Sunday, June 7, 2020

Prediction: Hertha Berlin vs Union Berlin

Tom Dunstan in Bundesliga, Free Soccer Predictions 21 May 2020

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Verdict: Matheus Cunha to score anytime

Best Odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

With the Bundesliga once again taking center stage following its return last weekend, Hertha Berlin will be hoping to keep up their recent momentum when they host bitter rivals Union on Friday night.

Hertha Berlin

Starting with the hosts, while Hertha may have opened the New Year showing some rather glaring inconsistencies, they should take plenty of solace from what was a stunning display last weekend. Marking the Bundesliga return with what was a rampant 3-0 victory away at European hopefuls Hoffenheim, the Old Lady have lost just one of their last five top-flight outings and there is no doubt that Head Coach Bruno Labbadia will be excited by his side’s recent displays in front of goal. Including bagging a trio of goals away at Fortuna Dusseldorf back in February, the former Wolfsburg boss will be calling on the red-hot Matheus Cunha to lead their charge in the Berlin derby on Friday night. Once again stealing the headlines at Hoffenheim last weekend, the 20-year-old has continued to make an immediate impact following a January move from RB Leipzig. Adding to his account on the road last time out, the Brazilian youth star has found the net in each of his last three Bundesliga matchups on the bounce and has landed seven goals in his last 11 matchups for club and country.

Team News

Once again unable to call upon former Chelsea star Salomon Kalou after he was recorded breaking lockdown rules, Hertha will also be unable to call upon defender Karim Rekik due to a knee injury.

Elsewhere, Hertha also face a late fitness check on Borussia Dortmund loanee Marius Wolf who is reportedly dealing with a knock on his ankle.

Union Berlin

As for the visitors, while Union may have continued to shock many in what has been a maiden Bundesliga campaign for the Reds, Urs Fischer’s men have found themselves coming crashing back down to earth. Hit with what was a routine 2-0 defeat at home against defending champions and German giants Bayern Munich on their return last weekend, Die Eisernen have lost their last three matchups across all competitions and have just a sole Bundesliga win to their name since the start of February. Now almost stuck in top-flight limbo, much like their crosstown rivals, there is no doubt that the one-time Basel boss will be demanding his side make some rather drastic improvements at the back. Despite picking up Berlin bragging rights when they hosted Hertha earlier in the season thanks to a close-fought 1-0 win, Union have shipped eight goals in their previous trio of defeats and have conceded at least a pair of strikes in five of their last six appearances. Even more worrying for Fischer, along with being hit with a 3-1 defeat away at Freiburg in their last away contest, Union have managed just a single clean sheet on the road this season.

Team News

Serving a suspension on Friday night, Union will be unable to call upon central defender Keven Schlotterbeck in the Berlin derby.

Elsewhere, the Reds will also be without both Sheraldo Becker (thigh injury) and former Brentford midfielder Akaki Gogia who is still trying to find match fitness.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Hertha have scored eight goals in their last three Bundesliga appearances.
  • The red-hot Matheus Cunha has scored in his last three Bundesliga matches on the bounce.
  • However, the Old Lady have failed to win any of their last six top-flight matches on home soil.
  • Friday’s guests have lost their last three matchups across all formats and have shipped two or more goals in each of their last four appearances.
  • Union have also managed to land just a sole away clean sheet all season.

Conclusion

While Union might have managed to pick up a 1-0 win when they faced off against their crosstown rivals earlier in the season, Hertha should see Friday as a real opportunity to end their barren run on home soil. Enjoying what has been their most successful spell in the final third, attacking talisman Matheus Cunha should be relishing Union’s arrival this week. Finding the net in his last three Bundesliga matches on the bounce and with the Reds continuing to show plenty of issues at the back, we’re backing the former Leipzig starlet to extend on his recent purple patch this week.

Verdict: Matheus Cunha to score anytime

Best Odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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