Saturday. Weserstadion. Nordderby. There is nothing quite like the Nordderby to get the juices flowing and the pressure will be on both sides in this massive six-point game. At 18:30 CET on Saturday evening the two sides will kick off in the Weserstadion. On matchday 24 of the Bundesliga Werder Bremen face their rivals in what is the 108th Nordderby in the Bundesliga. Needless to say, the Weserstadion is sold-out for the blockbuster encounter. The showdown between the two sides is made even more vital given the two team league positions as they both battle it out for survival.
Previous Nordderbies: The matches between the sides are always emotional; however the most recent fixture between the two sides is unlikely to go down as one of the greats. 0-0 was the final score-line in the first half of this season. Chances were in short supply and the match ended in a disappointing draw. The corresponding fixture last season was far more positive from Werder’s point of view; eventhough the guests went in front through Michael Gregoritsch, the man who now play his football for Augsburg, Max Kruse scored a well-deserved equaliser before the half-time whistle. In the second-half, Werder pushed higher up the field and Florian Kainz fired them ahead in the 71st minute. Werder saw the game out and ensured they held onto the three points.
The infamous Nordderby: “The atmosphere in the city is rising. I just can’t wait for the whistle to go on Saturday night, I think it will be a great game,” explained head coach Florian Kohfeldt. For Kohfeldt, the atmosphere around the city and the build-up before the game are real highlights, “In the days before the game, you can tell it's no ordinary game. I’m looking forward to having that feeling around the stadium and hearing the fans,” said Kohfeldt. “However I want the atmosphere to be in good spirit. Of course there is a rivalry between the two clubs but it is and will remain a sporting rivalry,” explained Kohfeldt clearly. Centre-back Milos Veljkovic also mentioned the different feel the city has on the way in to a Nordderby, “Even when you go out to eat, people come and wish you good luck. You realise how excited everyone is.”
Florian Kohfeldt on the game: “All games are important at this point in the season, however, given the position of the teams in the Bundesliga, this specific game is just that little bit more important.” A home win is the only result that would do for Kohfeldt. “We have a plan that we want to implement from the very first minute. I think that we will find ourselves with a lot of possession, so we want to put HSV under pressure and force the mistake,” explained Kohfeldt, who also recognises the qualities of the upcoming opponents, “Players like Kostic and Wood bring a high-tempo to HSV’s attack, making them all the more dangerous on the counter. We have to be wary of that. Aron Hunt offers his creativity; he can create and he can score,” said the coach guardedly. Above all, the Werder coach is expecting an intense game, “Both teams will be aggressive from the off. We should prepare for a tough battle out there."
All aboard: The coaching staff will have a full-strength squad to choose from for the Nordderby. Florian Kohfeldt is also able to call upon Zlatko Junuzovic, who was missing last weekend for the game against Freiburg, as well as Philipp Bargfrede and Aron Jóhannsson. The last two have followed an adjusted training programme but have been back in first-team training since Wednesday.
Nordderby 108: Werder Bremen and Hamburg have already met many times in the Bundesliga, with it being the fixture with the highest number of encounters in the German top league. The all-time balance between the two sides is slightly in Werder’s favour. The Green-Whites come out on top 38 times, compared to Hamburg's 34, while there have also been 35 draws.
Watch out boys: With 9 yellow cards in 21 games, Kyriakos Papadopoulos is the player to receive the most cautions this season. He returned to the side in their home game against Leverkusen after having been out for a double-yellow red card but having already received 9 yellow cards this season, another suspension is looming. Dennis Diekmeier and Gideon Jung also lie just one yellow away from their first suspension of the season, while for Werder Philipp Bargfrede, Florian Kainz, Thomas Delaney and Robert Bauer are all also just one card away.