Of course everything is different. While in November the first city derby in the Bundesliga between 1. FC Union and Hertha BSC electrified almost all of Berlin and large parts of football Germany, almost nothing is felt before the return leg on Friday at the Olympic Stadium. Above all, this does not make the task for the newcomer from Köpenick easier.
Both coaches have one problem less. Neither Hertha’s new head coach Bruno Labbadia nor Union trainer Urs Fischer have to reassure their players. While there is always talk before such emotionally charged games that the teams should not be influenced by the heated atmosphere in the stands, this time only the corona virus creates a risk of infection. “A lot was written, a lot provoked at the last derby. Now I find it calm, «Urs Fischer describes his perception.
The attitude of the active fans of both clubs also testifies to the low level of interest. “This whole spectacle has nothing to do with the football that we love and support,” said the Ostkurve support group before the derby. The association of Hertha fans again criticized the continuation of the season. So it was still open “whether the ghost games should ensure the survival of the clubs or simply save the existing salary structures in the millions”. Not only the game against Union, the whole rest of the season according to the still controversial concept of the German Football League is boycotted: “We will not participate in any way.” The large ultra groups of the 1st FC Union had also previously made a decision. Both fan camps are not only against the DFL, but also against the behavior of their clubs.
Sporty speaks for Hertha BSC in the Berlin duel. With the 3-0 away win last Saturday in Hoffenheim, Bruno Labbadia proved that he had got the team under control after the third change of coach this season and the turbulence surrounding Jürgen Klinsmann’s departure. The opinion of some experts also gives Hertha hope. Before the restart, sports scientists said that the quality of single players would be even more important. Because the rhythm of the game is lacking, the preparation time was short and, above all, the team training was much neglected. Taking the market value of both teams as an indicator, Hertha BSC leads with around 188 million euros to 40 million euros.
The experts confirmed the first ghost game day last weekend. Sporting parameters such as mileage, sprinting ability or duel values were at the level of the time before the season break across the league. The winners were usually the teams with better quality: Wolfsburg in Augsburg, Mönchengladbach in Frankfurt, Leverkusen in Bremen, Munich at Union.
Dortmund’s clear success against Schalke was further proof of the thesis, even stronger. Because the 4-0 of BVB in the Revierderby was the only home win on matchday 26. The teams that usually get their points more about struggle, passion, team spirit, emotions and with the great support of the fans are now having a harder time. This is also supported by the fact that there were fewer offensive actions and goals overall than in the previous 25 match days – the stronger teams still score.
Bruno Labbadia expects an “intense game” against Union. He has never seen a home game at the Olympic Stadium. Hertha BSC doesn’t seem to see any advantage in this anyway, as often as the club has complained about the disadvantages in the big round with a blue track. This season’s numbers confirm this: Hertha has only earned twelve of a total of 31 points in Charlottenburg. The home game knowledge of the first ghost game day does not come into play when looking at the fight for the Berlin City Championship. The opponent also ensures that. 1. FC Union could only win three of 13 away games. He lives from the atmosphere in the Alte Försterei, which he has won six times this season. But the team, which is particularly strong in duels, is also carried away by its fans. In any case, coach Fischer is cautious about the derby: “I can and I never promise to win – but what I can promise is that we will do everything we can to be successful.”