended Jessic Ngankam are out. Marc-Oliver Kempf is expected to be fit enough to play.
With their massive win over Augsburg last week, Bochum can see light at the end of the tunnel. They currently sit in 15th place, one point clear of the relegation playoff spot, but need a result against lowly Hertha with a game against talented Leverkusen next week.
They will reportedly take a record 10,000 supporters to Berlin which will be very important, as Bochum have been extremely poor on the road this year. Long-balls will be sent in the direction of front-man Philipp Hofmann, who scored a brace against Hertha the last time out.
Thomas Letsch commented, “The situation is clear, Hertha must win. But we can't focus too much on how they will perform. It lies with us, how we want to perform and seal our own destiny. - There is definitely a bit of tension, that's quite normal. We're heading into crunch time.”
Patrick Osterhage is definitely out this weekend, while Konstantinos Stafylidis is questionable and could only train individually this week. Moritz Broschinski is also a doubt.