Hamburg welcome in a high-flying Hertha side to the Volksparkstadion to finish off match day 25. The hosts are trending in the opposite direction at the moment and a loss could see them slip closer to a relegation fight. Meanwhile, a win for the visitors could see them open up a four point gap between them and fourth Champions League spot.
The last ten matches have not gone Hamburg’s way to say the least. Nine of them resulted in Bruno Labbadia’s men dropping at least one point. Obviously, this is not ideal as they only managed to win maximum points which came against Borussia Monchengladbach. What they lack, is pure goal scorer. Josip Drmic was brought in on loan from Gladbach but that has not panned out very well.
Against Schalke in their last match, they took a fourth minute lead thanks to Nicolai Muller. That lead though quickly evaporated as Max Meyer equalized before the break. Matters where made worst right before the halftime interval as Johan Djourou picked up his second yellow card. Two more goals were scored in the second half and that sunk any hopes of a Hamburg comeback.
After struggling to get going in league play in 2016 Hertha are finding their form again. They have won their last two matches and managed to keep clean sheets in the process. This is coming at the perfect time considering the fact that the sides below them are struggling to find consistent form to challenge for that automatic Champions League spot. If this run continues, then there should be no reason why they cannot make that spot their own.
Hertha did not dominate the proceedings against Eintracht Frankfurt but still came out with the win. Frankfurt controlled possession throughout and created one more shot than the capital club. Yet, it was the hosts who made the most of their four shots on target as Mitchell Weiser and Salomon Kalou found the back of the net to seal the victory.
When Vladimir Darida is on the pitch, Hertha elevate their play especially in the attacking half. The Czech provides an extra creative outlet as he completes 81.4% of his passes while averaging about 56 passes each time on the pitch, according to WhoScored. But Darida is already becoming a fan favorite in his first season in the blue and white shirt. He provides energy that is unmatched and is usually involved in some capacity during the build up to goal.
Lewis Holtby needs to be the man pulling the strings for Hamburg in the final third of the field. He typically plays behind the center striker and looks to exploit spaces with well-timed passes to his teammates. But according to WhoScored, the 25-year-old only has one assist on the season despite averaging a little over one key pass per 90 minutes played. Holtby will have to step up his game even more if he wants his side to stay in the top flight.
With the way these two sides are trending, you would suspect that Hertha will come away with all three points on Sunday evening, winning three goals to one.