Borussia Dortmund will aim to keep up the pressure on Bayern Munich when Hertha Berlin come calling this Sunday.

An in-form Borussia Dortmund will welcome a struggling Hertha Berlin to the Westfalenstadion on Sunday as the Bundesliga title chase heats up.

An excellent start to 2023 has seen Edin Terzic’s side close to within touching distance of league leaders Bayern Munich. With Die Roten set to play Union Berlin next weekend, there is every reason to believe Dortmund can take advantage should a slip-up occur.

Hertha won their first game of the year last weekend against Borussia Monchengladbach, something that took them out of the relegation zone for the first time in a while. A trip to Dortmund is a different task and it will take a flawless display for them to come away with something to show for their efforts.

Dortmund will be buzzing following their midweek win over Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League. While they are far from dominant at times, Terzic’s men have mastered the art of securing all three points. Given the form they are in, it is difficult to bet against anything apart from a win for the home side.

Given Hertha’s poor record on the road this season, Dortmund have the cards stacked in their favour for the game. With home support to boot, they will be expected to settle the tie quickly and with minimal fuss. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

Borussia Dortmund

Youssoufa Moukoko becomes the latest addition to Dortmund’s injury list after the teenager picked up an injury to his ankle ligaments. He joins Julien Duranville on the sidelines, giving Edin Terzic some decisions to make this weekend.

Dortmund has an otherwise full-strength squad to choose from and are expected to line up in a 4-1-4-1 formation on the night. Gregor Kobel should keep his spot in goal behind the back four of Marius Wolf, Niklas Sule, Nico Schlotterbeck and Raphael Guerreiro.

Emre Can will aim to make use of his energy and physicality to anchor the midfield, permitting Jude Bellingham and Salih Ozcan the freedom to push forward. How well the duo can link the defence to the attack could dictate the speed at which the match is played.

Chelsea’s nemesis Karim Adeyemi is likely to come into the playing XI and will be entrusted to provide the width on the left. Julian Brandt should occupy the opposite flank with Sebastien Haller leading the attack up top.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Kobel; Wolf, Sule, Schlotterbeck, Guerreiro; Can; Brendt, Bellingham, Ozcan, Adeyemi; Haller

Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha Berlin Bundesliga Match Preview

Hertha Berlin

The minnows broke their winless streak this year with a dominant 4-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend. Dortmund will be several notches higher and the margin of error for the visitors will be next to nil.

Peter Pekarik and Wilfried Kanga look set to be ruled out of the game. Sandro Schwarz will also be without Kelian Nsona, Stevan Jovetic and Chidera Ejuke. This makes Hertha’s job harder, meaning they will have to play out of their skins to get anything from the game.

They are likely to deploy in a 3-5-2 formation, with the five-man midfield being fielded to nullify Dortmund’s ability to fashion attacking opportunities. Oliver Christensen should start in goal behind the trio of Filip Uremovic, Marc-Oliver Kempf and Marton Dardai.

Marco Richter and Marvin Plattenhardt will provide the width and will drop back to form a back five when needed. The midfield three of Lucas Tousart, Tolga Cigerci and Suat Serdar will be tasked with nullifying the impact of Jude Bellingham and co.

Jessic Ngankam and Florian Niederlechner will start up front and will be keen to hit Dortmund on the counter. The home side’s defence is far from solid and could be caught out if the right pressure is applied.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Christensen; Uremovic, Kempf, Dardai; Richter, Tousart, Cigerci, Serdar, Plattenhardt; Lukebakio, Ngankam

Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha Berlin Bundesliga Match Preview

Key Stats

  • Borussia Dortmund have won seven of their last eight Bundesliga games against Hertha Berlin. No other team has defeated Hertha Berlin more than Borussia Dortmund since 2017.
  • The last time Borussia Dortmund failed to score against Hertha Berlin at home was in 1969. They have now found the back of the net in 31 straight home games, a club record for the category.
  • A win will extend Borussia Dortmund’s winning run in the Bundesliga this year to six games. This will be their best start to a year since the seven-win run at the beginning of 2012, the last time they won the Bundesliga.
  • Borussia Dortmund are among three sides with a 100 percent winning record since the turn of the year in Europe’s top five leagues.
  • A loss against Borussia Dortmund will see Hertha Berlin extend their losing streak away from home to six Bundesliga games. This is their worst such run since a seven-match winless streak in 2016/17.

Player to Watch

Jude Bellingham

The English international is steadily establishing himself as a reliable presence in the middle of the park. He has consistently dominated the opposition midfielders in recent times and has also carried the ball forward with great effect.

A goalscorer and a creator, Bellingham is the complete package. A box-to-box presence, Hertha should have their task cut out in stopping him. As long as they give him the freedom of the pitch, Dortmund will set the pace for the game and romp home to all three points. And another top-class showing will add fuel to the fire of his recent speculation.

Prediction

Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Hertha Berlin

Borussia Dortmund are in the form of their lives and will have their tails up following the win over Chelsea. Hertha Berlin snapped their losing streak last weekend and will have a few players missing for the trip to the Westfalenstadion. The difference in quality between both sides would suggest a comfortable home win for Edin Terzic and co.

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