Lukas Klünter is a 23-year-old midfielder and defender who plays for Hertha Berlin. Klünter was born on May 26, 1996 in Euskirchen, Germany and played in his youth career for Bonner SC before transferring to 1. FC Köln to begin his senior career. From 2015 to 2018, he made 80 appearances for 1. FC Köln II and 1. FC Köln. His first professional goal came in May 2017 in a 2:2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen. After Köln was relegated at the end of the 2017/8 season, Klünter transferred to his current club, where he played for both the reserve and senior teams during the 2018/9 season. Klünter has also played for Germany’s U19, U20, and U21 squads since 2015, making 22 appearances.
Hertha Berlin crushed visiting rivals 1. FC Union Berlin on Friday 4:0, with all the goals coming the second half, from Vedad Ibisevic, Dodi Lukebakio, Matheus Cunha, and Dedryck Boyata. This was the 2nd consecutive week where Hertha has scored at least 3 goals in the 2nd half of a Bundesliga match. Now on their 5th coach since June (Pal Dardai, Ante Covic, Jürgen Klinsmann, Alexander Nouri, and now Bruno Labbadia), things are looking up for the Berlin club, who are momentarily in 10th place in the league, 4 points ahead of their Union Berlin rivals, and well ahead of the relegation zone. Saturday’s key match will be that between Borussia Mönchengladbach and local visitors Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Gladbach are just 2 points behind Dortmund and 6 points behind Bayern in the hunt for the league championship, and are driven in large part by the attacking prowess of Alassane Plea, who has 9 goals and 7 assists so far this season. His biggest rival on Leverkusen’s side is Kai Havertz, who is the club’s youngest goalscorer and the fastest player ever to reach 100 Bundesliga appearances. Although 3 of his 24 assists have come against Gladbach, he has yet to score against them. Historically, the 2 clubs have met in the Bundesliga 75 times so far, and the matches have produced 249 goals in total, an average of more than 3 per game. If Gladbach should prevail on Saturday, they will have won 4 straight matches against Leverkusen. Another key local derby occurs on Sunday, when Fortuna Düsseldorf makes the short trip south to take on 1. FC Köln. Köln have been in excellent form in 2020, even without a win in their last 2 matches, having cleared relegation danger by a comfortable 10 points, and no club with a 10-point cushion at this point in the season has ever been relegated. Düsseldorf, however, are perched precariously in the relegation play-off spot, and will be playing without defender Kaan Ayhan, who is suspended, and without American international Zack Steffen, who has a knee injury. Even worse, Düsseldorf’s top scorer, Rouwen Hennings, has failed to score in his last 9 matches. Uncertainty remains on the fate of the 3. Liga. While the DFB has set a date of May 30 for play to resume, with the season to end on July 4, 2 clubs have threatened legal action to force an interruption of the season. Resumption of play is endangered by both local prohibitions against use of arenas and positive COVID-19 tests, and this in turn leaves in question which teams will be in the 2. Bundesliga later this year.
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