Derby time: Much more than just another game

HSV are desperate for their first league win of the season. Should they beat Werder Bremen on Saturday it would be an historic victory. Hopefully the three day stay in Barsinghausen has perfectly prepared the team.

The 105th meeting between HSV and bitter northern rivals Werder Bremen is once again upon us. No other fixture has been played more times in the German top flight. For many years it was a duel between two top teams. This time around though the game at the jam packed Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on Saturday afternoon (26.11.16, 3.30 PM) is a game between two struggling sides, with HSV propping up the table and Werder not far above them in 16th place. The teams have never met before with both clubs in such lowly positions. The last time the teams met as second against third was nine years ago. None of that takes away from the excitement: “It is the most brilliant game of the season and we want to win it come what may!” declared Rothosen right back Dennis Diekmeier this week. His coach Markus Gisdol told the media this week: “The tingling and anticipation is growing daily and we can’t wait. Derbies are always special games.”

That press conference was not held as usual at the press room at the Volksparkstadion but in the "Niedersachsen Saal" at the hotel Fuchsbachtal in Barsinghausen, where a three day training camp was held this week: “We wanted to nurture team unity and grow as a team. That is very important for us in our current situation”, added Gisdol, who had plenty of peace and quiet to prepare his men for what promises to be a n emotional derby clash. 

Like 50 years ago...

Although Gisdol told the press that Saturday’s clash was not a make or break affair, he is well aware that there are much more than three crucial points at stake. A Hamburg victory would not only move them closer to safety but also send a signal to coming opponents.

A victory over Werder would e historic. After beating them twice last season (3-1 and 2-1) HSV fans are hoping to make it three in a row. That last happened almost 50 years ago between August 19th 1967 and September 4th the following year. During that time the Rothosen beat Bremen 4-1, 2-1 and 5-2lechzen die Rothosen und ihre Anhänger nach dem dritten Dreier in Folge. Dies gab es zuletzt vor fast 50 Jahren, genauer gesagt zwischen dem 19. August 1967 und 4. September 1968. Damals lauteten die Ergebnisse 4:1, 2:1 und 5:2. Hamburg scorers at the time included legends Uwe Seeler and Bernd and Charly Dörfel.

Waldschmidt return

Bobby Wood will be mega-frustrated that he will play no part on Saturday. The USA striker is seving the final gamer of his three match ban. Keeper René Adler (had successful elbow surgery on Monday), Emir Spahic (meniscus), Cleber (knee) and Albin Ekdal (Ankle) are not yet available. On the good new side Luca Waldschmidt has recovered sufficiently from his knee problem to make the 19-man squad. Gisdol is able to pick the same side for the first time this season. Injury and suspension had prevented that happening so far. The HSV coach is hoping to finally win his first game since recently taking charge and his side their first game of the season.

HSV (from): Mathenia, Mickel, Bahoui, Diekmeier, Djourou, Douglas Santos, Götz, Gregoritsch, Holtby, Hunt, Jatta, Jung, Kostic, Lasogga, Porath, N. Müller, Ostrzolek, Saka, Waldschmidt

Possible Werder Bremen line-up: Drobny - Gebre Selassie, L. Sané, Moisander, S. Garcia - Fritz, Grillitsch - Bartels, Junuzovic, Gnabry - M. Kruse

Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (München)