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Hoffenheim vs. Union Berlin preview:
Can Union secure Champions League football?

By Jonathan Dicks   @Jonathan_Dicks

With a victory, the best club in the capital can pretty much wrap up a top four spot, while Hoffenheim desperately need a result to distance themselves from the relegation battle.
Urs Fischer.
Urs Fischer.Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0


Hoffenheim failed to show much offensive creativity in their loss to Wolfsburg last week, leaving the club in 14th place, just two points clear of the relegation playoff spot. It’s been a horrific year for the former company club, who face a brutal test on Matchday 33.

They really need a point on Saturday, as they can’t rely on getting a result away to Stuttgart on the final matchday, as tensions will be through the roof. Grischa Prömel will be extra-motivated against his former club this weekend, as Hoffenheim also need the likes of Christoph Baumgartner and Mu'nas Dabbur to step up in attack.

Manager Pellegrino Matarazzo said, "The results in the other matches do not interest me, we will not pay attention to them. - Only a few teams can excel in playing against Union. We need an effective game plan and the readiness to run ourselves into the ground."
Team News

Robert Skov, Dennis Geiger, and Ozan Kabak are questionable for Saturday, but Stanley Nsoki is suspended. Pavel Kaderabek and Kevin Vogt are out, while Justin Che is no longer a part of the team.

Union Berlin

Due to their heavy goal-difference advantage over Freiburg, Union Berlin can pretty much take a CL spot away from the Breisgau club with a win on Saturday. It would be an unbelievable achievement for the club, who were in the 2. Bundesliga just a couple seasons ago.

When asked about this possibility in his presser, Urs Fischer unsurprisingly stated, “We're just concentrating on the next task."

Union will have lots of supporters making the trip to Sinsheim who will party well into the night depending on the result. The club remain fairly healthy heading into the weekend, but it’s unclear who will start in the back three because of Robin Knoche’s illness.

Fischer also shared that, "There's a lot at stake for both teams. Hoffenheim have stabilized, as the last games show. They take a little risk in zone one, in zone two they let the ball run and come up with dangerous actions."
Team News

A new injury setback has ended Andras Schäfer’s season and Knoche is sick, but he still could feature in the squad. In other news, Christopher Trimmel vented frustration this week about his recent reduction in playing time:

“I am the captain of this team. A captain should always be on the field. I have the ambition. - If I'm not playing in the first half of next season, I'll want to change. I know myself. Because that's who I am and I see myself in football for another two or three years.”

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