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Hertha staring down the barrel

SC Heerenveen will edge towards the UEFA Europa League knockout phase if they match Matchday 3's 1-0 win at Hertha BSC Berlin, while defeat would sound the death knell for the German side's campaign.

Hertha staring down the barrel
Hertha staring down the barrel ©UEFA.com

SC Heerenveen can take a major stride towards the UEFA Europa League knockout phase if they can match their 1-0 win at Hertha BSC Berlin on 22 October, but defeat in the Netherlands would sound the death knell for the German side's ill-starred Group D campaign.

Previous meetings
• The clubs had not met prior to Matchday 3. Heerenveen beat VfB Stuttgart 1-0 in their only previous home game against German opposition, while Hertha's sole appearance on Dutch soil ended in a 4-1 loss at AFC Ajax.

Match background
• Victory in Berlin spelled the end of Heerenveen's eight-match wait for a European win, with their previous triumph a 5-2 UEFA Cup first round success against Vitória FC on 2 October 2008. However, the club are still without a win in their last four European home games.

• Hertha have gone five games without a win away from home in Europe since a 2-0 UEFA Cup second qualifying round victory at NK IB Ljubljana on 14 August 2008. During this barren run, they have scored just once – in a 2-1 loss at Brøndby IF in this season's UEFA Europa League play-off round.

Team facts
• Heerenveen won their maiden Dutch Cup last term but Norwegian coach Trond Sollied became the first Eredivisie dismissal of the season in August following a poor start to their domestic campaign. He has been replaced by erstwhile youth-team trainer Jan de Jonge, formerly a striker with FC Groningen, Heerenveen and FC Emmen.

• De Jonge will remain in charge until the winter break, when his position will be reconsidered.

• Friedhelm Funkel is taking charge of his second UEFA Europa League game with Hertha since being named as the club's new coach. A striker at FC Bayer 05 Uerdingen and 1. FC Kaiserslautern, he has coached Uerdingen, MSV Duisburg, FC Hansa Rostock, 1. FC Köln and – from 2004 until earlier this year – Eintracht Frankfurt.

• Funkel has faced Heerenveen before as coach of Duisburg, with his side beating the Dutch outfit – coached by Foppe de Haan – 2-0 in the group stage of the 1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• Hertha had a different coach for their first three Group D games. Lucien Favre was in charge for the 1-1 draw against FK Ventspils, while his stand-in replacement Karsten Heine was on the bench for the 1-0 loss at Sporting Clube de Portugal.

• Heerenveen's Igor Djurić and Hertha's Gojko Kačar were team-mates at Serbian side FK Vojvodina from 2004 to 2008. Both players were born in Novi Sad.

• Heerenveen's Michal Papadopulos (Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Energie Cottbus) and Gerald Sibon (1. FC Nürnberg) both boast Bundesliga experience.

• Should Heerenveen concede four at home against Hertha, it would bring their total of goals shipped in UEFA club competition to 100 from 75 games.

• Heerenveen visit Sporting on Matchday 5 while Hertha travel to Ventspils on the same day, 3 December.