Hertha coach Jos Luhukay is aware that his side will face a walking wounded and thus particularly dangerous Hamburg squad, and knows his team must impose themselves early on.
"We will be putting everything into our home games to stay in the Bundesliga," Luhukay said.
"It makes things more complicated that Hamburg had to stomach a bitter defeat to Hoffenheim last weekend.
"In the last few days, a lot has obviously happened in Hamburg and I can well imagine that their starting XI will be different.
"What matters is that we impose ourselves on the game."
It has indeed been a difficult few days for Hamburg, culminating in the club's biggest financial backer Klaus Michael Kuhne criticising coach Thorsten Fink, who is now under immense pressure to turn their fortunes around in a hurry.
"I am deeply disappointed in him," said Kuhne to the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper. "I get the impression that he can neither lead nor motivate the team properly."
Fink's decision to give the team two days off after the 5-1 defeat to Hoffenheim demonstrated this, according to Kuhne, who has already suggested a successor for the former Basel coach.
"Felix Magath is the only person I believe capable of getting us the striker we desperately need before the end of the transfer period," he said.
Fortunately for Fink, Kuehne does not have a direct say in his position, although the decision makers are bound to take note of his displeasure and a further stumble in the capital could have consequences.
Such consequences were drawn by Fink himself after he learned that Dennis Aogo and Tomas Rincon had spent their two days away from training by flying to Mallorca for a holiday.
The pair have been dropped from Hamburg's squad for Saturday's trip.