Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha – Saturday, October 27, 14:30BST/15:30 CEST – SIGNAL IDUNA Park, Dortmund, Germany
It will be a true top game at the SIGNAL IDUNA Park on Saturday afternoon. First-placed Borussia Dortmund host sixth-placed Hertha Berlin.
There is, however, no doubt that Dortmund will be massive favourites going into this one after the Yellow and Blacks dispatched Spanish giants Atlético Madrid 4-0 on Wednesday night. That match against Atlético was by many deemed the first true character test of a high flying Dortmund side, and despite the impressive result the Yellow and Blacks had to show grit, strength and determination to see off Atlético.
Dortmund have now scored 30 goals in their last six competitive games (on average 5 goals). As a result, Dortmund collected nine out of nine points in the Champions League and are three points clear of second-place Borussia Mönchengladbach, and more importantly four points clear of fourth-placed Bayern, in the Bundesliga standings.
Hence, going into the match on Saturday there will be little doubt that the Yellow and Blacks will be once again favourites. But while the result against Atlético was fantastic Hertha will be another stern test for Dortmund.
Head coach Lucien Favre, who coached Hertha from 2007 to 2009, might make some minor changes to the squad. But with Manuel Akanji and Marcel Schmelzer still missing Favre will likely start the same backline that kept a clean sheet against Atlético. That means that Abdou Diallo, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Achraf Hakimi, who have minimal international experience, will have to once again go the full distance.
Going the full distance will also be in store for Hertha’s defensive partnership of Niklas Stak and Karim Rekik. Both should be back in action after they both struggled with some minor health problems, which forced them to miss the game against Freiburg.
Hertha head coach Pal Dardai has formed one of the most disciplined units in the Bundesliga in the German capital. That sort of discipline has often meant that Hertha have been hard to watch over the last few years as head coach Pal Dardai put a heavy emphasis on defensive stability over attacking football.
Tasked with making the next step this season Dardai has, however, installed a new attacking element in the club from the capital. The reward has been 13 goals in the first eight games and refreshing performances like the 2-0 victory against Bayern München on matchday 6.
“We looked good against Bayern and want to once again annoy one of the big boys,” Stark told the media on Tuesday. The result against Bayern showed that Hertha are capable of inflicting pain against the big boys in the league. Furthermore, Dortmund might be vulnerable after facing Atlético in a tough midweek match. At the same time, however, the Yellow and Blacks showed against the Spaniards that they have the sort of will and determination to best a team like Hertha even after a hard midweek fixture.
Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha – Players to look out for:
Achraf Hakimi #5 – Borussia Dortmund
Achraf Hakimi was the Futbolgrad Network man of the match against Atlético Madrid. The wing-back assisted on two goals and with six scorer points overall is one of the most dangerous defenders in Europe together with Augsburg’s Philipp Max as well as Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso and just behind Barcelona’s Jordi Alba. Alba, however, needed 1010 minutes to collect his seven scorer points – Hakimi has played just 450 minutes this season. It is, therefore, no surprise that there have already been questions about Hakimi’s future at Borussia Dortmund. The winger is on loan from Real Madrid for the next two seasons, and Dortmund do not have a buy-on clause. But as reported by transfermarkt.de on Thursday Dortmund have a matching-clause, which gives the Yellow and Blacks the right to match any future transfer offer that Real Madrid might receive for the winger.
Javairô Dilrosun #16 – Hertha
Javairô Dilrosun is one of the main reasons behind Hertha’s culture change this season. Signed from Manchester City this summer the 20-year-old Dutch winger has delighted Hertha fans with his quick runs down the left flank. Dilrosun combines elements of an old-school Dutch winger with an English directness that he has learned from playing for Manchester City’s youth sides between 2014 and 2018. With two goals and three assists in his first seven Bundesliga games, Dilrosun has easily made the jump from youth football to senior football as the sky appears to be the limit for the 20-year-old.
Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha – Match Stats
- Ten of Borussia Dortmund’s goals were scored by substitutions – a Bundesliga record after eight matchdays.
- Hertha are the only team in the league for whom no substituted player has scored.
- Lucien Favre coached Hertha in 75 games between 2007 and 2009.
- Dortmund’s record at home against Hertha is W19 D8 L4.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha – 3-0
Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha – Lineups
Bürki – Piszczek, Diallo, Zagadou, Hakimi – Witsel, Dahoud – Pulisic, Reus, Bruun Larsen – Philipp
Head Coach: Lucien Favre
Jarstein – Lazaro, Stark, Rekik, Plattenhardt – Skjelbred, Maier – Kalou, Duda, Dilrosun – Ibisevic
Head Coach: Pal Dardai
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.