Archive for the ‘Hertha BSC’ Category

One team fighting to come up, another fighting to stop themselves going down. It can only mean one thing: the Bundesliga play-off is upon us.

Hertha BSC narrowly avoided automatic relegation on the last day of the season, with FC Koln the team joining Kaiserslauten in 2. Bundesliga.

Berlin’s reward for temporarily beating the drop is the double-headed play-off against Fortuna Dusseldorf, who finished third in Germany’s second division.

Berlin were only promoted back to the Bundesliga last year, after a solitary season in the second tier, and that will not be something they’ll be looking for more of.

For Dusseldorf, meanwhile, promotion would represent a remarkable rise through the leagues for a side that were in the 4th division eight years ago, and were only promoted from the third division in 2009.

Hertha’s form is, given their league position, unsurprisingly poor, with just one win, one draw and three defeats from their last five games. However, Dusseldorf’s is not much better, a bit of a surprise given their final league place. They head into the game on the back of two wins, two draws and a defeat.

Hertha will also take heart from winning such a crucial game against Hoffenheim on the last day of the season, and the same cannot be said for Dusseldorf. For that reason, I’d back to Die Alte Dame to stay in the Bundesliga.

Eurosport’s Ian Holyman echoed these sentiments, saying: “Having seen their [Dusseldorf’s] display against ten-man Duisburg on the final day of the season, and the poor form they’ve had in 2012 – just 4 wins – I cannot see them beating Hertha.

“Admittedly, Hertha have not been in great form themselves since the turn of the year…but they have players of genuine quality in their squad, who have under-performed.

“Dusseldforf, other than young attacking midfielder Max Beister, who’ll return to Hamburg in the summer when his loan expires, have no-one of similar ilk.”

 

Who’ll be the Bundesliga side after these two games? Comment below with your thoughts ahead of the play-off…

The relegation battle will reach an epic climax this weekend, with two teams fighting to avoid the automatic drop.

Hertha Berlin are at home to Hoffenheim, and it is literally a must win game, anything else and they will be on their way to 2. Bundesliga.

FC Koln, meanwhile, face the daunting task of welcoming Bayern Munich to the RheinEnergieStadion. They can afford to draw, or even lose, but must hope that Hertha do the same.

The chances of Koln getting something from the game, however, look slim; they have the league’s worst defence, while Bayern have the second best attack.

Hertha, meanwhile, will be slightly more confident of getting the necessary win against mid-table Hoffenheim, although their home form has let them down this season: three wins, three draws and 10 defeats. Markus Babbel’s side, by contrast, have picked up twenty points on their travels this season, the 7th best record in the league.

The fact that these two sides are struggling will come as a surprise to anyone who was only watching before the winter break.

After the first 17 games of the season, Koln were 10th with Hertha in 11th, having picked up 21 and 20 points respectively. In their last 16 games, The Billy Goats have managed nine points, The Old Lady just eight.

Form suggests neither side will win, which would mean relegation for Hertha. History seemingly can’t pick between the two: the Berlin side were only promoted last year; Koln have been relegated three times in the last decade. 

Die Alte Dame slipped into the 17th position they currently occupy after matchday 26, following a 6-0 defeat to Bayern. Die Geißböcke first occupied 16th after matchday 28. Neither has moved since. In fact, since Hertha’s fall into the relegation zone, they have managed only one win between them.

Koln could be helped by the fact that Bayern will be focusing on their two upcoming cup finals, although Hoffenheim don’t exactly have much to play for either. It’s down to the wire, and it certainly looks too close to call.

Allan Edgar, of Bundesliga Football, did give us his prediction however. He said: “Köln to me are likely to be automatically relegated – they have been in freefall and not even the outgoing Lukas Podolski will be able to save them it seems. Hertha Berlin I consider to have enough in their arsenal to fight the drop. If they finish in the play-off spot I would envisage them seeing off the challengers from 2. Bundesliga.”