Kickoff – Friday 5/22/20, 2:30 P.M. EST
by Ajay Vadukul
Well well well, welcome back soccer. Weekend one was action packed with great goals, fun (sometimes social distance) goal celebrations and exciting finishes. Weekend two, I would expect the same and we have a Friday night matchup that gets the entire soccer world excited, the Berlin Derby. To truly appreciate this derby, you have to understand the background of it (Warning; short history lesson coming, skip ahead for soccer analysis). Union Berlin are the first team from the old East Berlin to make its way to the top flight German soccer; thus, this season is the first season the Berlin Derby will have an old West Berlin team and old East Berlin squad.
Union are in their first season in the Bundesliga and, much to the delight of everyone, are managing well for themselves. Coming into the match day, Union sit comfortably in 12th position and are seven points clear of the relegation zone. They sit one point back of their Berlin rivals which they look to possibly leapfrog them on Friday. Union have been in poor form, both before the COVID break and after resuming play, losing all of their last three matches.
Hertha Berlin are under performing this season compared to their standards. They started the season with hopes of securing a spot at a European league campaign but sit eight points behind the sixth place squad; and with only eight matches remaining, the run for a European spot looks bleak. Hertha are in good form both before the break and after it, having gone through the last three games without a loss. They are going into this derby with high hopes.
Ones to watch
Because many people are not familiar with these teams and the Bundesliga in general, I am going to highlight two players who I expect to make an impact on the game. For Hertha Berlin, I am going to highlight Krzysztof Piatek. He had some killer seasons in Poland and Italy before making a high profile move to AC Milan, where sadly he did not perform as expected. He has the potential and goal scoring ability to make an impact on the match. On the Union side I will be highlighting a defender, Neven Subotic. Some may know him from the glory Dortmund days, where he spent eight years at the heart of the backline. Expect his big game match experience to show as he looks to lead Union to another win over their rivals.
The first match was tense and was won by Union 1-0. Now Union make the trek to Hertha’s home the Olympiastadion Berlin, although there will be no fans in attendance for the match. Both Berlin sides have been poor on their home and away splits, both ranking in the bottom thirteen respectively in the Bundesliga. Four out of the last five for Union have gone over the 2.5 goal mark while five out of the last five for Hertha have gone over the 2.5 goal mark. If you have read my articles before then you have heard me say this before, if not, first time for everything. Teams struggle to do the double over the same team. I expect this to be a hard fought, thrilling matchup between city rivals and teams that are around each other in the table.
Prediction: Hertha 2 – 1 Union
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals (-111 5dimes)
*All Bets are to win 1unit. If + odds, then stake 1 unit on bet.
Ajay’s theBrkDwn Record: 3-1-0 (Last pick United/City BBTS L) (+2.95 units on season)
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