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Despite conceding 15 goals in their last six league outings, Hoffenheim remain hot on the heels of the European places. It goes without saying that's where they'll want to stay during the winter break, but mid-table Hertha likewise need the points in order to keep the relegation zone at arm's length.
With Roy Beerens ruled out, Jos Luhukay will have to make at least one change to the side that drew 4-4 at Eintracht Frankfurt. Valentin Stocker is the most likely candidate to fill in on the left-hand side of midfield, and there could also be a place in the starting line-up for defender Sebastian Langkamp (r.) following injury.
Kraft, Ronny, Skjelbred and Niemeyer have all picked up knocks. Unlikely to play on Sunday— Hertha English (@HerthaBSC_EN) December 18, 2014
Eugen Polanski remains a doubt with the toe injury that kept him out of Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Sebastian Rudy (l.) will keep his place in midfield should the Pole miss out, leaving defender Niklas Süle as Markus Gisdol's only other absentee.
netted his second goal in as many games on Wednesday to take his overall league tally for the campaign to six. For anyone still wondering why former Chelsea FC man Salomon Kalou isn't perhaps starting as many games as you might have expected, there's your answer.
was the hero last weekend, helping himself to his fourth goal and fourth assist of the campaign in an enthralling 3-2 win over Frankfurt. The Brazilian international was quiet by his own high standards in midweek, but has proven time and again that he only needs an inch to decide a game.
Kalou, Hertha striker: "I always want to play and score goals. It's frustrating when I can't help the team."
Gisdol, Hoffenheim head coach: "I hope that we can put in a good performance and come away with something to show for it."
Hertha picked up a priceless 1-0 win over Dortmund last weekend, but could only manage a draw in Frankfurt, despite taking a 3-0 lead. Hoffenheim have lost five of their last seven league games following Wednesday's defeat to Leverkusen and travel to the capital having recorded just one away win all season.
Hertha have won four and lost two of the two sides' eight Bundesliga meetings to date. Last season's corresponding fixture ended one win apiece, with Hoffenheim's only ever competitive win at the Olympiastadion coming back in February 2010.
Hertha: Kraft - Pekarik, Hegeler, Brooks, N. Schulz - Niemeyer, Skjelbred - Ben-Hatira, Ronny, Stocker - Schieber
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Beck, Strobl, Bicakcic, J.-S. Kim - Rudy, Schwegler - Volland, Roberto Firmino, Elyounoussi - Modeste