Berlin Derby: Union and Hertha set for first Bundesliga meeting nearly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall

The two major clubs in Germany’s capital meet in the top tier for the first time this weekend

City rivals Union and Hertha face off for the first time in the Bundesliga on Saturday, almost 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Union Berlin, based on the east side of where the wall once stood, were promoted last season and host the first top-tier derby between the two major clubs in Germany’s capital.

Rivals Hertha Berlin, from the west side of the city, requested that the fixture be held on November 9, the date the wall that divided the east and west came down, but Union were reluctant to stage the match on a date with such cultural significance.

Union captain Christopher Trimmel is mindful of the amplified atmosphere a derby fixture can create, and maintains that retaining composure will be essential.

“It is something really special,” he said to the club’s website.

“The players will be aware of it, you can’t compare it to any other game.

“For me, these are always the most intensive matches. They have their own atmosphere. It doesn’t feel like 11 versus 11, the whole stadium stands behind you.

“I can’t explain it, but I’m really looking forward to it.

“The atmosphere is really special, if you have a hard tackle, the stadium roars. You might go into challenges a bit more aggressively as a result. You have to be composed. You have to take this atmosphere with you, but you need to be calm, not be provoked.”

Union boss Urs Fischer agreed that the derby fixture would be unlike any other, saying at a pre-match press conference: “I expect a great game in the end. A city derby is a bit special. (It is) important to have a mix of aggressiveness and coolness. I’m sure the teams will give it all to win.”

Fischer also confirmed that both Michael Parensen and Suleiman Abdullahi are unlikely to play, while Akaki Gogia and Grischa Promel remain unavailable with long-term injuries.

Hertha suffered a 3-2 defeat to Hoffenheim on Saturday, ending their four-game unbeaten league run.

Forward Vedad Ibisevic said the squad need to put that loss behind them as they represent their side of the city at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei.

“It will be a heated game in a small, narrow stadium,” he told his club’s website.

“We can all imagine what we can expect from the game and for me personally that only adds to my motivation.

Urs Fischer and Ante Covic are preparing to take charge of the first Bundesliga Berlin Derby

“Of course, we know very well how important the game is in Berlin and what role it plays for our fans. We’ve known that from the day Union Berlin came up.

“What has gone on so far in this season doesn’t matter now, the only thing that matters will be those 90 minutes on Saturday.

“We will do everything we can to be victorious, because even with all the hype surrounding the game, that’s our job – win the game and defend our status within this city.”

Left-back Maximilian Mittelstadt, who is hoping he can recover from an elbow injury in time to feature, said to the club’s site: “We want to show that we’re the top dogs in the city.

“It’s the first time we’ve met Union in the Bundesliga, which is something really special in itself. We will give everything to make sure we win.”

PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in