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Dec 18, 2021 at 5.30pm UK
Hertha BerlinHertha Berlin
DortmundBorussia Dortmund
Belfodil (51'), Richter (57', 69')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Brandt (31'), Tigges (83')
Pongracic (90+5')

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

:Headline: Preview: Hertha Berlin vs. Borussia Dortmund - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Hertha Berlin and Borussia Dortmund, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to cut the gap at the top of the Bundesliga table when they visit Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

The hosts remain near the foot of the table following a thumping defeat in midweek, whilst the visitors returned to winning ways to stay within six points of Bayern Munich at the summit.

Match preview

Tayfun Korkut tasted his first defeat as the new boss of Hertha when his side were comprehensively beaten 4-0 by high-flying Mainz 05 on Tuesday evening.

The Old Lady were never in the contest and could easily have been beaten by a wider margin had their hosts been even more clinical in front of goal, in what was a thoroughly disappointing display.

That loss had followed a bright start to the Turkish manager's time in charge, where Hertha had come from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Stuttgart in his first game at the helm, before coming out victorious at home to Arminia Bielefeld by a 2-0 scoreline following an excellent performance last weekend.

Therefore, the past week has been yet another case of one step forward and two steps back for the capital side, who have struggled for consistency not just this season, but for the last few years, during their failed attempts to break back into the top half of the Bundesliga and towards the European spots.

As a result, Hertha head into the final matchday before the winter break in 14th place at the time of writing, with just a single point between themselves and Augsburg in the relegation playoff spot.

Despite the tough calibre of opponent that they face on Saturday, Korkut will be desperate for a positive result to ensure his new side do not head into the break in a worse position than the one that they already find themselves in.

Meanwhile, Dortmund's 3-0 win over Greuther Furth on Wednesday appeared comfortable on paper considering the scoreline and the fact that their opponents are bottom of the table with just four points.

However, with their struggling visitors threatening on numerous occasions against a shaky BVB defence on the counter attack, the result was far from straightforward.

Erling Braut Haaland netted from the penalty spot just after the half-an-hour mark to open the scoring, but it would not be until the 82nd minute that the Norwegian striker would score again to kill off the game, before Donyell Malen added a third late on to continue his fine form in recent weeks.

With Bayern playing on Friday evening, Marco Rose could see the gap from the Bavarians to his side extended to nine points before they play on Saturday, which would pile the pressure on Dortmund to achieve a win in order to keep the champions within touching distance ahead of the run-in in the new year.

Fail to win, and if Bayern come out victorious, then the title race could arguably be over before Christmas already, so the visitors will require a top class performance to ensure that is not the case.

A much-improved performance on the road will be needed if the Black and Yellows are to claim all three points though, with 11 points already being dropped from the 21 on offer in their seven previous away matches this campaign, which included a last-gasp point being earned on their last away day at VfL Bochum last weekend.

Hertha Berlin Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L

Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Hertha will have to do without Stevan Jovetic once more on Saturday, with the important forward facing a spell on the sidelines yet again following his withdrawal early on against Mainz in the week.

This season's top goalscorer with five goals, Jovetic is out until the new year with a calf injury in his latest injury absence, as well as Suat Serdar who also picked up an injury on Tuesday.

The duo join spare goalkeeper Rune Jarstein and the defensive trio of Peter Pekarik, Marton Dardai and Lukas Klunter on the list of absentees that will be unavailable for Korkut.

As for Dortmund, Jude Bellingham's fifth yellow card of the season means he will miss the trip to the capital as he serves a one-match suspension.

After only recently returning from injury in the last two fixtures, Thorgan Hazard picked up another on Wednesday, with the Belgian being ruled out with a hip injury until next month.

Roman Burki, Raphael Guerreiro, Mateu Morey, Marcel Schmelzer and Marius Wolf are all nearing returns, but are expected to miss out on Saturday, whilst Manuel Akanji, Youssoufa Moukoko and Giovanni Reyna are definitely unavailable.

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Schwolow; Zeefuik, Boyata, Stark, Plattenhardt; Ascacibar, Tousart; Darida, Richter; Piatek, Belfodil

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Meunier, Hummels, Zagadou, Schulz; Witsel, Can; Brandt, Reus, Malen; Haaland

We say: Hertha Berlin 1-3 Borussia Dortmund

Although Dortmund are still not playing at their best, the importance of heading into the break on the back of a win should prove enough to see them put in a display worthy of coming out victorious at the Olympiastadion on Saturday.

Their goalscoring touch is back following the return of Haaland in recent matches, and with Hertha's leaky defence continuing to shake, Dortmund will see an opportunity to outscore their opponents despite their questionable defence themselves.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 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.Over 2.5:data

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1Bayern MunichBayern18141357183943
2Borussia DortmundDortmund18121544281637
5Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen1885542301229
6FC Koln187743028228
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin187742523228
8Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt187652927227
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11VfL BochumVfL Bochum187291726-923
12Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach186482433-922
13Hertha Berlin186392138-1721
17Arminia Bielefeld183871624-817
18Greuther Furth1813141349-366
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