Union Berlin vs. Hoffenheim preview:
Both clubs looking to get back on track
By Jonathan Dicks @Jonathan_Dicks
Union Berlin are trying to jump back into the Champions League places with an out-of-form Hoffenheim team coming to town at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Saturday afternoon.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Union didn’t exactly end 2022 playing their best football, but they still sit a remarkable 5th in the league while competing admirably in Europe. Goalkeeper Frederik Rønnow will be back in goal after recovering from injury, but right-back Julian Ryerson has moved to Dortmund.
Sheraldo Becker would love a return to his early-season form in front of goal as he will either be joined by Jordan or Kevin Behrens up front. Janik Haberer has been one of Union’s breakout players thus far after a free summer move that now looks like an absolute robbery.
In his press conference Urs Fischer said, “We can only affect the things that we can affect. - Nothing else counts until 40 points are achieved.”
Jerome Roussillon was signed from Wolfsburg to provide some depth on the outside with Ryerson joining BVB. Andras Schäfer and Morten Thorsby are unavailable with injuries and Diogo Leite will serve a red-card suspension.
Hoffenheim also ended 2022 on a bit of a rocky note and have fallen back to 11th in the table. They haven’t even won a league match since defeating lowly Schalke on October 14th.
The village club have claimed three points just once in their last nine Bundesliga matches, as Andre Breitenreiter needs to start finding some answers or he’ll be back on the job market in no time. Robert Skov and Angelino will provide some opportunities from the wings, but can the likes of veterans Munas Dabbur and Andrej Kramaric put the chances away?
Christoph Baumgartner stated, "The matches at the Alte Försterei are always special. We're going up against a really good opponent, but of course we want to come away from Berlin with something.”
Benjamin Hubner has retired after a tragic injury spell, while Georginio Rutter is off to Leeds United. Kasper Dolberg was brought on loan from Nice to provide some fresh attacking talent. Umut Tohumcu and Justin Che have both been promoted to the first team.
Jacob Bruun Larsen and Grischa Prömel have been ruled out for Matchday 16.