MX23RW : Sunday, September 19 22:36:20| >> :60:32:32:
Jul 29, 2021 at 7.20pm UK at Olympic Stadium
Hertha Berlin
Ascacibar (21'), Serdar (31'), Jovetic (66', 80')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Mane (37'), Minamino (42'), Oxlade-Chamberlain (88')

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

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Pre-Season Friendlies clash between Hertha Berlin and Liverpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hertha Berlin and Liverpool will both endeavour to maintain their unbeaten starts to pre-season when they lock horns at the Tivoli Stadion Tirol in Austria on Thursday evening.

The Bundesliga outfit played out a 1-1 draw with VfB Lubeck during their fifth encounter of the summer last time out, while Liverpool secured their first pre-season win with a 1-0 success over Mainz 05.

Match preview

Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai before the match on May 9, 2021© Reuters

Hertha Berlin set the bar at an unreachable height during their opening games of pre-season - a 16-0 thrashing of Schwarz-Rot Neustadt followed by a 7-0 win against MSV Neuruppin - and Pal Dardai's side have since registered a trio of stalemates versus fellow German outfits.

After playing out 4-4 and 2-2 draws with Hannover 96 and FC St Pauli respectively, Hertha Berlin took to the Olympiapark Hanns Braun turf to face VfB Lubeck on July 21, where Suat Serdar's opener was cancelled out by Elsamed Ramaj as traffic jams forced a later kickoff than intended.

Dardai's men were due to board a plane for Hungary to face Europa League winners Villarreal earlier this week, but Unai Emery's side recorded positive coronavirus cases and were forced to cancel the encounter, meaning that Liverpool will provide the first continental test of the summer for Hertha.

Die Alte Dame have been far from goal-shy during the month of July - racking up a staggering 30 goals from their five pre-season matches, an average of six per game - and one final battle with Gaziantep awaits before a DFB-Pokal tie with SV Meppen takes precedence.

 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the match on May 8, 2021© Reuters

It would be folly to expect Hertha's in-form attackers to experience the same joy in front of goal against Liverpool, who have been handed two major boosts on the defensive front before their second game of pre-season.

Jurgen Klopp's defensive crises last term were well-documented, but Thursday could mark the first time since October 2020 that Virgil van Dijk steps foot onto the field, and his fellow centre-back Joe Gomez is also nearing a return to action as optimism continues to grow.

The Reds did not need either man to help them record a shut-out during their most recent encounter, though, as Luca Kilian's own goal in the 86th minute of the contest saw Klopp's side secure a 1-0 win over Mainz 05 after two different Liverpool sides played out 1-1 draws with Stuttgart and Wacker Innsbruck.

With very little happening off the pitch in terms of incomings at the club - although they have waved goodbye to a rather hefty contingent of fringe players - Klopp will only be focused on ending his side's Austrian stint on a high note before Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna pay a trip to Merseyside next month.

While the two sides have never locked horns competitively, Liverpool eased to a 3-0 success over Hertha Berlin in a friendly four years ago, with Dominic Solanke, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah on the scoresheet.

Hertha Berlin Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D

Liverpool Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • W

Team News

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk walks off injured during the Merseyside derby against Everton on October 17, 2020© Reuters

Hertha manager Dardai has not been afraid to field a strong team from the start in pre-season and that will certainly be the case here, with new arrival Serdar featuring in the engine room alongside Santiago Ascacibar, at least for the first 45 minutes.

A trio of players in Lucas Tousart, Matheus Cunha and Jordan Torunarigha are representing their countries at the Olympic Games, while Krzysztof Piatek continues to recover from the ankle fracture he sustained at the end of last season.

Jhon Cordoba - who scored six of his side's 16 goals against Schwarz-Rot Neustadt - has now joined Krasnodar, but Piatek's place up top for the new season could be at risk either way, as the club have now confirmed the arrival of Stevan Jovetic from Monaco.

Klopp's first-half lineup is also likely to resemble a near full-strength team, and the Reds boss has confirmed that Van Dijk should be fit enough for a cameo appearance from the bench on Thursday.

Gomez is unlikely to be ready for this tie, but Joel Matip also played 45 minutes against Mainz alongside Ibrahima Konate - Liverpool's only signing of the summer so far - while Diogo Jota and Andy Robertson are also set for run-outs here.

The likes of Jordan Henderson, Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino continue to enjoy extended breaks following their international exploits, while all eyes will once again be on Harvey Elliott, who has impressed during these exhibition matches.

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Korber; Zeefuik, Stark, Dardai, Plattenhardt; Serdar, Ascacibar; Lukebakio, Prince-Boateng, Dilrosun; Redan

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Kelleher; Williams, Konate, Phillips, Tsimikas; Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Elliott, Salah, Jota

SM words green background

We say: Hertha Berlin 1-2 Liverpool

Hertha may be further along in their pre-season preparations than Liverpool, but they are without a bright contingent of players currently showcasing their skills in Tokyo, and we can envisage Klopp's side travelling home from Austria on a high with a narrow success.

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Liverpool's Alisson celebrates scoring their second goal with Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold on May 16, 2021
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