Saturday is Derby Day in Berlin!
1. FC Union Berlin welcome Hertha BSC to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei for the first Bundesliga meeting between the two clubs.
Cup Review: Union run out winners in Freiburg, Hertha go all the way to penalties
Urs Fischer’s team secured their place in the Last 16 of the DFB Pokal for the first time in six years with a 3-1 win in Freiburg. Union led through Joshua Mees, but Robin Koch’s header gave Freiburg a share of the spoils at the break. Despite Christian Streich’s men taking control of the second half, the 1,500 travelling support from Köpenick would head home in good spirits. Robert Andrich fired the ball with precision into the corner on 87 minutes before Christian Gentner added some polish to the win in the second minute of stoppage time.
Over 24 hours later, Hertha took on Dynamo Dresden in their Olympic Stadium — with the visitors bringing more than 30,000 away supporters to the capital. After 90 minutes, the teams were locked at 2-2 following Patrick Ebert’s last-minute penalty kick. They couldn’t be separated either after an additional 30 minutes with Dresden leading 3-2 before Jordan Torungharia rattled home a late equaliser to take the game to a penalty shootout. Goalkeeper Thomas Kraft was the hero for Ante Covic’s team, saving from Luka Stor to send the club from Charlottenberg into the third round.
League Review: Union lose in Munich, ten-men Hertha’s run ends
In the Bundesliga, Union turned in a credible display at the Allianz Arena — despite losing 2-1 at the home of the German champions. Benjamin Pavard fired Bayern ahead on 12 minutes before Robert Lewandowski struck early in the second half. With 7,000 fans in Munich, Union were bold enough to take on the Bavarians and get something out of them. Sebastian Andersson missed a penalty on 66 minutes, but substitute Sebastian Polter would convert the second of the 90 minutes with four minutes left on the clock.
After a run of four wins on the spin, Hertha went down 3-2 at home to Hoffenheim. The visitors scored twice in quick succession to secure a first-half advantage in the Olympic Stadium. Goals from Dodi Lukebakio and Salomon Kalou levelled the scores with 20 minutes to play as the Old Lady turned up the heat. However, Benjamin Hübner had the last laugh for Hoffenheim, scoring on 79 minutes and taking all three points back to Sinsheim. Vladimir Darida was shown a straight red card and will be suspended for the trip to Köpenick.
Record: First Bundesliga meeting
Saturday’s clash is the first city derby in Berlin in the Bundesliga since 1976/77 when Hertha Berlin competed against Tennis Borussia. There have been four meetings in the 2.Bundesliga — but none so far in Germany’s top division. We’ve still to see a home win in competitive matches with either side winning once on the road and drawing two.
Personnel: Four likely to miss out
Fischer confirmed in the pre-match press conference that he'll likely be without Michael Parensen and Suleiman Abdullahi. Akaki Gogia and Grischa Prömel remain the usual absentees.
"I expect a great game in the end. A city derby is a bit special. I expect a great game. Important to have a mix of aggressiveness and coolness. I’m sure the teams will give it all to win," said Fischer on Thursday.
Service: No tickets, travel information
As expected, the derby is completely sold out. There won’t be tickets available for the match on Saturday at the ground.
Given the limited parking spaces around the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, fans are reminded to make use of various public transport methods, as well as, travelling by bike.
All supporters are encouraged to attend the match in good time.
In addition to the increased traffic, the streets "An der Wuhlheide" and "Rudolf-Rühl-Allee" are likely to be temporarily closed.