- 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.
'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!
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