Hertha scouting report: Struggling for form
Hertha are embroiled in a relegation battle after five successive league defeats. Jürgen Klinsmann, Germany’s coach at the 2006 World Cup, has been brought in to turn things around.
Former head coach Ante Covic, who only succeeded Pal Dardai in the Hertha hot-seat at the beginning of the season, was relieved of his duties at the end of November following several league defeats in succession. In his stead came a high-profile replacement in the form of Jürgen Klinsmann, who oversaw a 2-1 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund in his first game in charge – a result that left Hertha languishing in 16th place ahead of their trip to Eintracht.
The club from the German capital are still in the DFB Cup, having beaten Bundesliga 2 side Dynamo Dresden 5-4 on penalties in the previous round. They travel to Schalke 04 in the last 16 of the competition next year.
Klinsmann only made three changes to the Hertha starting XI against BVB but altered his team’s formation, switching from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-1-4-2 system. Former Eintracht winger Marius Wolf and Maximilian Mittelstädt operated on the wings, with Davie Selke partnering Dodi Lukebakio in attack.
It remains to be seen whether Klinsmann will stick with the same formation against Eintracht. The former Germany and USA coach has had time to get to know his players this week and could make one or two more tactical changes at the Commerzbank-Arena on Friday.
One to watch: Marius Wolf
A graduate of the 1. FC Nürnberg youth academy, Wolf got his first taste of professional football at 1860 Munich before joining Hannover 96 in 2016. After moving to Eintracht in 2017, Wolf’s big breakthrough finally came during the 2017/18 campaign, when he registered five goals and nine assists in 28 Bundesliga appearances. He also scored one and set up another two in the Eagles’ victorious DFB Cup campaign in 2018.
He then opted for a move to Dortmund, where injuries hampered his hopes of regular first-team football. The attacker has made ten league appearances since joining Berlin on loan in September, registering a goal and two assists.