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May 22, 2020 at 7.30pm UK at Olympiastadion
Hertha BerlinHertha Berlin
Union BerlinUnion Berlin
Ibisevic (51'), Lukebakio (52'), Cunha (61'), Boyata (77')
Lukebakio (43'), Grujic (67')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Parensen (9')

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

Sports Mole previews Friday's Bundesliga clash between Hertha Berlin and city rivals Union Berlin, including team news and predicted lineups.

Hertha Berlin and Union Berlin will face off at the Olympiastadion on Friday evening in just the second ever Bundesliga meeting between the sides.

The city rivals are separated by only one point heading into the match, with both teams still in outside contention of securing European football for next season.

Match preview

Union Berlin's Sebastian Polter celebrates scoring their first goal against Hertha Berlin on November 2, 2019© Reuters

Hertha were beaten 1-0 in the reverse fixture six months ago and are aiming to avoid back-to-back losses in the Berlin derby for the first time ever.

Sebastian Polter scored the only goal of the match for Union, who are enjoying an incredible maiden campaign in the German top flight.

However, Urs Fischer's men have won just one of their last five league matches - 2-0 against Eintracht Frankfurt on February 24 - and have slipped down to 12th.

Hertha are unbeaten in their last three games, meanwhile, with last Saturday's 3-0 win over Hoffenheim on their return to action moving them up to 11th, one place above Union.

Finishing sixth will be enough to earn a Europa League qualifying spot, but Hertha are eight points behind Wolfsburg and look likely to consolidate in mid-table.

Hertha Berlin's Javairo Dilrosun pictured in October 2019© Reuters

The easy win over Hoffenheim last time out was the perfect way for Bruno Labbadia to mark his arrival as head coach of Hertha, having taken over from Jurgen Klinsmann in April.

It was the second-highest margin of victory for a Hertha coach in his first Bundesliga match, and now the aim will be to make it successive wins for the first time since December.

Union will have different ideas, of course, and Die Eisernen have been victorious in two of their last three Bundesliga away games, picking up more points (6) in those matches than they did in their opening 10 top-flight games (5).

However, Fischer's men have lost 2-1 in both of their previous Friday night games in the Bundesliga this season, most recently losing to Schalke 04 in November.

Union also failed to turn up in their first match back, producing a rather below-par display in last weekend's 2-0 home loss to league leaders Bayern Munich.

The visitors will have to show far more of an attacking edge if they are to come out on top on Friday evening and make a piece of Berlin derby history by doing the double.

Hertha Berlin's Bundesliga form: LWLDDW
Hertha Berlin's form (all competitions): LWLDDW

Union Berlin's Bundesliga form: WLWDLL
Union Berlin's form (all competitions): LWDLLL

Team News

Marko Grujic in action for Hertha Berlin on September 15, 2018© Reuters

Big money January signing Krzysztof Piatek dropped down to the bench for Labbadia's first game in charge, with Vedad Ibisevic surely doing enough with his goal to retain his place.

Vladimir Darida is back from suspension and should return to midfield, likely in place of Per Skjelbred.

Any further changes on the back of such a positive result would be surprising, so Peter Pekarik should continue at right-back after an impressive return to the side last time out.

As for Union, they are without suspended defender Keven Schlotterbeck for this huge derby showdown.

Marvin Friedrich is the favourite to slot in alongside Florian Hubner and Neven Subotic, who gave away a penalty against Bayern, in the backline.

Eleven-goal top scorer Sebastian Andersson is also in line for a return to the side, having only been fit enough for a place on the bench for the loss to the reigning champions.

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Jarstein; Pekarik, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhadt; Darida, Grujic; Lukebakio, Cunha, Mittelstadt; Ibisevic

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Gikiewicz; Friedrich, Hubner, Subotic; Trimmel, Gentner, Andrich, Lenz; Ingvartsen, Bulter; Andersson

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Hertha Berlin 1-1 Union Berlin

Not a great deal can be read into the form book prior to the coronavirus-enforced shutdown, but Hertha looked far better than Union in the two sides' first game back last weekend. There has been little to separate the Berlin rivals all season, though, and we are expecting them to cancel each other out on Friday.

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CBayern MunichBayern34246499445578
2RB Leipzig34198760322865
3Borussia DortmundDortmund342041075462964
5Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt341612669531660
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen3414101053391452
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin34121485043750
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach341310116456849
12Mainz 0534109153956-1739
14Hertha Berlin34811154152-1135
15Arminia Bielefeld3498172652-2635
16FC Koln3489173460-2633
RWerder Bremen34710173657-2131
RSchalke 04Schalke3437242586-6116

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