Potatoes and Turkey before #TSGBSC

The 4th Bundesliga match looms. On Sunday, TSG play Hertha BSC at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena. It will be Hoffenheim’s first 13:30 (CEST) kick-off of the season. Julian Nagelsmann and anticipate the duel against Pal Dardai’s outfit.

Julian Nagelsmann on…

… the opposition.

Hertha have an extremely quick midfielder in Mathew Leckie. They had a lot of pace on the wings last season too, particularly through their wing-backs, but now even more. They are always a dangerous side. Hertha have players with individual quality and often defend from deep, but we won both matches last season. We will look to get another on Sunday.

… the squad.

I assume that Mark Uth will be able to play – the break did his bone periosteum good. Ermin Bicakcic we’ll have to wait on, he hurt his knee against Braga. It’s not serious but we’ll have to make a decision later on. I don’t think Serge Gnabry will make it. Adam Szalai and Stefan Posch are still out.

…the situation I

We’re playing in three competitions so of course we need to rotate the squad and make sure we go through our recovery in training. It’s obvious that some players who aren’t regularly in the starting line-up will need a bit longer to get into the rhythm. What is important is to always have leaders on the pitch that the younger players can look up to. Everyone should be able to give 100%. We want to win and prevent injuries.

…the situation II

The first 25 minutes against Braga were very intense. It’s very easy to feel satisfied when you’re leading 3-0. You go into the dressing-room feeling good, but for us it was 1-1. I don’t think the team very feeling very confident. We had an opportunity to go 2-1 up right after half-time but then we conceded ourselves. That was difficult. We tried but the game was fragmented. The good thing is that we’re playing again on Sunday. Shame that we couldn’t continue our momentum after the Bayern game.

…the situation III

The preparation is different because of the early kick-off. The players will be eating turkey and potatoes instead of nutella and bread!


TSG and Hertha BSC have played 14 times in the Bundesliga. TSG have seven victories, Hertha five and there have been two draws, but TSG have had the upper hand in recent seasons, taking the three points in five of the past six matches. The goals for and against in those games? 13-4. Hertha have only scored one goal against TSG since November 2013…

Hertha’s form

Hertha made it through to the second round of the DFB-Pokal and have four points from their two home games. The defeat against Borussia Dortmund on the second matchday will have hurt but Pal Dardai’s side did secure a point in their Europa League opener against Athletic Bilbao. The score was 0-0. TSG is coming up against a side in good form then.

The key duel

It is the epic of modern football. Possession-play against counter-attack. TSG will have the ball and the chances, Hertha will defend from deep and look to break on the counter. TSG must find the right balance between attack and defence – apply the pressure and watch out for the break.

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