The final match of the Bundesliga weekend sees league leaders Bayern Munich travel to the capital to face Hertha Berlin at the Olympiastadion on Sunday.
The hosts will be looking to bounce back from their midweek derby defeat, whilst the visitors will be hoping for a repeat of their comfortable victory last time out.
Hertha’s start to 2022 has been a disappointing one, with the return to action seeing Tayfun Korkut’s side downed 3-1 at home by FC Koln, before picking up a hard-fought point at Wolfsburg last weekend.
The Old Lady were fortunate to come away with anything at the Volkswagen Arena, with their opponents missing a host of glorious chances to take all three points.
Those two Bundesliga results leave Sunday’s hosts in 13th place at the time of writing, with just four points separating them from the relegation zone below, although the tight nature of the bottom half of the table means that position could be even worse come kick off on Sunday.
Following the slow start in the Bundesliga on their return from the winter break, Hertha continued that precedent by being knocked out of the DFB-Pokal on home soil on Wednesday evening.
Not only was this a cup exit at the round-of-16 stage though, it was also a derby defeat to city rivals Union Berlin, with an own goal and Suat Serdar’s late effort not enough to prevent Hertha from falling to a 3-2 defeat.
Facing the league leaders on Sunday is far from ideal for the hosts then, but they will be hoping to replicate the miraculous display put in back in 2018 that saw them overcome Bayern by a 2-0 scoreline at the Olympiastadion on that day.
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 15, 2022© Reuters
Meanwhile, Bayern head to the capital on the back of a comprehensive 4-0 demolishing of a strong FC Koln side last weekend, with the Best FIFA Men’s Player, Robert Lewandowski, netting a hat-trick to add to Corentin Tolisso’s excellent effort.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side displayed once more how they can return to their best so soon after a setback, with the shock 2-1 defeat at home to Borussia Monchengladbach the week before meaning the title race was revived again.
Borussia Dortmund had cut the gap to six points following that loss on the return from the winter break, and with the second-placed challengers winning before Bayern had played last weekend, the deficit was briefly cut to three.
The Bavarians continue to perform at their best when doubts are raised about their credentials though, and the hammering of the Billy Goats in their RheinEnergieStadion fortress was a statement victory.
Following their recent COVID-19 outbreak, which saw Bayern lose several first-team players ahead of the Gladbach fixture, many returned to the starting 11 last Saturday in timely fashion.
With Dortmund given the opportunity to potentially cut the gap to three points again when they play this Saturday, Sunday’s visitors to the capital could have the pressure placed on their shoulders yet again.