Preview: Werder Bremen vs. Hertha Berlin
Werder Bremen will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats when they host Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga’s Friday night match.
The visitors, meanwhile, moved three points clear of the relegation zone by claiming only their second league win of the season last time out.
After taking a miraculous 15 points from nine games having been promoted as Bundesliga 2 runners-up last season, Bremen were bound to suffer a setback or two sooner or later at the top level.
Ole Werner’s side have entertained both their fanbase and neutrals alike with an attacking style of play this season, with only Bayern Munich scoring more goals than them prior to their 2-0 defeat at home to Mainz 05 two matchdays ago.
However, they were beaten by the same scoreline by Freiburg last weekend, too, with a disappointing penalty shootout defeat to second-tier side Paderborn in the second round of the DFB-Pokal sandwiched in between.
In truth, Marco Friedl’s 14th-minute dismissal gave his side little hope of earning a positive result away to a team flying high in third position in the table, although it did take Christian Streich’s side until the 56th minute to break the deadlock through Lukas Kubler’s strike.
As they have so often this season with so many crucial late goals in their favour, Die Werderaner must once again show great character on Friday to bounce back from three poor results on the bounce.
Hertha came exceptionally close to swapping divisions with Bremen, of course, but they were saved by a 2-0 win away to Hamburger SV in the relegation playoff last season having lost the first leg 1-0 at home.
Sandro Schwarz has been tasked with rebuilding Hertha after several poor seasons for Die Alte Dame, and so far the former Mainz manager is doing a decent job as he has guided them to 11 points from 11 matches.
Only rock-bottom Greuther Furth conceded more goals than Hertha last season, yet six teams – all of whom are in the top seven in the table – have conceded fewer than them so far this season.
However, wins have been hard to come by, making Wilfried Kanga’s 88th-mintue winner against struggling Schalke 04 at the Olympiastadion last weekend a moment to savour for their fans, especially as it lifted them three points clear of danger ahead of their trip to Bremen on Friday.
Werder Bremen Bundesliga form:
Werder Bremen form (all competitions):
Hertha Berlin Bundesliga form:
We say: Werder Bremen 2-2 Hertha Berlin
We can envisage an entertaining encounter at the Weserstadion on Friday night, especially if Hertha continue with the 4-2-2-2 system which they deployed for their win against Schalke last weekend.
That would mean both teams playing with two out-and-out strikers, with a score draw arguably the most likely outcome given Bremen’s drop-off in form in recent weeks.