The capital's 'Goliath' spent just one season in the second tier of German football before returning to the top flight in 2011. Fast forward 12 months, however, and Berlin's 'David' is ready to do it all again following Hertha's rapid Bundesliga demise. On Monday evening, the two sides wrap up the Matchday 4 programme with a head-to-head at FC Union's Alte Försterei.
East meets West
These might be two clubs from the same city, but scratch a little deeper and the contrast could scarcely be greater. On one side you have Union - the people's club - refounded in the former East Germany in 1966, and very nearly brought to its knees following the country's reunification in 1990. On the other, Hertha, hailing from up-market Charlottenburg in the west of the long-divided city, a Bundesliga mainstay until their fortunes went into a rather extended decline in the 1980s.
Given the historical background, this is, of course, far from your regular derby. Indeed, it is only the third league meeting between the two clubs. Union stole the show with a 2-1 victory in front of over 74,000 supporters at Hertha's Olympiastadion on 5 February 2011 - and that after holding their illustrious western neighbours to a 1-1 draw in Köpenick five months earlier.
Battle for supremacy
Aside from the local bragging rights however, this is a game both sides need a positive result from to get their respectively underwhelming campaign starts into gear. Jos Luhukay's visitors, expected to be up among the frontrunners, have taken just four points from their first three matches, while Union go into the match third from bottom with a single point to their name.
A derby success would nonetheless give an added boost to either outfit and FC Union's compact home ground is bracing itself for a raucous evening, one way or the other.