Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Prediction: Hertha Berlin vs Bayern Munich

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 21 Jan 2022

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Verdict: Away win by two or more goals

Best odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Betfair

Hertha Berlin will welcome defending champions Bayern Munich to the Olympiastadion in the German capital on Sunday afternoon, in a game that will be the last of the 20th round of the season in the Bundesliga.

Both teams have a lot to play for, though from very different perspectives.

Hertha Berlin

Halfway through the campaign, Hertha sit in 13th place of the league table with 22 points, the same tally as Borussia Monchengladbach in 12th, one point more than Wolfsburg in 14th, three more than Augsburg in 15th, and four more than Arminia Bielefeld and VfB Stuttgart who seem destined for the relegation battle. Meanwhile, Greuther Furth are probably relegated already, sitting rock-bottom with no more than seven points from 19 matches.

It’s obvious that Hertha cannot afford to relax at this point, if they plan on playing in the top flight still in 2022-23.

The season has been rather shaky for the team commanded by Tayfun Korkut, with a number of surprising victories, some underwhelming performances, and a couple of shocking defeats. The last six matches in all competitions saw them record two wins, one draw and three defeats. They first beat Arminia at home by 2-0, then lost 4-0 away to Mainz, beat Borussia Dortmund at home by 3-2, lost at home 1-0 to Koln, drew 0-0 away to Wolfsburg, and eventually bowed out of the DFB-Pokal by losing 2-3 at home to Union Berlin.

Team News

Striker Stevan Jovetic has been missing for a while with a calf injury, but he could be named in the matchday squad. Nonetheless, the former Manchester City man is unlikely to start, which means Ishak Belfodil should lead the line again.

Left-back Fredrik Andre Bjorkan is likely to miss out having recently tested positive for COVID-19. Defenders Niklas Stark and Jordan Torunarigha are doubts with minor injuries.

Bayern Munich

It hasn’t always gone smoothly for Bayern either, but the champions are a machine that doesn’t look like being stopped for years to come yet. Whenever checking the standings in the Bundesliga, you’d be surprised not to see their name at the top.

Well, there are no surprises in that aspect at the moment. Bayern top the table with 46 points, six more than the only team that still has some kind of a chance – a very slim one – to overtake them, Borussia Dortmund. Bayer Leverkusen are very distant in third place with a 14-point deficit and a long, weary top-four battle ahead.

Bayern’s last six matches in all competitions began with a 3-0 thumping of Barcelona at home in the final round of the Champions League group stages. Then they beat Mainz by 2-1 also at home, thrashed Suttgart away by 0-5, Wolfsburg 4-0 at home, and took a shock as they lost 1-2 at home to Monchengladbach, before bouncing back with a 0-4 triumph away to Koln.

Over in the Champions League, Bayern finished top of Group E ahead of Benfica, Barcelona and Dynamo Kyiv. They now await February 16th, when they’ll be facing RB Salzburg in Austria in the first leg of their clash in the round of 16.

There has been plenty of talk about Robert Lewandowski missing out on a number of individual awards over the last few years. He is believed to have been the most-worthy potential winner of the 2020 Ballon d’Or, which eventually wasn’t awarded at all due to the ongoing pandemic. He missed out on it again in 2021, beaten by Lionel Messi, but he finally got a part of the recognition he undoubtedly deserves with the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award.

On the other hand, reports in Germany suggest Bayern would be willing to sell him in the summer if he doesn’t sign a new contract between now and then.

Team News

Having sat out the Koln trip on the bench after recovering from COVID-19, central defender Dayot Upamecano is likely to return to the starting XI, pushing Benjamin Pavard back to his right-back slot and Joshua Kimmich to the midfield section again.

There are a few questions at left-back, though, with Alphonso Davies out for a long time yet due to his recently discovered heart problem. Lucas Hernandez could return after his COVID-caused isolation period, but if not, Marcel Sabitzer could be asked by Julian Nagelsmann to deputize again. Like Hernandez, winger Kingsley Coman could return after contracting COVID-19.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Bouna Sarr are away at the African Cup of Nations, while defender Josip Stanisic and midfielder Leon Goretzka miss out through injury.

Conclusion

Anything is possible, of course, or there wouldn’t be any need to play the game at all, but there can be no argument against the fact that Bayern are the absolute favourites to leave the capital with the three points in their pockets, winning by at least two goals.

Verdict: Away win by two or more goals

Best odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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