Hertha, however, must do without centre-back Agustin Rogel this weekend. The Uruguayan would have been suspended anyway but picked up an injury against Wolfsburg, while former Celtic and Everton right-back Jonjoe Kenny is also out. Filip Uremovic - who came on at half-time on Tuesday - is likely to replace Rogel again, while veteran Peter Pekarik is likely to come in for Kenny. Striker Florian Niederlechner joined from Augsburg over the winter, meanwhile, and he could come into contention for a place on the bench if he proves his fitness. Union are flying high in second after back-to-back wins since the league resumed.
Hertha and Union Berlin meet as two clubs on seemingly opposite pathsThere was a time, of course, when this was not really a rivalry at all. For most of the last century Hertha Berlin and Union Berlin existed in separate worlds: divided by geography and history, by the 23 kilometres from the Olympiastadion in Charlottenburg to the Alte Försterei in Köpenick, by several league divisions and – famously – a large wall. To this day there are Union fans who say their biggest adversaries are not Hertha but their east Berlin neighbours Dynamo, and heartily continue to sing anti-Dynamo songs on their way to games. Indeed, during the cold war a curious solidarity existed between the two clubs. Hertha fans from the west would cross into east Berlin to watch Union games.
Union fans would make trips to Prague and Plovdiv to watch Hertha in European competition. In January 1990, a couple of months after the fall of the Wall, the clubs played an emotional friendly in front of 50, 000 fans at the Olympiastadion. There were tears in the stands and embraces on the pitch. Briefly, Hertha and Union seemed to capture the indomitable spirit of the reunified city. The journey from there to here has been long, bumpy and frequently astonishing. On Saturday the Olympiastadion will host only the 13th competitive meeting between the two sides. This is a proper rivalry now and yet, unlike many city derbies, it is not defined by simple faultlines.
There are plans to increase the capacity of the Alte Försterei from 22, 000 to 37, 500. But when you have based your entire ethos on being a small working-class club fiercely tied to its locality, that identifies as much with Köpenick as Berlin, perhaps the future holds equal amounts of trepidation and thrill. “Why would we want to be a club for the whole of Berlin? ” asks the Union president, Dirk Zingler, in Scheisse! We’re Going Up!, Kit Holden’s book on the rise of the club. “There are clubs who do that and they end up without any clear identity at all.
They followed a thrilling comeback against Hoffenheim last weekend by fighting back to beat Werder Bremen 2-1 on Wednesday. New signing Josip Juranovic had a successful debut in Bremen, but club captain Trimmel could replace the Croatian for the derby. Trimmel and Union have enjoyed this fixture recently, with the latest of four consecutive wins over Hertha coming on the opening day of the season.
Hertha Berlin vs Union Berlin Live Stream, Predictions
Football, Germany: Union Berlin live scores, results, fixtures
Hertha Berlin and Union Berlin players in action during a friendly in January 1990 shortly after the Berlin Wall came down. Photograph: Ullstein Bild/Getty ImagesUnion’s remarkable rise from the backwaters of German football to its very top echelons has been well documented; so, too, its unique fan culture, one that prioritises community and social conscience, that sets itself squarely against the prevailing capitalist winds of modern football. Long before winning promotion to the Bundesliga in 2019, Union had attracted a sizeable cult following of day trippers and expats who began to descend on the Alte Försterei, putting Union’s name on the map but also constricting the already feverish demand for tickets. Success, then, has been something of a culture shock for Union fans. It has provided them with priceless memories, European trips and some of the finest football they have seen.
American striker Jordan scored a debut goal in that 3-1 success but he was rested in midweek. It could be a toss-up between him and Kevin Behrens - who took his chance to start by scoring the winner against Bremen - to see who joins Sheraldo Becker in attack. Watch: Hertha vs. Union: Time-Travelling in BerlinMatch stats Lukebakio has three goals in five Berlin derby games in his career, including a consolation strike in the opening-day defeat earlier this season. Hertha have conceded eight goals in their first two matches of 2023. Schwarz's team were beaten only three times in their first nine Bundesliga games of the campaign, but they have since lost six of their last eight league matches. Trimmel - who has four assists this season - has a career record of five wins, one draw and two defeats in eight derby games.
Hertha, for so long Berlin’s pre-eminent club, are 17th in the Bundesliga and still struggling to shake off a series of bad decisions going back years. Union, the perennial underdog club, a club for whom winning was never part of their central mission, are second behind Bayern Munich and have won the past four derbies. In a sense, then, these are clubs still grappling with a sense of self, still a little concussed at the pace of change that has taken their fortunes in opposing directions. “Die Zukunft gehört Berlin! ” read a pitchside banner at the Olympiastadion during the ignominious 5-0 defeat to Wolfsburg in midweek. [The future belongs to Berlin! ] And yet for Hertha, the future has long felt like a threat as much as an opportunity.
Hertha BSC vs FC Union Berlin Stream Links - TotalSportek
Sandro Schwarz is the eighth Hertha coach in the three years since their takeover by the businessman Lars Windhorst. His vision was for Hertha to become what he called a “Big City Klub”: a global giant, Berlin’s equivalent of Paris Saint-Germain, almost a kind of sporting brand ambassador for the city. Instead, Windhorst’s tenure has seen hundreds of millions squandered on ineffective players, off-pitch chaos and a slow decline in results. While the deeply unpopular Windhorst dreamed of turning Hertha into one of the biggest clubs in Europe, they were about to be usurped as the biggest club in their own town.
Hertha Berlin vs Union Berlin live score - AiScore