After Bayern Munich strolled to their first win of the season on opening weekend the Bundesliga already looks similar to how many would predict it would finish: Bayern top and Borussia Dortmund in second. Dortmund were impressive against last season's third placed side, Borussia Moenchengladbach, winning 4-0. But Bayern were imperious in casting aside woeful Hamburg 5-0. This weekend sees more entertaining clashes, starting on Friday night with Hertha Berlin vs. Werder Bremen in the German capital.
The hosts on Friday started the season with a 1-0 win over last season's surprise package FC Augsburg. Salomon Kalou grabbed the winner but Hertha looked the weaker of the two sides based on chances but with each side having a man sent off it is difficult to judge the true character of the sides, especially at this early stage of the season. Hertha lined up with much the same side that did very averagely last season, although with Valentin Stocker finding his feet and Kalou looking to impress in his first full season in Germany there is reason to believe they should avoid relegation trouble. After one game and one clean sheet there is certainly optimism of sorts in the capital.
After opening day disaster at home to inconsistent and frustrating Schalke 04, optimism is the last thing on Bremen fans' minds at the moment. After an incredible second half to last season there was some chattering that Werder could return to the glory days of a decade ago and potentially qualify for Europe. After needing extra time to beat Wuerzberger Kickers in the Pokal they were taken apart by Eric-Maxim Choupo-Mouting, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and former striker Franco di Santo last weekend. They dominated possession but without top-scorer di Santo they clearly lacked a cutting edge. The signing of Anthony Ujah from FC Cologne signalled intent to replace di Santo with a similar striker who scored a good number of goals for a newly promoted side last season. He will need time to gel but the signs are there that the first week was a one-off collapse rather than a season long trend.
A close one to call that I can either see ending in a draw or with either side sneaking a winning goal. Hertha lack a cutting edge and Werder are looking to find their rhythm with a new strike force in place so there probably won't be a lot of goals in this, although the Bremen defence is liable to concede without the other team needing to try too hard. My prediction is Hertha Berlin 0-1 Werder Bremen
Under 2.5 goals
Zlatko Junuzovic to score anytime
Ujah to score first
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