Friday night football is back as the German Bundesliga heads to its second week back after a two-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 22, 2020, the Berlin Derby kicks off this week’s Bundesliga action with Hertha Berlin hosting Union Berlin at the Olympiastadion. This game will be aired live via FS2 at 2:30 pm EST.
Hertha Berlin heads to this week 27 match in 11th place and in between the European position and the relegation playoffs. They are 8 points behind 6th place Wolfsburg and are eight points up on 16th place Dusseldorf. With a couple more wins, they should be able to secure a return to the top flight next season.
Union Berlin is one spot below Hertha at #12. They are happy with their current standing but like Hertha, they will need victories in their next remaining games if they are to remain in the Bundesliga 1.
These teams have met five times before and Union Berlin has the 2-2-1 advantage over Hertha Berlin. Union Berlin won the last meeting between these two sides 1-0 last November 2, 2019.
Hertha Berlin looked fantastic in their first football match after 60 days as they defeated TSG Hoffenheim 3-0 last weekend. They looked focused, calm, and hungry while displaying fantastic teamwork. The road win gave new head coach Bruno Labbadia a winning start to his term as Hertha Berlin boss.
They controlled 49% of ball possession with six shots on goal, five corner kicks while completing 84% of their passes. With the win, Hertha moved one step closer in avoiding the relegation zone.
Hertha is now in 11th place in the Bundesliga table with 31 points. They have scored a total of 35 goals this season while conceding 48 goals this term. Lukebakio leads the team with a total of 5 goals while Ibisevic has four goals scored for the squad. Darida leads the team with a total of four assists.
Hertha Berlin had been struggling on both offense and defense before the suspension of the Bundesliga. However, they looked rejuvenated last weekend in their first match under Bruno Labbadia.
The team looked determined to win from start to finish and they displayed the kind of aggression that we hadn’t seen from them with their previous two coaches.
This game is important for Hertha Berlin in terms of picking up points because they will face RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund in two of their next three matches after facing Union Berlin. Their last two games of the season will also be against Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach so they have to take advantage of winnable games like this one.
Interestingly, Hertha Berlin has been playing better in away games, even before the suspension of the season. They have not won in their last six home matches, with three draws and three losses. Hertha has won only three out of 3 home games played this season.
Odds from BetOnline as of 05/21/2020
Union Berlin faced a tough task in their first match after the break. The team faced seven-time defending champions Bayern Munich last weekend and lost the match 0-2. With the loss, Union Berlin is in 12th place with 30 points.
Against Bayern Munich, Union Berlin only had 32% of ball possession. They only had 2 shots on goal and four corner kicks while completing only 67% of their passes. They will need a couple more wins to ensure their safety from the relegation zone.
Union Berlin has not won in their last four matches and they have conceded a total of 10 goals during that period while only scoring four goals. Andersson has scored a total of 11 goals for Union this season while Butler has seven goals and Trimmel has seven assists.
Union Berlin has proved that it can compete in the Bundesliga. However, I think that the coronavirus suspension may have killed whatever momentum they had. Union has a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way as they have matches against Mainz, SC Paderborn, TSG Hoffenheim, and Fortuna Dusseldorf which are all winnable.
Like Hertha, Union Berlin has struggled when playing away from their home field. They have lost four times in their last six away matches. Five out of their last six road games ended with at least three goals scored, with most of them ending up on their net.
These are two teams near the bottom of the Bundesliga table and are fighting to keep their place in the top flight. Hertha Berlin heads to this match with the better form as they won their first game back after the suspension. They also have more quality in their lineup and it looks like they have the right coach now.
Hertha has not won a home game against Union Berlin but with their victory over Hoffenheim last weekend, they should have the momentum here and play with better spirits. Union Berlin has looked decent all-season long but they have not played well when they are away from home.
I think that Union Berlin will be happy to leave with a draw but Hertha Berlin will be more equipped to win this match. This might end up as a close game but I think that Hertha Berlin will play good enough to in this home match. I’m picking Hertha Berlin to win this match.
Prediction: Hertha Berlin (+129)
Odds from BetOnline as of 05/21/2020
Hertha Berlin’s last six games have yielded a total score of at least three goals. They have also scored at least two goals in their last three matches. On the other hand, Union Berlin has conceded a total of 14 goals in their last six away matches. I think we could see at least three total goals in this match.
Prediction: Over 2.5 goals (-116)