Continuity instead of delusions of grandeur, step by step instead of big city club: within a very short space of time, Hertha BSC have gone from having major aspirations to win titles to humbly fighting to keep their place in the division. Hertha's turbulent time off the pitch is likely to be over for the time being following the arrival of their new investor, meaning the focus can – and must – now be switched to sporting matters.
While Hertha have recently looked solid on home turf at the Olympiastadion and have picked up seven points from their last three home games, they have been in dire form on their travels. Hertha have lost seven away games in a row ahead of their visit to TSG Hoffenheim, which is partly why they find themselves in the throes of a relegation battle again.
Only two points separate TSG Hoffenheim – currently bottom of the table – from Hertha, who occupy the place directly above the drop zone. It could hardly be more of a relegation six-pointer. The Berlin outfit are the only club in the bottom five of the table who have not yet switched their coach this season. Sandro Schwarz continues to be trusted to help Hertha beat the drop.
For this reason, two experienced players were signed in January to balance out Hertha's squad, which is generally very young: 32-year-old Florian Niederlechner and Tolga Cigerci (30) have been brought in to provide the team with stability. Hertha have been looking for this away from home for months – but from a TSG perspective, long may the search continue!