MX23RW : Monday, June 14 03:03:18| >> :600:578888:578888:
Jan 2, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at Olympic Stadium
Hertha BerlinHertha Berlin
3-0
SchalkeSchalke 04
Guendouzi (36'), Cordoba (52'), Piatek (80')
Tousart (14'), Guendouzi (51')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Hoppe (37'), Mascarell (58')

Preview: Hertha Berlin vs. Schalke 04 - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Hertha Berlin and Schalke 04, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hertha Berlin take on Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with both sides hoping the New Year will bring some better results and an upward trajectory in the table accordingly.

Indeed, the visitors are particularly in crisis mode, languishing seven points adrift of safety after an astonishing winless run of 29 matches stretching back to last season.


Match preview

Matteo Guendouzi in action for Hertha Berlin on December 12, 2020© Reuters

Hertha, meanwhile, are only three points above the relegation zone themselves after winning only one of their last six games, with a disastrous 4-1 loss at Freiburg not the way Bruno Labbadia would have wanted to close out 2020.

Vincenzo Grifo continued his superb form of late for the hosts by meeting Jonathan Schmid's brilliantly curling cross at the back post, although he was guilty of profligacy when attempting to chip former Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow to double his side's lead, with the shot stopper having none of it.

Dodi Lukebakio punished his opposing forward's lack of ruthlessness by tapping home at the back post after a deflected cross fell into his path, but Christian Streich's side ran riot thereafter, with goals from Ermedin Demirovic, Manuel Gulde and Nils Petersen confirming the rout.

With three fixtures against three of the four sides below them in the table coming up, including Saturday's match against Schalke, Hertha must now kick on and ease any concerns of a relegation battle this campaign.

Ozan Kabak in action for Schalke on November 28, 2020© Reuters

Schalke would have sensed an opportunity of ending their winless run against relegation rivals Arminia Bielefeld, who had only won one of their previous 10 matches themselves, but defensively they were a shambles once again as they fell to a 1-0 loss.

Ozan Kabak, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool in recent weeks, simply could not keep pace with Arminia striker Sergio Cordova on several occasions as Schalke's high line was exposed. First Cordova raced through and showed excellent composure by dinking Ralf Fahrmann, but he was correctly adjudged to have been offside, before the Venezuela international struck the bar from distance.

Schalke showed a little more going the other direction, with Stefan Ortega making a fine reaction save to deny an own goal, but Fabian Klos scored only his second goal of the season with a powerful header into the bottom corner to earn his side an invaluable three points.

Competing in the German second tier for the first time since 1991 becomes more of an inevitability with each passing week for Schalke, who must find a win soon if they are to have any hope of survival, although they did at least keep their cup hopes alive by beating SSV Ulm 3-1 a few days before Christmas.

Hertha Berlin Bundesliga form: LDWDDL

Schalke 04 Bundesliga form: LLLDLL
Schalke 04 form (all competitions): LLDLLW


Team News

Nabil Bentaleb celebrates scoring for Schalke 04 against Manchester City in the Champions League on February 20, 2019.© Reuters

Hertha are likely to remain without summer signing Jhon Cordoba with a ligament injury, but hope to have the forward back later in January.

Santiago Ascacibar will also miss out with a muscle injury, but otherwise Labbadia appears to have a clean bill of health to choose from.

Schalke, meanwhile, have parted ways with striker Vedad Ibisevic, with the former Hertha striker's contract terminated at the end of the calendar year.

Amine Harit returned to the side prior to the winter break after his training ground bust-up with assistant manager Naldo, but it remains to be seen whether former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Nabil Bentaleb is also offered a reprieve.

Goncalo Pacienca, Mark Uth and Omar Mascarell are all injury doubts for the visitors.

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Schwolow; Pekarik, Boyata, Torunarigha, Mittelstadt; Darida, Stark, Guendouzi; Lukebakio, Piatek, Cunha

Schalke 04 possible starting lineup:
Fahrmann; Stambouli, Sane, Kabak, Thiaw; Oczipka, Serdar; Skrzybski, Harit, Raman; Uth


SM words green background

We say: Hertha Berlin 2-0 Schalke 04

We can envisage Hertha getting back to winning ways against comfortably the Bundesliga's worst side so far this campaign.

Much will hinge on the availability of Mark Uth for the visitors, who severely lack creativity without the Germany international.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Ozan Kabak in action for Schalke on November 28, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBayern MunichBayern34246499445578
2RB Leipzig34198760322865
3Borussia DortmundDortmund342041075462964
4Wolfsburg341710761372461
5Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt341612669531660
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen3414101053391452
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin34121485043750
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach341310116456849
9Stuttgart34129135655145
10Freiburg34129135252045
11Hoffenheim341110135254-243
12Mainz 0534109153956-1739
13Augsburg34106183654-1836
14Hertha Berlin34811154152-1135
15Arminia Bielefeld3498172652-2635
16FC Koln3489173460-2633
RWerder Bremen34710173657-2131
RSchalke 04Schalke3437242586-6116

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