1FC Bayern Munich1

V

Hertha Berlin BSC

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Allianz Arena, Munich

Saturday 28th November 2015, 1430 GMT

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Bayern Munich have won each of their last seven home matches (in all competitions) by a minimum margin of four goals. That is perhaps the best way one can describe the sheer destruction that Pep Guardiola’s side can bring upon their visitors this season.

On the other side, there is Hertha Berlin, who have been trying to take a part of the glory of German football from the provinces of Bavaria and Ruhr to the capital of the country, with some stellar displays this season. Manager Pal Dardai has done a brilliant job with the team so far, managing to avoid relegation last season, and soaring up to the fourth spot on the Bundesliga table this year.

However, at the Allianz Arena, they face a stern test against a menacing Bayern Munich side that has ripped apart stronger opponents than Hertha.

Team News & Tactical Brief

FC Bayern Munich

The Bavarians have been the harbinger of destruction to all the teams that have crossed their path at the Allianz Arena so far this season, and they would be looking to inflict more misery on Hertha Berlin on Saturday. Bayern Munich have not lost to Hertha Berlin at home since 1977, and that is something that should spur them on to finish off the game quickly.

However, the ongoing rumours about manager Pep Guardiola leaving to join Manchester City next summer is something that could go on to unsettle even the best of teams, especially if they have a coach who is as charismatic as the former FC Barcelona man. In spite of these rumours, Bayern Munich have an extremely strong team, and possess the capability to rip apart any opposition any day of the week.

There is some mixed news for Pep Guardiola with his team selection though, with full-back David Alaba back from injury, while influential playmaker Douglas Costa has been ruled out of the match after complaining of a thigh muscle problem following the midweek Champions League group stage match against Olympiakos.

Also on Bayern Munich’s injury-list are Franck Ribery, Thiago Alcantara, and Juan Bernat. However, the Bavarians have a strong enough squad to deal with most of the top teams in Europe, and this is something that scares every opponent. Costa’s injury should actually give Kingsley Coman a chance to get more match-time under his belt.

The Frenchman has been good whenever he has been given a chance this season, scoring two goals and providing two assists in five Bundesliga starts.

Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Alaba, Boateng, Martinez, Lahm; Vidal, Alonso; Coman, Mueller, Robben, Lewandowski.

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Hertha Berlin BSC

Yes, they face the toughest challenge of their 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign, but Hertha Berlin would take heart from the fact that they are being masterminded by the man who had tasted victory against the Bavarians in 2009, at the German capital — coach Dardai.

They have yet another source of inspiration, that of Salomon Kalou, who lifted the Champions League trophy with Chelsea FC in 2012 at the Allianz Arena, and would be looking to do similar things on Sunday.

Manager Dardai hinted at defensive tactics in his pre-match press conference, and Kalou would know all about what it takes to park the bus against a rampaging Bayern Munich at the Allianz. The only difference this time is that Kalou has a much more central role, rather than playing on the wings.

Genki Haraguchi of Japan has been instrumental for the Blue and Whites, who would heavily depend on him and Tolga Cigerci of Turkey to break down the flanks with speed, when the Bayern Munich players do lose the ball. However, Hertha do not depend as much on crosses as they do on the short passing and clever interplay between the midfielders and the forwards.

In spite of this short-passing dexterity, they are set to field Fabian Lustenberger and Per Skjelbred in deep-lying holding midfield positions, due to their defensive tactics.

Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Jarstein; Plattenhardt, Brooks, Langkamp, Regasel; Skjelbred, Lustenberger; Cigereci, Darida, Haraguchi, Kalou.

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Key Facts

  • The last time Hertha Berlin managed to beat Bayern Munich, current manager Dardai was one of the players in the Blue and White jersey.
  • Hertha are looking for their first away victory at Bayern Munich since 1977.
  • The Bavarians have scored 32 goals in their last seven matches, conceding only two.
  • Robert Lewandowski scores once in every 53 minutes at Bayern Munich’s home ground, while Kalou has scored a goal every 73 minutes.

Player to watch out for

Vedad Ibisevic (Hertha Berlin BSC)

Hertha BSC Berlin vs 1. FC KoelnWe all know about the threats that come from Bayern Munich’s side, but the main threat to come from the capital is that of this 31-year-old Bosnian. He might not even be in the starting lineup, but Ibisevic knows a thing or two about comming off the bench, as he has scored four Bundesliga goals from five appearances this season. The aerial threat that he provides could prove crucial to Hertha (in attack and in defence) in the second half, if they are to get a result out of this game.

Prediction

FC Bayern Munich 4-1 Hertha Berlin BSC

Although they have been impressive this season, Hertha have so far failed to get the wins against the traditional big teams like Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg. That, coupled with a terrifying (for the opponents) home record, could ensure another big win for the Bayern faithful to raise their beer mugs to.

Blast from the past