Borussia Dortmund vs Hertha Berlin Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More

Friday August 25th, 2017

Hertha Berlin's trip to the Westfalenstadion on Saturday will be the first time Borussia Dortmund feature in front of their home fans in the new Bundesliga season. 

Both sides managed impressive opening day victories last week. BVB cruised past VfL Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena, while Hertha's home victory against recently promoted VfB Stuttgart was hard fought but deserved.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the clash in Dortmund:


Classic Encounter:
SASCHA SCHUERMANN/GettyImages
We only have to roll the clock back six months to find a standout fixture between Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin.

When Salomon Kalou opened the scoring for Hertha in their DFB-Pokal trip to Dortmund, an upset appeared to be on the cards. However, shortly after half time, substitute Christian Pulisic rolled the ball across to Marco Reus to level the score, the ball breaking for Pulisic immediately after French winger Ousmane Dembélé rattled the woodwork.

Greek international Sokratis received his marching orders at the end of extra time, being handed two bookings in a matter of second for gestures made towards the referee. 

With the game going to penalties, Fabian Lustenberger, Vladimír Darida and Kalou all failed to convert their spot kicks which allowed Dortmund to progress in the competition, eventually winning the trophy after beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 at the end of May.

Key Battle
Mathew Leckie vs Dan-Axel Zagadou
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Straight off the back of a €3m move from Ingolstadt this summer, Australian international Mathew Leckie scored a debut brace to grant Hertha Berlin a victory on the opening day.

Although Leckie's second goal was slightly fortuitous, VfB Stuttgart defender Ailton was taken apart down the Swabians left side in the build up to his opening strike. Leckie has a great deal of pace and as we saw often during his time with die Schanzer, a lapse in concentration is enough for the winger to capitalise. 

Although makeshift left-back Dan-Axel Zagadou was much improved against Wolfsburg, the Wolves failed to isolate the young French defender in the same way Bayern Munich did during their recent Super Cup clash.

Team News

Martin Rose/GettyImages

Dortmund could be set to welcome captain Marcel Schmelzer back to the starting line up this weekend, with the defender recently returning to training. BVB are still without Raphaël Guerreiro and Erik Durm, so the return of Schmelzer will be welcomed by all at the Westfallenstadion.

Julian Weigl and Sebastian Rode are still absent from Dortmund's midfield, while Marco Reus and André Schürrle have to wait longer before they are returned to the first team.

Valentino Lazaro will be forced to wait before he can make his Bundesliga debut, although the Austrian international could be available for selection after the international break. Injured striker Davie Selke, however, isn't expected to make his Hertha debut until the start of October.

Potential Borussia Dortmund Starting Lineup: Bürki, Piszczek, Sokratis, Bartra, Zagadou, Sahin, Castro, Götze, Philipp, Pulisic, Aubameyang.


Potential Hertha Berlin Starting Line Up: Jarstein, Weiser, Langkamp, Rekik, Plattenhardt, Darida, Skjelbred, Esswein, Kalou, Ibisevic.


Prediction

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There is only one winner here.

Although defensively Dortmund are far from convincing, their conviction in the final third will be too much for Hertha Berlin. A convincing victory at the Volkswagen Arena last week will give this young Dortmund side the confidence to put on a show for their fans on matchday two.

Had it not been for some poor finishing by newly promoted Stuttgart, Hertha's 2-0 victory last weekend could have ended very differently. It's one thing allowing the likes of Chadrak Akolo and Takuma Asano space down the flanks, but switching off against the likes of Pulisic and Aubameyang could see Pál Dárdai's on the end of a Dortmund thrashing.

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 4 - 1 Hertha Berlin
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