Manuel Veth –
Hertha Berlin vs Bayern Munich – Sunday, January 19, 14:00GMT/15:00CET – Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany
Jürgen Klinsmann will be the center of attention when Hertha Berlin face Bayern Munich on Sunday. Bayern appointed Klinsmann as the club’s new head coach in 2008. The Rekordmeister, however, played a disastrous campaign, and Klinsmann was fired in April 2009.
“I want to make every player better,” Klinsmann said after being appointed at the Säbener Straße. A concept that thus far has worked at Hertha. The club from the capital have scored just five goals in five games but also collected eight points—enough to climb out of the relegation zone.
Nonetheless, Klinsmann is under fire. Hertha’s head coach might be without the necessary coaching license to guide his team against Bayern. Klinsmann has told media in Germany that he has since submitted all the required paperwork to the DFB. But neither the DFL or DFB indicated whether Klinsmann’s license was up-to-date by the time of writing.
Hertha’s sporting director Michael Preetz was relaxed about the topic. “[Assistants] Alexander Nouri and Markus Feldhoff have a license, it would, therefore, not be a practical problem,” Preetz said on Friday. Klinsmann is not a coach in the classical sense. The former US national team coach is more of a project manager rather than a coach working on tactics and training sessions.
Quite the opposite of Bayern’s model—Klinsmann’s former club rely on the work of Hansi Flick, who is a head coach in the classical German style. Appointed until at least the summer, Flick has done a fantastic job at Bayern stabilizing a club that struggled under Niko Kovač.
Whether he will be a long-term solution remains to be seen. “I don’t feel any more pressure now than before the winter break,” Flick said when asked about his future. “I enjoy the current situation, and I really enjoy working with my team and the coaching staff, but, of course, you are always under pressure – no matter what the situation.”
That situation includes a squad decimated by injuries. Flick would have liked to see additions in the winter and has even publically clashed with sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić on the subject. “It’s true I said that [that new signings are needed], but something has changed,” Flick said on Friday. “With the return of Serge [Gnabry] and Robert [Lewandowski], we have more alternatives. You can say we got two new signings.”
A statement that is not entirely true. After all, Gnabry and Lewandowski were available ahead of the winter break. Does that mean winter signings are off the table? That might very well depend on the results leading up to January 31st, starting with the game against Hertha.
Hertha Berlin vs Bayern Munich – Players to look out for:
Dodi Lukebakio #28 – Hertha Berlin
Dodi Lukebakio will be a key player for Hertha. Signed on a record transfer last summer, Lukebakio highlighted that he could hurt Bayern when he scored three goals against the Rekordmeister for his former club Fortuna Düsseldorf. Lukebakio has scored four goals and four assists in 16 games for Hertha this season. Klinsmann and his team, however, worked hard to become more aggressive in counter-pressing, which should aid Lukebakio’s game.
Alphonso Davies #19 – Bayern Munich
Trying to stop Lukebakio will be Canadian star, Alphonso Davies. The 19-year-old scored a stunning goal on Saturday in Bayern’s 2-5 defeat to 1.FC Nürnberg. Under Flick, Davies has made a significant step in his development. Playing out of position as a left-back, the Canadian star has added more depth to his game and become an essential first-team member for Bayern.
Hertha Berlin vs Bayern Munich – Match Stats
- Bayern had the most attempts on goal in the Hinrunde, 316.
- Hertha had the least attempts on goal in the Hinrunde, 173.
- Manuel Neuer managed 16 wins, three draws and just one defeat in his 20 games against Hertha.
- Hertha Berlin’s home record against Bayern Munich: W8 D14 L12.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Hertha Berlin vs Bayern Munich – 2-2
Hertha Berlin vs Bayern Munich – Lineups
Jarstein – Klünter, Boyata, Rekik, Plattenhardt – Ascacibar – Lukebakio, Darida, Grujić, Dilrosun – Selke
Head Coach: Jürgen Klinsmann
Neuer – Davies, Alaba, Boateng, Pavard – Müller, Thiago, Goretzka – Perišić, Lewandowski, Coutinho
Head Coach: Hansi Flick
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He is the Area Manager USA for Transfermarkt and contributes to Forbes.com. 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. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.