Hertha vs Bayern München – Sunday, October 1, 14:30BT / 15:30 CET Olympiastadion – Berlin, Germany.
We are in unchartered territory. Earlier than ever before Bayern München have decided to part company with their head coach when Carlo Ancelotti was fired on Thusday—the previous record was held by Jupp Heynckes, who was fired on October 8, 1991. The Italian head coach was fired after a poor performance against Paris Saint-Germain after which several key players went to Uli Hoeneß telling Bayern’s management that they could no longer work together with the head coach.
Those five players now got their wish. Ancelotti was let go after a short meeting on Thursday and will for now be replaced by assistant coach, and former Bayern wing-back, Willy Sagnol. The former French national team player now has the task to steady the ship until a new full-time coach will take over at Bayern—the likeliest candidate appears to be former BVB head coach Thomas Tuchel.
It will be interesting to see what sort of selection Willy Sagnol will choose on Sunday afternoon. Sven Ulreich is likely to be replaced by 17-year-old Christian Früchtl. Other than that Sagnol will experiment very little and instead will probably go with a 4-2-3-1 formation that will include Thomas Müller, Frank Ribéry, Arjen Robben, Mats Hummels and Jérôme Boateng. All five were unhappy with Ancelotti’s selection in the past and will now become the essential to stabilise Bayern’s results.
Hertha in the meantime have to lick their wounds from another disappointing European fixture. Hertha travelled to Sweden and were defeated 1-0 by outsiders Östersunds FK. Pal Dardai experimented with his selection on matchday 2 of the Europa League, and the result was a poor performance in Sweden that may cost Hertha a spot in the round of 32 of the Europa League.
The poor result now puts the pressure on Hertha to show more on matchday 7 of the Bundesliga. Bayern, however, are likely going to show a reaction to the poor performance in France and the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti. But there are signs that the coaching change will not fix all the problems. Players like James and Thiago are considered teacher’s pets by the rest of the squad showing a real rift in the Bayern squad. Whether Sagnol can fix that in just a few days remains to be seen.
Hertha vs Bayern München – Players to Watch:
Mathew Leckie #11 – Hertha Berlin
Mathew Leckie has already more than quadrupled his goalscoring output from last season in his first game for Hertha Berlin this season. Playing for Ingolstadt last season Leckie managed no goals and three assists in 30 games. Six games into the Bundesliga season Leckie has already managed four goals in six games. Brought in to give Hertha more pace head coach Pal Dardai has been pleased with Leckie’s contribution particularly since nominal striker Davie Selke has been out with a long-term injury.
Frank Ribéry #7 – Bayern München
Frank Ribéry was left on the bench for the full 90 minutes against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday. The camera often zeroed in on the face of the 34-year-old and Ribéry was visibly angry with Ancelotti. Sagnol is considered a friend of Ribéry and it will be certain that Sagnol will field the winger against Hertha. Ancelotti was controversial, but he was right in that Bayern needed a changing of the guards. Ribéry has shown signs of age this season, and while Sagnol will field him, it will be up to him to show that he still represents world class.
Hertha vs Bayern München – Match Stats
- Bayern, alongside Borussia Dortmund, lead the league with 115 shots on goal.
- Hertha in the meantime are last in league with just 44 shots on goal
- Fabian Lustenberger has not won against Bayern München in 12 games.
- Only Mainz keeper René Adler has been longer without a win against a single club—17 also against Bayern München.
- Hertha’s record at home against Bayern is W7 D13 L12.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Hertha vs Bayern München 1-1
Hertha vs Bayern München – Possible Lineups
Jarstein – Weiser, Stark, Rekik, Plattenhardt – Skjelbred, Darida – Leckie, Duda, Kalou – Esswein
Coach: Pal Dardai
Früchtl – Kimmich, Hummels, Boateng, Alaba – Rudy, Vidal – Robben, Müller, Ribery – Lewandowski
Coach: Willy Sagnol
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.