We're all set for a nail-biting relegation playoff in Germany, and Kevin Hatchard believes that Hertha Berlin will misbehave under pressure.
"Hertha were in the top six in the Bundesliga for cards collected and fouls committed, and coach Magath has aked his players to be more aggressive tonight."
Back Away Team Over 2.5 Cards in Hamburg v Hertha at 2.01/1
Capital club to put their foot in
Hamburg v Hertha Berlin
Monday 23 May, 19:30
Live on Sky Sports and Betfair Live Video
Inter Miami put our chum Tobias into trouble last night, as they beat his New York Red Bulls 2-0. There are worse places to reflect on that loss than Miami, so while we leave him to it, we'll head to northern Germany for a nailbiting relegation playoff between Hamburg and Hertha Berlin.
Northern giants Hamburg have spent the vast majority of their existence as a top-flight institution, but they were relegated for the first time in their history as a Bundesliga club in 2018, and the period since has been full of chokes, heartbreak and anxiety. Coach Tim Walter may be about to change that. He has implemented an attractive possession-based style, and instead of their usual late-season collapse, HSV ended the campaign with four straight wins.
Hamburg maintained that momentum on Thursday, as they won a tight game 1-0 at Hertha Berlin. Unless the capital club can win in Hamburg tonight, they'll be relegated, and HSV will take their place in the top flight.
Given Hertha's awful display on Thursday, I can't back them to turn things around with any confidence here, even though they are attractively priced in the To Qualify market at 4.1. However, I do fancy them to pick up Over 2.5 Cards at evens on the Sportsbook. They picked up the sixth-most cards in the Bundesliga and committed the sixth-most fouls, and coach Felix Magath (who is coincidentally a Hamburg legend) has talked a lot in the build-up about being more aggressive and winning one-on-one duels.
Hertha picked up three cautions in the first leg, and the return of midfield battler Santiago Ascacibar after suspension gives us more of a chance of getting over the 2.5 cards line. He picked up five yellow cards across the season, and is incredibly aggressive and passionate. It's worth bearing in mind that if the tie starts to go away from Hertha, the frustration might boil over.