Werder Bremen vs Hamburger SV – Sunday 14:30 BST/15:30 CET Weserstadion – Bremen, Germany.
Das Nordderby between Werder Bremen, and Hamburger SV is one of the most important derbies in German football. The clash between the most successful clubs in Northern Germany regularly establish, which one of the two Hansa towns can claim football dominance.
The match carries plenty of storylines. Just a few years ago there were actual titles on the line when the two clubs met. Unforgettable is the 2008-09 season when the clubs were drawn against each other in the semi-final of the UEFA Cup, and the DFB Pokal.
Since then, however, the glamour of the tie has come off a bit. Both clubs spent recent years in the relegation battle and, a few weeks ago, Das Nordderby appeared to become a must-win relegation clash between the two biggest clubs from Northern Germany. In the second half of the season, however, Werder, and Hamburg, have been in strong form.
In the eleven games of the second half of the season, both clubs managed to collect 20 points, and have, essentially, pulled out of the relegation battle. Werder Bremen are currently 11th in the Bundesliga table, and are now closer to a Europa League spot (five points) than a relegation spot (seven points)—under special circumstances, seventh spot (four points) could be enough to qualify for Europe.
Werder’s recent run has already brought suggestions among Werder supporters that the club could indeed return to Europe next season. Their recent winning streak certainly suggests that it is possible, but whether Werder can make up five points to sixth-placed SC Freiburg remains to be seen.
They would certainly have to keep up their current winning streak at home against Hamburg alive if they want to conclude with an improbable comeback and reach a Europa League spot. Hamburg, however, have been in good form as well and, as a result, have pulled themselves out of the relegation battle.
Hamburg’s 20 points in die Rückrunde means that der HSV is now 13th in the standings. But die Rothosen have just a four point gap to the drop zone and will, therefore, take this derby as another opportunity to completely free themselves from the relegation zone.
Werder Bremen vs Hamburger SV – Players to look out for:
Serge Gnabry #29 – Werder Bremen
Serge Gnabry has been the revelation of the 2016-17 Bundesliga season. The young winger has scored ten goals in 22 matches for Werder Bremen this season. There has already been talk that Gnabry could leave Werder at the end of the season, and join a Champions League or a Europa League club, in order to have a better chance to make the German national team for the World Cup next summer. Gnabry has recently recovered from an injury, and will likely start this match from the bench.
Aaron Hunt #14 – Hamburger SV
This will be the first return to Werder Bremen since Aaron Hunt left his boyhood club in the summer of 2014. First joining Wolfsburg, Hunt has struggled somewhat since he left Werder Bremen. The stint in Wolfsburg ended in disappointment after just one season and Hunt joint Hamburg in the summer of 2015. But Hunt and Hamburg never appeared to be a happy marriage, and in the winter it appeared that Hunt would be leaving the club. But a failed transfer has resulted in Hunt picking up his form, and he has become one of Hamburg’s best players in recent weeks. He will now, for the first time,return to Werder Bremen and, with all the eyes on him, it will be interesting to see whether he can continue his good form of recent weeks.
Werder Bremen vs Hamburger SV – Match Stats
- Only Bayern München (26), and Gladbach (22) have recorded more points in die Rückrunde then Werder and Hamburg (both 20).
- Werder forward, Max Kruse, has not lost any of his 11 games against Hamburg.
- There will be goals in this one. The Nordderby has seen on average 2.8 goals.
- SV Werder Bremen won all three recent home matches.
Prediction: Werder Bremen vs Hamburger SV 1-1
Wiedwald – Veljković, Sané, Moisander – M. Eggestein – Gebre Selassie, Grillitsch, Junuzović, S. Garcia – Bartels, Kruse
Coach: Alexander Nouri
Mathenia – Diekmeier, Jung, Mavraj, Ostrzolek – Sakai, Walace – Hunt, Holtby, Kostić – Wood
Coach: Markus Gisdol