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Hertha BerlinHertha Berlin

Lukebakio (66')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Rudy (33'), Kramaric (68', 88')
Gacinovic (25')

Preview: Hertha Berlin vs. Hoffenheim - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Hertha Berlin vs. Hoffenheim - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Bundesliga clash between Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Hertha Berlin take on Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Tuesday, with the two sides separated by a solitary point in the bottom half of the table.

Indeed, along with Schalke 04, these are probably two of the under-achieving teams in the division so far this season, so both clubs are in desperate need of a victory.

Match preview

Hertha played out a pretty dire 0-0 draw at FC Koln at the weekend in a match which had more yellow cards than shots on target.

Avoiding defeat did at least mean that Koln, who are currently occupying the relegation playoff position, remain five points behind Hertha, but on the flipside it was a missed opportunity for Bruno Labbadia's side to put serious distance between themselves and danger.

The 54-year-old chose to partner Jhon Cordoba with Krzysztof Piatek in attack, but Hertha always looked like they were missing the creative exploits of Matheus Cunha, who was surprisingly only used as a substitute.

Labbadia will be pleased that his side have kept five clean sheets in their last 10 league games, though, so if his forwards can find their shooting boots on a more consistent basis, there does appear to be a stronger platform to aid improved results than in previous months.

Hoffenheim, meanwhile, are having a dreadful time of things domestically, with a stack of injury problems massively contributing to their negative results of late.

Like Hertha, Hoeness's side failed to capitalise on a golden opportunity to open up a bigger gap on a side beneath them in the table by drawing 0-0 at home to Arminia Bielefeld at the weekend.

Hoffenheim marginally had the better of the game, although not to the extent they may have wished against their recently-promoted opponents, who have spent most of the season in the relegation zone.

Andrej Kramaric had to play a deeper role in midfield than the Croatian would ordinarily like; unleashing their top goalscorer higher up the pitch may be a necessity if Hoffenheim are to start winning matches once again.

Hertha Berlin Bundesliga form: DDLWLD

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form: LLWLLD
Hoffenheim form (all competitions): LWLLLD

Team News

Hertha will not have the services of Marvin Plattenhardt, Jessic Ngankam, Marton Dardai, Javairo Dilrosun, Dedryck Boyata or Eduard Lowen for the visit of Hoffenheim due to injury.

Cunha will almost certainly be restored to the starting XI by Labbadia, with Piatek likely to be used as a super sub instead.

Hoffenheim, meanwhile, will be boosted by the return of Christoph Baumgartner after the midfielder served his one-match suspension in the draw with Arminia, which should allow Kramaric to operate from a more advanced position.

However, Hoeness is still likely to be without Kevin Vogt, Robert Skov, Kevin Akpoguma, Florian Grillitsch, Dennis Geiger, Pavel Kaderabek, Ermin Bicakcic, Benjamin Hubner and Kostas Stafylidis due to injury.

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Schwolow; Pekarik, Stark, Alderete, Mittelstadt; Tousart, Darida, Guendouzi; Lukebakio, Cordoba, Cunha

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Kasim, Nordtveit, Posch; Rudy, Baumgartner, Samassekou, John; Bebou, Dabour, Kramaric

We say: Hertha Berlin 2-1 Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim simply have too many players injured to be as competitive as they could be, with Vogt's latest injury potentially a major blow to their hopes of gaining a result at Hertha.

Cordoba, Cunha and Dodi Lukebakio should pose plenty of problems in transition, and we can see their pace and power earning the hosts a vital win.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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18Schalke 04Schalke2316161661-459
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