Enterprising Friday night Berlin derby
Our football weekend will begin in style on Friday evening with the Berlin derby. High flying Union travel to the bigger club in the city in Hertha, looking to spring an upset and continue their excellent form. Despite only earning promotion to the Bundesliga in 2018/19 the Iron Ones have acclimatised to life in the top tier with ease and look right at home particularly this season. This match presents itself as a great opportunity to get one over their local rivals who have a far more rich and successful history in German football. Both sides took a share of spoils in their last match, adding further poise to this matchup where each team will be gunning for the three points.
Bruno Labbadia’s Hertha have not completely utilised the momentum they built up towards the back end of last term, trending like a slap bang mid table side after nine matches. They are currently 13th however rank 10th in terms of expected goals so there has been a slight underperformance and it has come mainly in defensive areas. They have conceded 18 goals so far, which is the seventh worst defensive record in the division, from chances equating to 13.8 expected goals, a little unlucky. Whereas in attack they have been trending in the opposite direction, a slight overperformance by converting 15 goals from 11.9 expected goals. They rank 10th for both expected goals for and expected goals against, somewhat summarising their mid table form. The derby may bring the best out of them, having enjoyed a 4-0 win in this identical head-to-head in late May.
Once again Union are the surprise package, sitting sixth after nine matches when many experts had them down for a relegation scrap. They had their troubles post lockdown but managed to regather some form to pull away from the drop conversation in the final few games of last term. Their process has been even better than the league table suggests, they are ranked third in the expected goals standings with their numbers only beaten by Champions League semi finalists RB Leipzig and treble winners Bayern Munich. Their defence has been eye-catching, limiting the opposition to under one expected goal per game on average and have also been a tad unlucky to let in 11 goals from 8.4 expected. Overperforming in an attacking sense, scoring 21 from 16.8 expected goals but such is the nature of their tricky offensive engine with Robert Andrich and Max Kruse enjoying brilliant season beginnings.
- Hertha have scored in eight of 10, conceded in eight of 10 with both teams scoring in seven of their last 10.
- Union have scored in nine of 10, conceded in seven of 10, with both teams scoring in seven of 10 including five of their last six.
Goals is my angle, both sides have very potent attacking contingents and will be fired up to earn some bragging rights. This could be an epic.