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18.05.2017Bundesliga

Our next opponents: Hertha Berlin

The Werkself end the current Bundesliga campaign in Berlin on Saturday (15.30). Hertha have relied on their strength at home in the race for a Europa League finish.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Read on for facts and stats on our final opponents of the season:

Position

Hertha have it in their own hands to qualify for Europe for the first time in seven years. This season, the Berlin team have always been in the top six and are currently in pole position for the final lap of the race for Europe as they are fifth in the table.

Personnel

Just in time for the final matchday, coach Pal Dardai, already a Hertha legend as a player, can call on his important central defenders. John Anthony Brooks and Sebastien Langkamp were both suspended for the 2-0 win at Darmstadt but are now available again to form a Berlin wall. Niklas Stark is also an option again after recovering from a bruised foot and there is only a question mark over Per Ciljan Skjelbred. The Norwegian only returned to full training on Thursday.

Problems

Hertha Berlin have had an impressive and consistent season. But what is their mentality like in the decisive point of the campaign? Last season, it also came down to the last matchday – and it didn't have a happy ending. Hertha failed to qualify for the group stage of the Europa League and ended up losing to the Danish club Brondby in the play-offs. The Berlin side do not want a repeat of that scenario this time round.

Potential

Since Dardai took over the helm at Hertha, the Berlin team have performed as a real unit on the pitch. Supposedly selfish characters like Salomon Kalou and the experienced Vedad Ibisevic have found their right position and youngsters like Mitchell Weiser, Maximilian Mittelstädt, Niklas Stark and Allan have really flourished. On top of that is Hertha's incredible strength at home: The Berliners have collected 76 per cent of their points at the Olympic Stadium.

Prediction

Over two seasons, Hertha have been in the top six for 61 of the last 62 matchdays – the only time that wasn't the case was after last season's decisive final match. In order to qualify for the main rounds of European competition for the first time since 2010, the team from the capital do not want to rely on the help of other sides but instead clock up the crucial points themselves. Having three points more, but with a worse goal difference compared with FC Köln in seventh place, a draw would be enough to qualify for the Europa League.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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