Hamburger SV are brimming with confidence following an outstanding victory over Borussia Dortmund, meaning the hosts will fancy their chances against tired M’gladbach. Die Folhen had a very difficult match against Lazio on Thursday night and there will not be enough time for them to recover ahead of the trip to Imtech Arena.
Hamburg back in business
Past few years have been very difficult for Hamburger SV as they just couldn’t live up to their potential, but some shrewd dealings in the summer transfer window have helped the team return to the right track. With so many new players arriving during off season, the Red Shorts struggled for consistency in the first part of the league campaign, but the winter break did them a world of good, as the recent results have shown. Hamburg started the second part of the campaign brightly, bringing one point from Nurnberg before beating Werder Bremen at home, but they then suffered a very unfortunate defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. The team, nonetheless, showed a lot of character to record a 4-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund last weekend, so they can be forgiven for feeling optimist ahead of the match with Borussia M’gladbach. With star players Van der Vaart, Rudnevs and Son all on top of their game at the moment, another morale-boosting win looks on the cards.
Important midfielder Milan Badelj returns from suspension, but now Jeffrey Bruma is banned. Rene Adler, Michael Mancienne, Ivo Ilicevic and Jacopo Sala miss out through injury.
Entertaining draw against Lazio
With the club’s recent history already described in the preview for Lazio game, it is now time to focus to more current affairs. The Europa League clash against the Serie A giants proved Borussia were far from the desired form, with the hosts failing to hold on to a one-goal lead despite playing last 25 minutes with an extra man on the pitch. The match was certainly draining for the players, and with the Hamburg clash coming just 40 hours later, you will forgive me for not believing die Fohlen can produce a solid showing at Imtech Arena. Given the very small strength in depth, boss Lucien Favre will not be able to rotate his players without upsetting the balance of the team, meaning the visitors will struggle to match in-form Hamburger SV. Playing two games in less than two days would prove to be a problem for even the world’s fittest athletes.
Lucien Favre has no fresh injury worries, but Peniel Mlapa and Benjamin Hrgota are not yet ready to return.
Hamburger are playing with a lot of confidence at the moment, as witnessed by the amazing triumph over reigning champions Dortmund. They now look a good bet to see off the other Borussia as well, especially given the visitors are still feeling the ill-effects of the difficult Europa League match against Lazio.
Top pick: Home win 2.00 (1/1) @ SkyBet
Alternative pick 1: Hamburg to score two or more 1.80 (4/5) @ bet365
Alternative pick 2: Heung-Min Son to score 2.50 (3/2) @ BetVictor