The "Iron Armada" of 1. FC Union Berlin must make do without a few key pieces as Urs Fischer's surprise fifth-place team seeks to pick up where it left off after the international break.
On Wednesday it was revealed that Finnish striker Joel Pohjanpalo would be lost for the rest of the calendar year.
|Joel Pohjanpalo.||Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
A joke making the rounds in German footballing circles these days concerns how the capital city's smaller club will manage to prepare for Champions League matches at the Stadion An der alten Försterei next season.
It has indeed been a largely unforeseen rollicking start to the 2020/21 campaign for die Eisernern. A positively radiant transfer class can't stop shining for the newly promoted side.
As the Bundesliga prepares to resume following the international break, however, the club will have to do with a few knocks. Winger Keita Endo still hasn't recovered from a muscle pull incurred in the round seven defeat of Bielefeld. Midfielders Christian Gentner, Grischa Prömmel, and Marius Bülter also aren't expected to make it back in time. Defensive jewel Nico Schlotterbeck has also been ruled out of the upcoming match against Köln.
Union's powerful striking corps also takes a bit of a hit with Anthony Ujah sidelined indefinitely and Marcus Ingvartsen slow to recover from back problems. On-loan striker Joel Pohjanpalo suffered an ankle fracture whilst on international duty and was immediately operated on. The 26-year-old won't take to the pitch again until 2021 at the earliest.
None of this may matter if new additions Max Kruse and Cedric Teuchert can keep up their scintillating form. A third forward added in this summer's transfer window, Taiwo Awoniyi, has shown flashes of brilliance and might get a breakthrough chance as well soon.