Berlin - Hertha coach Bruno Labbadia and Eintracht Frankfurt have crossed paths twelve times in the Bundesliga. With five victories and six draws, the 54-year-old has lost only once against the Eagles - a very successful record! However, the defeat was in the one match he has faced Frankfurt as Hertha manager - a 4-1 loss in June earlier this year. The aim for the thirteenth encounter with the Eagles on Friday evening (20:30 CEST) is clear for the Berliners’ head coach. “The good start to the season in Bremen has definitely given us a good feeling going into this game. Frankfurt are a team we’re looking to beat, but they’ll demand a lot from us,” said Labbadia at the press conference on Thursday, in which he also revealed his personal connections to Friday’s opponents from the Main. When asked about Hertha’s status as favourites for the clash, Labbadia was careful to show the 2018 Pokal winners respect. “Frankfurt have performed very consistently over the past few years and have developed a framework that is further ahead of what we have here.” When quizzed on how he intends to set Hertha up tactically tomorrow, Labbadia left the question open, but emphasised the versatility of his side. “We want to be flexible and find a system that best exploits the weaknesses of the opposition.”
Meanwhile, Michael Preetz spoke about the issue of fans returning to the Olympiastadion. “It’s the first home game in a long time so we’re ambitious and we want to win. We think it’s great to be back playing in front of fans again after so many months. It's perfectly acceptable that there will only be 5,000 people in the stadium at this early stage, as the health of everyone is the most important thing," stated Hertha’s sporting director.