bundesliga.com looks ahead to Matchday 7's opening fixture in the historic capital...
It might be German Unity Day, but the gloves will be off once the referee's whistle sounds at the Olympic Stadium. Six games into the campaign and both sides find themselves level on five points, just the one point ahead of relegation play-off place incumbents SC Freiburg and only three better off than bottom club Hamburger SV.
Jos Luhukay may opt to mix things up in attack after watching his side draw a blank at Augsburg on Matchday 6.Top scorer signing Julian Schieber is out but summer signing Valentin Stocker (pictured) is a candidates for a starting berth after coming off the bench at the SGL Arena. Midfielder Nico Schulz is available following suspension.
(pictured) is a major doubt after suffering a thigh injury against Hannover 96 last time out. Georg Niedermeier also had to sit out training in midweek with an ankle complaint, while Thorsten Kirschbaum is expected to continue in goal at the expense of Sven Ulreich. Antonio Rüdiger, in the , is available.
's experience and all-round attacking game will be key if Hertha are to keep the bottom three at arm's length. The Ivorian, who has scored once in four Bundesliga outings since joining the club, has never been relegated as a professional.
looks to be enjoying the freedom of playing in the lone striker's role, keeping Vedad Ibisevic out of the side in the process. The 18-year-old is yet to score this season, but laid on Daniel Schwaab's match-winner against Hannover last weekend.
Jos Luhukay (Hertha head coach): "We need to keep our expectations in check, but we're at home and we want to go on the attack."
Armin Veh (Stuttgart head coach): "We need to be doing more in wide areas and getting balls into the box. We're still not doing that enough."
Hertha failed to find the net for the first time in the league this season in Sunday's 1-0 defeat to FC Augsburg. Their only win of the campaign came against VfL Wolfsburg on Matchday 5, with Stuttgart somewhat belatedly opening their account with three points against Hannover four days later.
Both sides picked up away wins last term in what's generally been a pretty tightly contested fixture, with the exception of Stuttgart's 5-0 win at the Mercedes-Benz Arena back in Feburary 2012.
Hertha: Kraft - Pekarik, Heitinga, Lustenberger, Schulz - Hosogai, Skjelbred - Beerens, Haraguchi - Kalou, Stocker
Stuttgart: Kirschbaum - Klein, Schwaab, Rüdiger, Sakai - Gruezo, Romeu - Leitner, Maxim, Gentner - Werner