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May 19, 2022 at 7.30pm UK at Olympiastadion Berlin
Hertha Berlin
0 - 1
Hamburger SV

Stark (29'), Tousart (30'), Boyata (49')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Reis (57')

Preview: Hertha Berlin vs. Hamburger SV - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Bundesliga Relegation Playoffs clash between Hertha Berlin and Hamburger SV, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hertha Berlin and Hamburger SV will lock horns at the Olympiastadion Berlin for the first leg of their Bundesliga relegation playoff on Thursday.

The hosts finished the regular campaign in 16th place, while the visitors secured third spot in the second tier to keep themselves in with a chance of promotion.

Match preview

Hertha Berlin coach Felix Magath before the match on April 9, 2022© Reuters

Heading into stoppage time at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday, Hertha Berlin were on course to secure Bundesliga football for another season even though they were losing 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund.

The fact that Stuttgart were only drawing 1-1 at home to FC Koln meant they were heading for the relegation playoff, but a dramatic 92nd-minute winner from Wataru Endo helped the hosts secure all three points and leapfrog Hertha to safety.

Die Alte Dame's nine-year stay in the top flight is now at risk of coming to an end, as they will be competing in the relegation playoff for the first time since 2011-12, a season in which they successfully gained promotion to the Bundesliga.

Thursday's clash will be a special occasion for head coach Felix Magath, who made over 300 appearances as a player for Hamburg – winning three top-flight titles and the European Cup between 1976 and 1986 – before managing the club between 1995 and 1997.

Hertha will be confident of success on home soil as they have won each of their last five meetings with Hamburg at the Olympiastadion Berlin, scoring at least twice on four of those occasions.

One statistic which bodes well for Die Alte Dame is that only one of the last nine teams to finish 16th in the Bundesliga have lost the relegation playoff against their second-tier counterparts.

Hamburg SV's Faride Alidou and Ludovit Reis celebrates scoring their second goal on March 2, 2022© Reuters

After three successive fourth-place finishes in the second tier, Hamburg finally managed to secure a top-three spot this term, courtesy of an impressive run of form at the end of the regular season.

The Red Shorts won each of their last five league games by an aggregate score of 16-5 to ensure they finished third on goal difference ahead of SV Darmstadt 98.

Tim Walter's men claimed a 3-2 victory away at Hansa Rostock on the final day last weekend, which saw Robert Glatzel get his name on the scoresheet once again, netting his 22nd goal of the campaign.

The 28-year-old heads into Thursday's fixture in red-hot form as he has contributed to 10 goals in his last eight games, scoring six and providing four assists.

While Hamburg have struggled in recent away meetings against Hertha, they have won each of their last three league matches on the road, scoring 11 goals in the process.

Hertha Berlin Bundesliga Relegation Playoffs form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L

Hamburger SV Bundesliga Relegation Playoffs form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Hamburger SV form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Hertha Berlin players celebrate after 1. FC Union Berlin's Timo Baumgartl scores an own goal and Hertha BSC first goal on April 9, 2022© Reuters

Hertha Berlin have been dealt a major blow heading into Thursday's game as up to nine first-team players could be sidelined through injury.

Die Alte Dame have confirmed that Marcel Lotka is doubtful after the goalkeeper suffered a mild concussion and a nasal bone fracture in the defeat at Dortmund.

First-choice stopper Alexander Schwolow is also doubtful as he was one of four players – along with Lukas Klunter, Lee Dong-Jun and Kelian Nsona – who trained individually this week.

Kevin-Prince Boateng has been absent from training altogether and will be assessed ahead of kickoff, while Davie Selke (muscle), Anton Kade (stomach) and Marton Dardai (hip) are set to remain sidelined.

Marco Richter is expected to replace Jurgen Ekkelenkamp on the right flank, while Vladimir Darida and Suat Serdar will be battling for a place in midfield, in behind lone striker Ishak Belfodil.

As for Hamburg, midfielder Anssi Suhonen and defender Tim Leibold are both ruled out with respective broken ankle and ACL injuries.

Walter has confirmed that Manuel Wintzheimer will be leaving the club to join Nurnberg this summer, but a potential start for the forward on Thursday is unlikely as he has only begun four of his 27 games this season.

The 46-year-old boss is unlikely to make too many changes, if any, to his starting lineup, with a back four of Moritz Heyer, Mario Vuskovic, Sebastian Schonlau and Miro Muheim set to remain intact.

Central striker Glatzel could be supported in attack by wingers Bakery Jatta and Faride Alidou, while Jonas Meffert, Ludovit Reis and Sonny Kittel are expected to start in centre-midfield.

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Schwolow; Pekarik, Boyata, Kempf, Plattenhardt; Tousart, Ascacibar; Darida, Boateng, Serdar; Selke

Hamburger SV possible starting lineup:
Fernandes; Heyer, Vuskovic, Schonlau, Muheim; Meffert, Reis; Jatta, Kittel, Alidou; Glatzel

SM words green background

We say: Hertha Berlin 1-2 Hamburger SV

The two sides head into Thursday's contest in contrasting form but the momentum is certainly with Hamburg, who will be confident of breaching Hertha Berlin's leaky backline given their free-scoring form in front of goal.

With a number of players missing for Hertha, we can see the visitors securing a slender victory, which would providing them with the advantage for next Monday's second leg on home soil.

For additional data used by our team to analyse our suggested result please click here.

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Cardiff City's Robert Glatzel celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates on September 13, 2019
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