A big clash in Bundesliga tonight, read editor Axel's analysis and preview here:
We usually refrain from doing previews due to them being too short-lived, however this game is worthy of a preview. Borussia Dortmund versus Hertha Berlin has never been a big clash in German football, it has never been a game worthy of a preview even from sites often doing previews. It's just one of those games where Dortmund should most probably win and that's it. This should be the case now as well, but it isn't. This is down to the consistent level of performance from the boys in blue and white and the level of managing from Preetz and coaching from Hertha's pal Pal Dardai (see what I did there? Nice. Sorry). How have Hertha become the team to beat, how have they come so far so that they actually enter this game with rather high hopes of three points?
Dardai and Preetz, thats basically it. These two men have transformed Berlin into a monster, to the bear the city deserves. Hertha Berlin has been managed expertly and it can be seen in many ways. The player material is something else than before, the club as a new level of depth and balance that very few teams have. This balance allows them to actually control games against the biggest of opponents, but with Darida out that balance isn't the same. However, their exceptional strength-in-depth makes it possible to at least control games against quite good opponents or opponents that aren't top three in the world. Skjelbred and Lustenberger have formed a decent partnership after Darida's injury and even though Darida-Skjelbred was more hyperactive and balanced, the former captain Lusti has filled in in a brilliant way. There is a problem here though as Darida has the ability of controlling both games when in possession and without it. He has the ability to always limit the opponent's midfielders when they're in possession of the ball and I doubt Lustenberger has the same ability as he isn't as quick and agile as Vlad Darida. Facing Gonzalo Castro, that could be a problem.
Borussia Dortmund's form isn't too good. After losing to Leverkusen in their last game they must feel hungry and eager to bounce back at home at a boiling Westfalenstadion against an in-form side like Hertha Berlin. If they were to beat Hertha, it's obvious that the Leverkusen game just was a slip-up, but if they struggle against this solid Hertha, which I think they will, then their balance and quality can and should be questioned. Add a few more injuries to their struggles and this night could turn ugly for them. It all depends on how Tuchel sets up his team.
How will the game finish? No idea whatsoever, but I could see Hertha returning home to Berlin with a point, which would complete a great start to their season, even though Köln will probably win and outshine even Hertha. My tip is 2-2, Aubameyang and Castro the scorers for BVB, Ibisevic and Langkamp for Hertha. Interesting to see if I'm right this time around, my guesses are often quite far off... Anyway, enjoy the game, tonight at 8.30 PM CET.
editor and fussball fanatic.