Pierre-Michel Lasogga (l.) and Per Skjelbred both face their parent clubs on Saturday
Pierre-Michel Lasogga (l.) and Per Skjelbred both face their parent clubs on Saturday

Tool-swap Hamburg and Hertha seek upper hand

Hamburger SV will be bidding to beat Hertha Berlin at their own game this Saturday when they meet at the Imtech Arena (kick-off 18:30 CET).

Loanee Lasogga

The northern Germany club's hopes of ending a five-game losing streak could rest on the shoulders of a player who actually belongs to the opposition.

joined HSV on a season-long loan from Hertha in the summer. His nine goals in 14 appearances account for nearly a third of all Hamburg's strikes this season, but an injury picked up in the 24th minute of the 3-0 loss to FC Schalke 04 on Matchday 18 made him miss last weekend's defeat to 1899 Hoffenheim and jeopardise his chances of facing his parent club.

"I cannot predict whether I will be ready for Saturday or not," he told herthabsc.de. "I want to play. I'm a full-blooded footballer and it is my passion to stand on the field and give everything for my team. That is what I would like to do, when possible, in every game." Lasogga also insisted he would have no qualms about scoring against Hertha either, particularly in view of his current club's plight.

Hamburg united

With just four wins all season, the only club never to have been relegated from the Bundesliga are in serious trouble. "There's no doubt we're in a difficult phase," Lasogga said. "But we're capable of surviving it. This is a hugely important game for us. We will try with all our might to experience success again at long last."

Hamburg captain Rafael van der Vaart echoed Lasogga's sentiments and called on the fans inside the Imtech Arena to give them a hand. "As long as we believe in ourselves, we will get out from down there," he said. "It's up to us to get the fans back onto our side. We need the fans." A sizeable group of followers marched united to the club's training ground on Friday to show their support. "That was an incredible gesture," said the Dutch playmaker. "I have a different feeling to previous weeks."

Familiar faces

Lasogga is not the only familiar face to the opposition. Per Skjelbred moved in the opposite direction last summer and admits it will be a "strange game" for him. "I learnt a lot from my time at HSV," he said. "I owe a lot to them, but of course I hope that they don't beat us." Though Skjelbred and Lasogga have never featured in the same side, the Norwegian has still seen enough to know all about the latter.

"All I can say is that, without his goals, HSV would have even fewer points," Skjelbred said. "He helps the club a great deal." There will be no help from either Lasogga or Skjelbred for their former clubs on Saturday, though. Both clubs need points: Hertha for a place in the top six and Hamburg to move out of danger.

Possible line-ups:

Hamburg: Adler - Diekmeier, Tah, Westermann, Jansen - Badelj, Arslan - Ilicevic, van der Vaart, Calhanoglu - Zoua

Hertha: Kraft - Pekarik, Kobiashvili, Langkamp, van den Bergh - Hosogai, Cigerci - Allagui, Skjelbred, Schulz - Ramos

Want a sneak peak of the action? Find out what happens in the EA Sports FIFA 14 prediction of Hamburg versus Hertha on the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: