• Hertha host Brondby in Europa League third qualifying round.
  • Dardai: "We want to qualify for the group stage."
  • USMNT's John Anthony Brooks expected to feature.

Hertha Berlin make their long-awaited return to European competition when they take on IF Brondby in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League third qualifying round tie on Thursday (kick-off 20:15CEST/18:15GMT).

The Old Lady edged out the Danish side en route to qualifying for the 2009/10 Europa League group stage seven years ago, but have not featured on the continental stage since.

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'A real test'

"We worked hard for it last season," said Hertha head coach Pal Dardai, mastermind of the club's unexpected seventh-placed finish last term. "Now we want to qualify for the Europa League group stage. A lot of our players haven't experienced knockout football before. It's a real test, but it's great for our development. I'm pleased we've drawn a good side. It's a yardstick for us."

Dardai is expected to name the strongest possible starting line-up available to him at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark. USMNT international defender John Anthony Brooks and UEFA EURO 2016 representatives Peter Pekarik and Vladimir Darida should all be involved, despite only returning to pre-season training ten days ago. Hertha captain Fabian Lustenberger has been given the green light after shaking off an abdominal strain.

*Getting a morning sweat on ahead of #BSCBIF in the @EuropaLeague. We're up for it!

Possible line-ups

Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt – Lustenberger, Skjelbred – Haraguchi, Darida, Kalou – Ibisevic

Brondby: Ronnow - Larsson, Albrechtsen, Rocker, da Silva - Austin, Norgaard, Jakobsen, Holst - Stuckler, Wilczek