Felix Magath is nervous. But Felix Magath, coach of Hertha football club, said he gets nervous before every game. So his nervous tension is not only due to the fact that he and his team have a special Bundesliga match on Saturday (3:30pm, live on Sky). If the Berlin players score at Borussia Dortmund, they will be saved. If Hertha does not score while VfB Stuttgart beat 1. FC Köln in the parallel game, Hertha’s season goes into overtime with two games for relegation against the third-placed team in the second division.
Of course, fans already have an idea of what will happen. One this, the other that. There are good reasons for both variables. here you are.
Four reasons for Heartha
the coach. Felix Magath, who will soon turn 69 years old, has witnessed just about everything in his career. There is only one thing: relegation from the Bundesliga. Aside from these stats, Magath’s work in Berlin also boosts confidence that things will go well for Hertha. The coach not only exudes the calm needed in such a situation, but also decisively stabilizes the team.
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“It started here, and we landed there,” Magath says. “It was all filled with resignation and despair.” The Berlin players finished 17th in mid-March, having not won a single match until that point in 2022. Since then, they’ve picked up ten points from seven games – and are still in a comfortable position to control everything.
Borussia Dortmund. On the other hand, VfB Stuttgart, the last remaining contender for 16th place, is dependent on outside help, specifically that of Borussia Dortmund. “They probably still have a heart for the fat little ones,” says Sven Meslintat, Stuttgart’s sporting director, who was not only born in Dortmund but also worked for BVB as a scout for many years. Probably.
It’s not a whole lot for Dortmund anymore, especially since the match against Hertha will be all about farewells and there will be a lot of nostalgia on the field. That’s less true in the case of Erling Haaland, who continues to pursue the money path after two and a half years at BVB. This applies above all to two real Borussia players: Marcel Schmelzer, who joined Dortmund as a teenager and is now, after 17, retiring. And of course to Michael Zorc, who retired from football completely after nearly four and a half decades with Borussia Dortmund.
memory There hasn’t been much for Hertha BSC to look back on, yes, almost something like pride this season. The first leg match against BVB before Christmas is a commendable exception. The Berlin team won by 3:2, and this game is still proof that they could have done a lot more if they made better use of their own chances.
The coach at the time, Typhoon Korkut, saw “a lot of enthusiasm, creativity and courage” in his team in this match. Unfortunately, the winter break came right after that, and when the second half of the season started, there wasn’t much to see in terms of enthusiasm, creativity and courage.
Marco Richter, who scored two of three goals in the Premier League win, is available again on Saturday in Dortmund after a yellow card was suspended. Hertha’s top scorer, Stefan Jović, is back in the squad five weeks after the injury. That’s not enough in the starting lineup, but perhaps to use him as the Joker and the crucial goal to stay awake in injury time.
1. FC Cologne. Regardless of the fact that the Cologne team still has a chance in the European League (instead of the Conference League) and therefore must be very excited against VfB Stuttgart: VfB is also one of its favorite rivals.
FC has already beaten Stuttgart twice this season – in the league and the cup. And anyway: it’s hard to have more fearsome opponents. In this millennium, VfB has won one home match (out of twelve) against FC. Nowhere in the history of the Bundesliga has Cologne scored more wins than Stuttgart, with a total of 14 times.
And here’s a special gift for everyone who was social with Ran-Sat1 in the ’90s: On a Saturday at half past three, VfB last won against Cologne at home exactly 30 years ago. In the season in which he became the German champion.
Four reasons against Hertha
the coach. Felix Magath has a wealth of experience that should not be neglected. Perhaps that is why he sees things more clearly than most people see. When something like euphoria about staying in the league erupted around Hertha, the coach warned and cautioned. For good reason, as it turns out now.
What Felix Magath says is true. “Hertha will play in the relegation zone against HSV, his old love,” Magath said weeks ago. There is nothing you can do about it.
employees. On Thursday, two days before the match in Dortmund, the coach took on a task that he leaves to Hertha’s press spokesman: to update the staff situation. Because: The condition of the staff is serious. So serious that Magath “had a little angst” at the start of the week.
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A wave of colds broke out over Hertha. Linus Geister and Niklas Stark may be missing in Dortmund, at least with Dedryck Boyata looking like he can play. The question remains how long the air will last.
Borussia Dortmund. “We’re playing against the runner-up,” says Felix Magath. “Of course, Borussia Dortmund is the favorite.” Of course, this does not guarantee that the favorite will win in the end. However, in the case of Hertha BSC, there is a lot to be said.
The Berlin team has lost 11 out of 13 matches so far against the top seven in the table, that is, the clubs that will represent in the European Cup next season. They can only win one. At least against BVB.
traditions. Last day of the match: Traditionally tough for Hertha BSC. In the past five years, Berlin has always lost the final match of the season – sometimes even lost. The last time they scored a point was in 2016, with a 0-0 draw in Mainz. The last victory was exactly ten years ago and sent Hertha into relegation. Perhaps this time the opposite.