Stevan Jovetic and the difficult omens

There was praise for Marco Richter and Suat Serdar. “Two very good footballers,” she called Julian Nagelsmann, coach of FC Bayern Munich, Hertha BSC’s next opponent (Sunday 5:30 p.m., Dazn live). There was also extra praise for Ishak Belfodil, whose coach Nagelsmann was once at TSG Hoffenheim: “For me, he is one of the most underrated Bundesliga strikers. It’s incredibly difficult to defend.”

And then there is an eminently important offensive player at Hertha, who usually made a positive impression when he was able to play: Stevan Jovetic. However, he hasn’t been able to do this as often as he had hoped since his move in the summer.

The Montenegrin has scored six competitive goals for Hertha BSC so far, five of them in the Bundesliga. What makes this all remarkable is the fact that the 32-year-old has only played ten games. Of these, he was only on the pitch for at least 60 minutes in half of his appearances. On average, he scores a goal every 109 minutes, a very strong figure.

But recently renewed calf problems forced Jovetic to take a break. On Friday he trained with the team for the first time and could at least be in the squad against Bayern and take on a joker role. “If he can play, he brings us creativity and calm, especially in the final meters, and of course quality,” says Tayfun Korkut. But the coach also says: “We must not forget that he has been out for weeks.”

Jovetic is experienced, accurate, an absolute asset to the team. Korkut describes him as a “plus player”. He would like to bring the striker. But the omens are difficult. Jovetic has often struggled with injuries. This circumstance may have prevented an even bigger career, as he has scored goals in all five European top divisions, including for Manchester City and Inter Milan.

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Hertha have only scored three goals in three competitive games this year, although Korkut has maintained its attacking orientation. Neither Myziane Maolida nor Davie Selke were able to close the gap created by Jovetic’s absence.

In the first four games under Korkut before the short winter break, there were still seven goals, three of which went to Jovetics. In the new system with two strikers, he harmonized perfectly with Belfodil, who previously had trouble as the only striker under coach Pal Dardai and now excelled in particular as an assist provider.

“We have good chemistry,” said Jovetic after the home win against Arminia Bielefeld in December. Hertha finally seemed to be on the right track in the offensive game.

Stevan Jovetic was injured during the game in Mainz

Since then, Jovetic has only been on the pitch for 32 minutes and had to leave the field injured in the encounter at FSV Mainz 05. Now he may celebrate his comeback in the Olympic Stadium against FC Bayern. It is also unclear whether defenders Niklas Stark and Jordan Torunarigha are ready for action.

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Korkut announced on Friday that it would hold talks with Jovetic. “We have to be smart and not think that he will win the game for us alone. It’s important that he stays healthy and has full energy for the next few weeks,” says Korkut.

Don’t miss out on the initial phase again, be better defensively, but at the same time continue to be active offensively, that’s how the coach wants to “set tasks” for Bayern. Jovetic would certainly play its part in this.

Nevertheless, it has to run optimally in all areas to win a point. After that, there will be a two-week international break. After this, Hertha first meets VfL Bochum at home and then away at bottom Greuther Fürth. These are games where wins are needed – where Stevan Jovetic is badly needed in a good state of fitness.

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