Werder Bremen and Hamburg will meet in the Nord Derby for the first time in nearly three and a half years when they square off this weekend at the Weser Stadion. The Nord Derby is pretty special for German footy fans, probably only rivalled by the Dortmund Schalke one, and despite Bremen and HSV both currently being in the second division
When did they last meet before this clash?
That was in February 2018 back in the 2017-18 season, with Werder winning 1-0 at the Weser Stadion. Hamburg’s Dutch defender Rick van Drongelen scored an own goal in the 86th minute as the hosts picked up three points. The result was a big one and pushed HSV further towards the drop- they were eventually relegated at the end of the campaign, ending their status as one of the Bundesliga’s ever presents. They’ve never been able to return to the top flight, with three unsuccessful attempts so far. Interestingly, they finished fourth in all three of their second division campaigns since, missing out narrowly on each occasion.
Werder were relegated at the end of last season, joining their great northern rivals in the second division. However they’ve started better than Hamburg this year, and are unbeaten in their last three games, with three clean sheets to boot as well. It explains why Bremen will start favourites for this clash when we take a look at the pre-game odds.
Despite their poor start to the reason, Hamburg already have 9 points from six games and can leapfrog Werder in the standings if they clinch victory on Saturday evening. They ended a streak of three winless games by beating Sandhausen in a thriller last weekend, with Moritz Heyer scoring the winner in stoppage time.
This is the first time the two sides will be playing the Nord derby in the second division. Relegation from the top flight means there are very few players on either side with actual experience of featuring in this derby- Jiri Pavlenka and Milos Veljkovic have it on the Werder side, while Bakery Jatta is the only one on the HSV side. In a way, it’s beneficial- the rest don’t have the pressure or baggage of previous derbies on their shoulders and will be starting on a clean slate.
Last five (most recent first) between the two sides
Werder 1-0 HSV
HSV 0-0 Bremen
Werder 2-1 HSV
HSV 2-2 Werder
HSV 2-1 Werder
As you can see, HSV’s last victory over Werder came back in 2016. The visitors have a relatively fit squad to choose from while Bremen are sweating on the fitness of skipper Omer Toprak and Mitchell Weiser. Marvin Ducksch is in line for a return but Felix Agu and Leo Bittencourt remain unavailable.