Once upon a time, this was the biggest derby of the North, and usually, the both teams were positioned at the top of the table. Today, though, the 104th edition of this fierce clash will be decisive in rivals battle for relegation. Werder is in the 16h position at the moment, three points fewer than Hamburger, and the situation on the bottom very crowded, the visitors are coming to the Volksparkstadion with an imperative to win, or at least earn a point. The hosts aren’t in perfect position as well, so this derby should provide plenty of excitement.
Hamburger isn’t playing well at the moment; they lost four out of last five games, HSV also suffered consecutive defeats at home, and a potential loss here could get them in an awkward situation. Let’s remind; HSV played relegation playoffs last season, and they managed to escape Bundesliga 2 with an injury-time goal. The fans will not be lucky to see their team again in the similar position, so the hosts cannot afford to lose this match. The home turf is not a significant factor in this clash; Werder is quite dangerous when they visited Hamburg in the past, and it’s not going to be any different on Friday night.
Werder can fully concentrate on salvaging their Bundesliga status after a 2-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in semi-finals of the German Cup during the week. With only two days to rest, the players could be little iffy for this match, but Viktor Skripnik will surely find adequate starting eleven to face the fierce rivals. Bremen won only once in last five league games, and that was last week against Wolfsburg at home. However, Die Werderaner is better away from home this year, and although their defense is worst in the league, they’re scoring a reasonable amount of goals, so I expect an electric atmosphere both on stands and field.
Bruno Labbadia will be without his starting goalkeeper Rene Adler after he was sent off against Dortmund last week. Jaroslav Drobny will get his chance at the goal. Midfielders Nicolai Muller and Albin Ekdal suffered injuries in the mentioned game and will likely miss out this derby. Lasogga is questionable to feature while Gideon Jung could get the start first time in six weeks.
Hamburger’s possible starting lineup: Drobny; Sakai, Reis, Spahic, Ostrzolek; Jung, Kacar; Gregoritsch, Holtby, Ilicevic; Schipplock
Viktor Skripnik could line up the same starting XI that played against Bayern on Tuesday, so Claudio Pizarro will likely get a start ahead of Anthony Ujah. Papy Djilobodji could start off the bench; he will be available after serving a suspension. Philipp Bargfrede is still unavailable after suffering an injury in January while forward Aron Johannsson is out for the season with hip injury.
Werder’s possible starting lineup: Wiedwald; Gebre Selassie, Galvez, Vestergaard, Garcia; Fritz, Grillitsch; Yatabare, Junuzovic, Bartels; Pizarro