Goal.com previews the classic Nordderby between Hamburg and Werder Bremen.
Hamburg play in their second derby in three days as they take on northern rivals Bremen. On Wednesday, die Rothosen played well but were beaten by their clinically efficient cross-city rivals, St Pauli.
Following the Hamburg derby, HSV captain Frank Rost was thoroughly frustrated. “I’m absolutely speechless at the moment. We really wanted to win this derby for our fans,” he said according to Hamburer Morgenpost.
“If you don’t score goals, then you are mercilessly punished. We now have to work our socks off and lift our heads and move on. Hopefully we can win three points on Saturday against Werder Bremen.”
As they host Bremen, HSV are seventh in the Bundesliga, four points behind Mainz and a position in the Europa League. After missing out on Europe this year, die Rothosen are especially keen to return to continental play, but are running out of time and need must their move fast. Success in Saturday’s derby could be the spark they need to set off on a good run of form.
Bremen Don’t Care Who The Favourites Are
Per Mertesacker’s second half strike earned Werder Bremen a draw against Hannover in round 22, but the result was far from satisfactory for the struggling Hanseaten, who are tied on points with 16th-placed Kaiserslautern.
“Of course there are nicer circumstances,” Klaus Allofs told the official Bremen website, lamenting his team’s poor table standing. Heading into the northern derby with Hamburg, the sporting director expects the match to be “hot, fast paced, with lots of emotion.”
Bremen have had a rough season, but there is plenty of class among Thomas Schaaf’s squad, and the coach believes in his team’s cances of winning the derby.
“They play at home and have more points, but I do not care who the favourites are,” said coach Thomas Schaaf, who pledged: “I will get my team to perform well enough to be successful.”
“The team is committed to improving.”
Hamburg enter Saturday’s match at nearly full strength, and Armin Veh will be spoilt for choice. Only Dennis Diekmeier and Romeo Castelen are unavailable, meaning that Anis Ben-Hatira and Mladen Petric will compete for a starting berth in attack, as will Marcell Jansen and Eljero Elia.
Probable Starting XI: Rost – Demel, Westermann, Mathijsen, Aogo – Pitroipa, Jarolim, Ze Roberto, Jansen – Petric, Van Nistelrooy
Claudio Pizarro sustained yet another muscular problem this week, and has been ruled out of Saturday’s match. He will join suspended goalkeeper Tim Wiese, as well as fellow casualties Samuel, Christian Vander, Naldo, Daniel Jensen and Onur Ayik in the stands.
Probable Starting XI: Mielitz – Fritz, Mertesacker, Proedl, Silvestre – Bargfrede, Frings, Hunt – Marin – Arnautovic, Avdic