Hertha BSC Berlin will put a proud defensive record on the line in the home leg of their UEFA Cup third-round meeting with Servette FC today.
Hertha BSC Berlin will put a proud defensive record on the line when they go into the home leg of their UEFA Cup third-round meeting with Servette FC on Thursday.
No goals conceded
The 1. Bundesliga outfit maintained their phenomenal defensive record of not conceding a goal in this season's competition by recording a 0-0 draw against the Swiss side in the Charmilles stadium a fortnight ago.
Coupled with a weekend win over German champions FC Bayern München, 2-1 after Niko Kovac had put the European champions ahead, Hertha are confident of justifying their billing as favourites to reach the last 16. They are unbeaten in ten matches and have climbed to sixth in the German first division, nine points behind leaders Bayer 04 Leverkusen after 15 rounds of matches.
'A dangerous result'
But coach Jürgen Röber has urged his players to stay level-headed. "It's a good initial position but it's also a dangerous result," he said, with reference to the threat an away goal would do his side's hopes of qualifying for the fourth round.
Röber will be without Marko Rehmer, goalkeeper Gábor Kiraly and Stefan Beinlich for Thursday's match in the Olympiastadion, while Sebastian Deisler remains a long-term absentee. Doubts also linger over the fitness of Marcelinho and Alex Alves but Röber hopes to have the Brazilian duo at his disposal. "I hope that both of them are fit," he said. "We want to remain in the UEFA Cup over winter, so we have to win."
Pinho on target
Servette FC, who accounted for Real Zaragoza and SK Slavia Praha in previous rounds, drew at the weekend, Roberto Pinho scoring both goals in a 2-2 draw at FC St. Gallen, and lie sixth in the 12-team Swiss first division after 21 games.