Over two weeks of Bundesliga football have been played in empty stadiums. This allows fans to get a better idea of how their teams will perform for the rest of the season. One team that has a great opportunity to move up the table in the last stretch of the season is Hertha Berlin.
The club is currently 10th in the league, and their performances have been inconsistent. Berlin have spent some time near the relegation spots, but also have had stretches of good form leaving them in the middle of the table. Managers Ante Čović and Jürgen Klinsmann previously coached the club this season, generating a need of stability.
Newest manager Bruno Labbadia has the team in good form since the league’s return from the pandemic, as they have picked up seven points in their three matches so far. Dominant wins over TSG Hoffenheim and FC Union Berlin, along with a hard-fought draw against RB Leipzig have given the squad plenty of confidence going into their last stretch of games.
For the team to qualify for a European spot next season, Hertha Berlin will need to finish sixth or better in the league. Passing four teams with only six games to go seems like a lot, but the gap between 10th placed Berlin and 6th placed Wolfsburg is only seven points.
Another reason for why the team has had three quality performances since returning to football is their potent attack. Scoring nine goals in three games has given the team a huge lift, and they have plenty of options to rely on in attack.
35-year-old Vedad Ibisevic, who is in his fifth season with the club, has two goals and an assist in their past three fixtures. The veteran striker has plenty of Bundesliga experience, playing for three respective clubs in the league since 2007.
Winger Dodi Lukeebakio has contributed 11 goals in 25 league appearances for Berlin. On the counter attack, he utilizes his pace to get away from defenders and create goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates.
The most important factor for why Hertha have been so dominant in recent games is the form of newly acquired Matheus Cunha. After limited opportunities at German club RB Leipzig, Cunha decided to leave in order to get more game time.
Since joining Berlin during the January transfer window, the Brazilain forward has scored four goals in only seven starts. Cunha has given his team a consistent goal scorer among all the instability the club has had off the field.
If the club would like to make a late season push up the table, they will need to keep a good defensive shape. With the team playing a very attacking style, Hertha tends to leave themselves exposed on the counter attack.
In some cases, Hertha have given up too many goals on the counter attack, including a 4-0 loss against Bayern Munich in mid-January, and a 5-0 loss against FC Cologne in late February. Berlin have kept clean sheets in two of their last three matches, showing they have the defensive structure to limit scoring opportunities for their opponents.
In order for Berlin to pass four teams and get a European spot, the club will need to continue their good form. The squad has been able to put up goals in bunches, while keeping good shape defensively. Those two things have led me to believe that they will continue to perform well and earn a top 6 finish in the Bundesliga this season.
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