Bremen - Vital points are up for grabs in the nip-tuck battle against the drop when SV Werder Bremen host Hertha Berlin on Sunday (kick-off 15:30 CET/ 14:30 GMT).

bundesliga.com has all the necessary pre-match skinny on a game which bears all the hallmarks of a textbook six-pointer...

Depending on results elsewhere, Bremen could start the day back in the automatic relegation zone. By the same token, victory over a Hertha side themselves perched precariously above the bottom three could take the Green-Whites as high as tenth.

Danish international defender Jannik Vestergaard is in line for his debut after signing from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim earlier in the week. Franco Di Santo is also expected to make his first start since Matchday 11 following injury, but Bayer 04 Leverkusen loanee Levin Öztunali will probably have to settle for a place on the bench.

Roy Beerens is in contention after recovering from an ankle injury, but Per Cilian Skjelbred (infection), (one-match ban) and Salomon Kalou (Africa Cup of Nations duty) are all unavailable. Sebastian Langkamp is likely to come in as a result, with Fabian Lustenberger moving into the centre of midfield.

Hertha's makeshift back four can expect to put in a busy shift up against the returning Di Santo. The Argentinian scored six times in his first 11 outings of the campaign and, while Bremen didn't exactly struggle in front of goal during his absence, they generally carry a far greater threat with the former Chelsea FC man in the side.

The Old Lady have their own South American representative to turn to in their hour of need. Brazilian attacker hasn't scored since Matchday 4, but he registered two assists in the Matchday 16 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha fans know all too well that his rocket-fuelled left boot can turn games in a flash.

(r, Bremen goalkeeper): "I expect a win. We've been really strong at home recently."

Jos Luhukay (Hertha head coach): "It's a really important game for both sides. Bremen play a proactive game, but we're prepared for it."

As Wolf alluded to, Sunday's hosts are enjoying a good run of form on home soil, winning three and drawing one of their last four league assignments. Hertha, by contrast, were thumped 5-0 by Hoffenheim on Matchday 17 and only managed one mid-season friendly win from four compared to Bremen's four from five.

The Green-Whites have won ten and lost five of their last 16 top-flight meetings with Hertha, who haven't won in Bremen since March 2006. The two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw back on Matchday 1 - their first stalemate at this level.

Possible line-ups:

Bremen: Wolf - Gebre Selassie, Galvez, Vestergaard, Garcia - Bargfrede - Fritz, Junuzovic - Bartels - di Santo, Selke

Hertha: Kraft - Pekarik, S. Langkamp, Brooks, N. Schulz - Niemeyer, Lustenberger - Haraguchi, Ronny, Stocker - Schieber

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