Werder Bremen vs Hamburg

February 28, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

With both sides sitting dangerously close to the relegation positions this clash can be regarded as a genuine relegation six-pointer. Neither Werder nor Hamburg expected to find themselves in such a situation before the season started, but the reality is the loser of the tie at Weserstadion will be in all sorts of problems.

Without a win in 2014

Bundesliga table does not make pretty reading for Werder Bremen, who sit mere four points above the relegation zone following another disappointing run of results. Having finally recorded a win by beating Bayer Leverkusen in the final fixture in 2013, the Weserstadion outfit were expected to start climbing the league standings after the winter break, but that did not happen. The club did well to capture Ludovic Obraniak from Bordeaux, who has already shown some promise, but Werder could only pick up three points from five league fixtures despite playing three of those fixtures at home. It is clear that the lack of confidence is affecting Robin Dutt’s side and no doubt they face a difficult task against revived Hamburg. Werder’s 3-4-4 home record and 24 conceded goals in the process cannot give them reason for optimism ahead of the Saturday’s game that could easily see the team slip even closer to the relegation zone. Some important missings only add to the worries, and everything suggests the poor run of results is likely to continue.

Felix Kroos and Luca Caldirola miss out through suspension, whereas Aleksandar Ignjovski has been ruled out with an ankle problem.

Impressive triumph over Borussia Dortmund

Looking at the Bundesliga standings, one could say Hamburg have been even more disappointing than their next opponents, seeing as how the team currently sit in the relegation play-off position. The Red Shorts somehow managed to lose all four league fixtures in the New Year, conceding 13 goals in the process, and no wonder the club chiefs were forced to act, replacing Bert van Marwijk with Mirko Slomka. As that usually happens, the new boss enjoyed a winning start to his career at the club, but the 3-0 victory over star-studded Borussia Dortmund cannot be solely attributed to the new coach effect. There were a lot of positives for the hosts in that match, but the realisation they have what it takes to beat even Germany’s top sides is likely to keep Hamburg in good stead for what is another extremely important game. Team’s gung ho approach under van Marwijk has cost the Red Shorts dearly in most matches, and it appears a more cautious tactics under Slomka will help them realise their full potential. With so many quality players up front, scoring goals will never be a problem, but if Hamburg can keep things tight at the back, they will be in good position to extend the winning run against Werder.

Heiko Westermann is doubtful with a bout of flu, but Ivo Ilicevic, Jaroslav Drobny, Maximilian Beister, Kerem Demirebay and Zhigin Lam are definitely out.


Werder are still trying to get their league campaign back on track, but the lack of confidence will seriously damage their chances of winning this match. Meanwhile, Hamburg will be buoyed by the outstanding triumph over Borussia Dortmund and they will fancy their chances of winning at Weserstadion.

Top pick: Hamburg Draw no bet   1.91 (10/11) @ Ladbrokes

Alternative pick 1: Away win   2.60 (8/5) @ Paddy Power

Alternative pick 2: Under 2.5 goals   2.30 (13/10) @ Stan James

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