THE BUNDESLIGA continues on Friday night and Tom Love (@TomLove_18) is on-hand to preview the mouthwatering Berlin derby between Hertha and Union.
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin | Friday 22nd May 2020, 19:30 | BT Sport
The Bundesliga weekend kicks-off with a tasty Berlin derby between Hertha and Union on Friday night. Back in November it was Union who came away with the bragging rights as a Seb Polter penalty secured all three points for Die Eisernen in what was a tight and trappy game.
It is a derby that is relatively new, the pair first played a competitive game a decade ago in the 2.Bundesliga, but in the last few years Hertha have been in the league above whilst Union have only entered the top-flight this season. It was a fever pitch atmosphere in the reverse game and it’s a shame there will be a distinct lack of atmosphere at the Olympiastadion.
Hertha will be out for revenge after that disappointing defeat in the east of the city. They’ve gone through more managers than I’ve had hot dinners, and it’s been quite a bizarre campaign on the whole for Die Alte Dame who saw an influx of cash when Lars Windhorst bought a maximum 49% stake in the club.
Hertha seemed to be behaving in a rushed manner in the transfer market but they did eventually bring in Matheus Cunha, Krysztof Piatek and Santiago Asascibar as well as agreeing a deal to bring Lucas Tousart to the club in the summer.
The hosts did go to Hoffenheim and came back to with all three points with a 3-0 win that looks very impressive on the face of it but if we dig a bit deeper it wasn’t as cut and dry as you’d think. Bruno Labbadia saw his side concede over three Expected Goals (xG) but still somehow manage to keep a clean sheet. They themselves were clinical, scoring thrice from an xG of 1.50. But going off last weeks respective results I can see the hosts being a popular bet at around 7/5.
Union Berlin were not expected to get a result against champions Bayern Munich and they duly didn’t going down in a 2-0 loss where they should very little in terms of ambition but defended relatively stoutly. It’s what they’ve been all about this season, organised and hard to break down. Urs Fischer has largely gone with the same players that got Union up last season and his faith in the old guard has bared fruit.
The betting angles
Both sides are locked in mid-table mediocrity which may take a bit of shine off but also could make for a more entertaining and less cagey affair than the meeting earlier in the season. Therefore, I’ll dip into the goals market as I’m surprised this is an each-of-two on a flat 2.5 line, and with these I’m inclined to take the overs.
Hertha have seen overs land in a hefty 77% of their league games this season whereas Union have seen three or more goals in 55% of their games, including seven of their last 10. What’s more, the average game xG for Union stands at 3.10 per-game and the same figure applies for Hertha which shows presentable chances in both boxes are plentiful.
I’m inclined to take a shorter price than usual on a certain player in the Shots On-Target market and although I don’t like putting anything up shorter than 7/10, I can’t ignore the 4/7 on Matheus Cunha for Hertha to register an attempt on-target. The same bet is around 1/6 with a few other bookmakers which is way short but the 4/7 does look a touch of value.
Unfortunately, bet365 only offer the one line so we can’t take a juicy price on 2+ shots on target. The Brazilian youngster scored the goal of the weekend with some fantastic skill and strength on the byline complimented by good close control and a devastating finish. That puts the former Coritiba frontman on three goals in five games for the capital club – he’s obviously keen to pull the trigger too, averaging a mammoth 4.40 shots.
We also saw no real change in the volume of cards dished out last week compared to games with crowds present. With this being a derby it would be remiss to not look into the bookings market and I’m surprised we can get some odds-against from William Hill on both sides collecting Over 19.5 Booking Points. A yellow card counts as 10 points, a red on the other hand counts as 25 with two yellows and a red dishing out 35.
Forget that this is a derby for a moment, if you look at the respective home/away discipline records it makes for interesting reading. Hertha have seen Over 19.5 in 11 of their 13 home games so far this season. Union have also seen Over 19.5 in 11 of their 13 away games. If we take averages, both are seeing around 30 points per-game with respect to home/away form.
It looks an obvious angle in with it being a hotly contested west meets east rivalry but it’s great to see the long term stats stack up for this to be a game lacking in discipline. You can back this on the #BuildYourOdds feature on William Hill, the same bet is 8/11 with other firms.
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin – Over 2.5 Goals (10/11 Bet365)
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin – Matheus Cunha to have Over 0.5 Shots On-Target (4/7 Bet365)
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin – Both Teams Over 19.5 Booking Points (21/20 William Hill)