The next round of Bundesliga fixtures kicks-off with the Berlin derby on Friday evening and Paul Robinson is expecting Hertha BSC to build on their Hoffenheim win.
"Although they have gone six without a win at home, they are at the beginning of a new era, and it’s hard to ignore the Hoffenheim result."
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin
Friday May 22, 19:30
Live on BT Sport
New beginnings for The Old Lady
Hertha BSC returned from the break with an impressive 0-3 away win at Hoffenheim - a result which certainly wasn't expected. It did however continue their excellent run of away form, and they will now be keen to transfer it to their home matches.
The empty stadium might potentially do them a favour, as they just haven't been able to fire in front of 50,000 of their own supporters every other week. They have lost seven of their 13 at the Olympiastadion this season - winning just three.
Bruno Labbadia replaced Alexander Nouri as coach during the break, as The Old Lady look to stabilise following the ill-fated Jürgen Klinsmann experiment.
A hugely positive victory and performance at Hoffenheim was clearly a great start, and the former Wolfsburg boss will be aiming to build some momentum ahead of next season.
Impressive first season for the Iron ones
Union Berlin are in the top flight of German football for the first time in their history, following their promotion from the Bundesliga 2 last year.
As it stands, they are 12 points clear of the automatic relegation places and with a seven point gap to the relegation play-off position, it seems pretty certain that they will be dining at the top table again next season.
Bayern Munich met them on their return from the suspension of the league, and while a 0-2 defeat can be forgiven, there will be mild concern that it was their third straight loss.
Urs Fischer will be keen to stop the rot at their neighbours this evening, even if his team have won just three times away from home this term.
Hertha to end their poor home run
The hosts are the [2.42] favourites for this fixture on the Betfair Exchange, with the visitors available to back at [3.25] and the draw trading at around the [3.5] mark.
The big questions to ask yourself before betting in this market are - Can Labbadia improve Hertha's home form - and will the lack of fans help? Are Union Berlin on enough of a slide to write them off for now - especially on the road? Will the derby factor be as pronounced in an empty stadium?
On balance, I have to side with Hertha here. Although they have gone six without a win at home, they are at the beginning of a new era, and it's hard to ignore the Hoffenheim result. A lack of crowd could also be in their favour.
Union Berlin did win the reverse fixture in November, but that was during a spell where they won five of seven matches, and as mentioned, the have lost eight of their 13 away from home since their promotion.
Value to be had in the Goal Markets
Considering that this is a Bundesliga fixture, the Over/Under 2.5 market on the Betfair Exchange is pretty tight. The Over is the marginal favourite at [1.95], with the Under at [2.04].
On the face of it, the stats suggest that the former should be shorter than marginally below evens. Hertha have played 26 times this season, and 20 of them have had at least three goals. Union have also played 26 times, and while only 14 of theirs have gone Over, that is still over 50%, and 10 of their dozen that didn't, only missed out by a single goal.
It is also worth noting that five of the visitors' last six away games have seen Over 2.5 backers collect, and Hertha's last three on this ground have followed suit.
Finally, for those worried about the intensity levels due to the lack of crowd, the nine Bundesliga matches at the weekend saw 27 goals scored, with six of the nine having at least three.
Key Opta Stat
Bruno Labbadia recorded a 3-0 win against Hoffenheim last time out in his first match as head coach of Hertha Berlin. It was the second-highest margin of victory for a Hertha coach in his first Bundesliga game in charge, after Jos Lukukay (6-1 win vs. Frankfurt in August 2013).
2019/20 P/L (1pt each bet)
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Back Hertha BSC @ [2.42]
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ [1.95]