Following a poor start to the season, Hertha Berlin will be hoping that the International break will reinvigorate the team after looking flat in the previous outings against Schalke 04 and Wolfsburg. They will travel to Mainz 04, a team who have also managed to start the season without a win and sit bottom of the table.
Last time out at Schalke it looked like a bleak affair for the Berlin-based team as they managed to score two own goals, one before and one after half time. Centre backs Niklas Stark and Karim Rekik scored the own goals in the 38th and 48th minute, with Everton loanee Jonjoe Kenny adding the third in the 85th minute to secure the victory. On the whole, Schalke were the better side at the Veltins-Arena, having 58% of the possession, as well as almost double the number of passes as their Berlin counterparts.
In their last game before the international break, Mainz 04 were trounced 6-1 by a strong Bayern Munich, despite scoring first. Jean-Paul Boetius slotted the visitor’s home at the six-minute mark, however by half time Bayern were back on top, managing to score in the 36th and 45th minute. By the 80th minute, the Bavarians had racked up six having dominated the game whilst they were at it.
What happened last time?
Last time out Hertha Berlin managed to scrape a 2-1 win at the Olympiastadion back in March. The first half was a dull affair; however, the second half really came to life. Mainz struck first with a Niklas Stark own goal in the 46th minute. However, this lead would only last for four minutes as Liverpool loanee Marko Grujic put the home side back on level terms on the 50th-minute mark. Stark would make up for his previous error by putting Berlin in front on the 60th-minute mark, sealing the win for Hertha.
Hertha Berlin should come into the game with a full-strength squad, bar the absence of Arnie Maier through injury and Sidney Friede through suspension. A big boost to the team will be the return to action of new signing Dedryck Boyata, six months after playing his last game for Celtic. Mainz are without strikers Dong-Won JI, Jean-Phillippe Mateta and Aaron Seydel, leaving them a little light up top. They are also without centre back Stefan Bell through an ankle injury and isn’t anticipated to be match ready until early November.
Predicted line ups
Mainz (4-2-3-1): Muller (GK), Pierre-Gabriel, St. Juste, Hack, Caricol, Fernandes, Latza, Baku, Boetius, Onisiwo, Szalai.
Hertha Berlin (4-2-3-1): Jarstein (GK), Klutner, Stark, Rekik, Plattenhardt, Darida, Grujic, Lukebakio, Duda, Mittelstadt, Ibisevic.
Press conference news
Hertha Berlin centre back Niklas Stark, whilst talking to Herthabsc.de stated that the mood around the players ‘isn’t great’ following the last two games against Schalke and Wolfsburg. “At the end of the day, we’re sportsmen and we’re not currently in the position we want to be in”.
Mainz head coach Sandro Schwarz, was more focused on the impact that the national break has had on his team. “We now have two days to fully prepare for Hertha with the entire group,” said Schwarz talking to the Mainz media team.