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Germany: Bundesliga
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3 - 1
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Union Berlin
Gladbach
K. Volland (23), B. Hollerbach (50), M. Kaufmann (75)
A. Pléa (77)

Union Berlin vs. Gladbach preview: Bjelica’s first Bundesliga test

By Jonathan Dicks   @Jonathan_Dicks

In-form Gladbach travel to the capital against struggling Union, who are looking for new life under trainer Nenad Bjelica.
Nenad Bjelica
Nenad Bjelica1. FC Union Berlin

Union Berlin


The postponement of the game against Bayern was a gift for new trainer Nenad Bjelica, who’s now had a good stretch to implement his philosophies. Union could badly use some fresh ideas, having last won a competitive match back in August against Darmstadt.


Union drew to Braga over a week ago to barely keep their European hopes alive, but must turn their complete attention to league play as they sit in last place. Bjelica has a fairly healthy squad at his disposal and Saturday will be his first chance to turn this boat around.

Following the Braga game, Bjelica mentioned there was "A certain fear in the legs and heads of the players. - We want to quickly understand what has happened in the past three months, why the team no longer functions as before.”
Team News

Danilho Doekhi and Sheraldo Becker are likely the only two absentees.

Gladbach


Gladbach have only lost once in their last seven competitive matches and advanced to the DFB-Pokal quarterfinals this week for the first time in three years. A last-minute goal from Manu Kone lit up the Borussia-Park crowd on Wednesday, allowing Gladbach to continue their impressive run of form.

They have a favorable schedule to close out the calendar year against Union, Werder, and Frankfurt, as Gerardo Seoane’s side look to secure a return to European football. For Saturday, there are concerns over who will play up front with both Jordan and Tomas Cvancara questionable.

Alassane Plea and Nathan Ngoumou will likely start from the off in a front two. There are also questions at the back, meaning Fabio Chiarodia and Marvin Friedrich could receive starts.


When asked about Union, Seoane said, "When a new coach comes in, there's always a change and a bit of a shake-up. We're preparing for different scenarios. In Berlin, we're expecting a team who are physically robust, strong at set-pieces and backed by their fans."

Team News

Jonas Omlin, Ko Itakura, and Tony Jantschke are out. Stefan Lainer and Hannes Wolf have returned to training, but it’s unclear if they’re ready to play. There are concerns over the status of strikers Jordan and Cvancara, while Seoane said Maximilian Wöber, Nico Elvedi, Robin Hack, and surprisingly Manu Kane are doubts following their “exhausting” cup tie.


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