Berlin Derby

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Hertha Berlin bosses derby through Ibisevic star show

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Vedad Ibisevic scored and set up another goal in a 2-minute span to spring Hertha Berlin past Union Berlin in the side’s first home Bundesliga derby in club history on Friday at the Olympiastadion Berlin.

Ibisevic, who played college soccer in the U.S. with Saint Louis, powered a 51st-minute header past Rafael Gikiewicz for his 125th Bundesliga goal before providing a delightful turn and assist to Dodi Lukebakio after Union bungled the restart.

A member of our Best XI from Week 26, Ibisevic also assisted Matheus Cunha’s goal in the 61st minute with a fine low curl from the edge of the box, helping Hertha into 10th place with 34 points. Ex-Man City and Celtic man Dedryck Boyata also scored, and Marvin Plattenhardt had two assists.

Union remains in 12th on 30 points and will have to rest on the laurels earned in a 1-0 home derby win in November.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores ] 

Gikiewicz was very good last week and made a brave block on Dodi Lukebakio with a sensitive region of his body in the 18th minute.

A match that lived up to expectations of fouls and physical plays, the first half chances were limited for both sides. Hertha had most of the ball, with Union’s Robert Andrich unable to convert a late free kick in one of the visitors’ only chances.

Gikiewicz made another fine stop on Lukebakio in the 47th minute, though the striker would’ve likely been found to be offside.

The opener arrived just minutes later when Plattenhardt spun a terrific left-footed cross into the heart of the Union box. Ibisevic thumped his header home.

The technique on Ibisevic’s chest trap and set-up touch to spring Lukebakio was remarkable, even if his pass needed a deflection to fall perfectly for the 22-year-old Belgian.

An even younger player, the 20-year-old Cunha, lashed in a pretty goal off an Ibisevic feed after the hour mark to make it 3-0. Marvin Plattenhardt sent an assist to Boyata’s head for the fourth.

The 2019-20 season restart saw eight matches Saturday and Sunday with a Revierderby blowout and a Gladbach warning shot to its fellow title chasers, while leaders Bayern Munich got back to winning ways in Berlin.

Matchweek 26 in the Bundesliga has seen games played in empty stadiums, which is the plan for the rest of the season and beyond. If you’re new to Germany’s top-flight, here’s a guide to help you pick a club to support.

You can check out the full schedulestandings and find out how to watch the action, while we will have you covered right here on ProSoccerTalk with analysis, reaction and more.

Bundesliga preview, schedule, predictions: Week 27

Bundesliga predictions
Photo by Thomas F. Starke/Bongarts/Getty Images
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The Bundesliga schedule for Week 27 has plenty to like, headlined by a Berlin Derby on Friday and a trio of entertaining games on Saturday, and remember here’s how to get all of the action on TV, online and via our analysis.

[ MORE: Bundesliga latest news ] 

Sunday brings must-win matches for Schalke, Koln, and RB Leipzig if they want to keep an ability to meet their season goals. The Bundesliga schedule this weekend will be essential viewing on your TV.

There’s a lot to like here.

The Bundesliga announced the remaining schedule for the rest of the season on Wednesday so you can plan time in front of the TV with a bratwurst and a beer with plenty of mouthwatering games coming up. Our lead writer Joe Prince-Wright has five players to watch this weekend here.

Let’s move on to the predictions.

Friday

Hertha Berlin v. Union Berlin — 2:30 p.m. ET

November’s meeting at Union was the first top flight meeting between the two and the first top flight Berlin Derby in 40 years, with Sebastian Polter converting a penalty for the game’s lone goal in Union’s 1-0 win.

That loss came in the middle of a seven-match winless run for Hertha, who is now ahead of Union in the standings for the first time in months after a win over Hoffenheim coupled with Union’s loss to Bayern.

So there’s a lot at stake here with two rivals one point and two goals of differential apart on the table. Hertha was ornery against Hoffenheim and Union won’t blink at that. Both teams are going to grind, and it’s hard to separate them. We’ll go with a 1-1 draw.

Also a fun USMNT note: Union right back Julian Ryerson is USMNT eligible. The 22-year-old has been capped at youth levels by Norway but could potentially represent the U.S. if he filed a one-time switch. He scored seven goals with three assists as a center mid and right back at Viking in Norway.

Ryerson joined Union in 2018 and has made 23 appearances over two years including 11 Bundesliga matches this season, registering an assist in a November win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores ]  

Berlin Derby
Sebastian Andersson of Union Berlin and Dedryck Boyata of Hertha Berlin (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Saturday

Wolfsburg v. Borussia Dortmund — 9:30 a.m. ET

One of three beauties on the day and two in the 9:30 window sees Dortmund’s incredible attack visit a Wolfsburg side which has risen into sixth place and a Europa League spot. Complicating lineup selection is Dortmund’s Tuesday Der Klassiker date with Bayern. It has all the makings of a trap game, but this Dortmund team has won five-straight and eight of nine in league play. John Brooks and Wolfsburg would love to put an end to the fine form, but we see Dortmund winning 3-1.

Borussia Monchengladbach v. Bayer Leverkusen — 9:30 a.m. ET

You’ll expect a great game from two sides still harboring hopes of an elusive Bundesliga crown, as both can score goals but also are equally stingy. Marcus Thuram and Kai Havertz are both big time playmakers with tremendous playmakers around them. It’s a test for defenders and keepers, and there will be some failures along the way. Call it 2-2.

Freiburg v. Werder Bremen — 9:30 a.m. ET

Freiburg is a grind-it-out team who is difficult to break down but capable of finding the back of the net. Bremen doesn’t score and doesn’t defend. Will it find the pluck to deliver away from home? Freiburg wins 1-0.

Paderborn v. Hoffenheim — 9:30 a.m. ET

The hosts’ draw at Fortuna last week was its first point snapped a three-match losing streak, but Paderborn is still on a seven-match losing streak and is living with fears of probable relegation. Hoffenheim was embarrassed in a 3-0 loss to Hertha, but did generate some chances. Still, Hoffenheim 2-0.

Bayern Munich v. Eintracht Frankfurt — 12:30 p.m. ET

This Eintracht side has been outscored 13-2 in its last four matches, the latest a 3-1 home setback against Gladbach. It’s just not their year, and Bayern shouldn’t have much trouble in its return to the Allianz Arena. 3-0 Bayern.

Bundesliga
(Photo by Tom Weller/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Sunday

Schalke v. Augsburg — 7:30 a.m. ET

Schalke’s winless in eight, having scored just twice in those contests. Augsburg hasn’t kept a clean sheet since 2019. We’ll tip the hosts to defy form in a 2-0 Schalke win.

Mainz v. RB Leipzig — 9:30 a.m. ET

The hosts showed mettle in battling back for a 2-2 draw at Koln, but it’s a scorned and sour Leipzig coming to town after a surprising draw with Freiburg. Mainz can’t follow the same playbook, so Leipzig win 3-0.

Koln v. Fortuna Dusseldorf — Noon p.m. ET

Fortuna need goals and wins, and this one gives it a chance for both. But Koln is at home, even in a ghost game, and it feels likely it has enough to out-produce its relegation-threatened visitors. Koln 2-1.