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Real Madrid logo
Champions League | Group Stage
Sep 20, 2023 at 5.45pm UK
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Union Berlin logo

Real Madrid
1 - 0
Union Berlin

Bellingham (90+4')
Tchouameni (37')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Tousart (1')

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Union Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Union Berlin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Real Madrid will be bidding to make it six straight wins in all competitions at the start of the 2023-24 campaign when they welcome Union Berlin in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Los Blancos will enter the contest off the back of a 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad in La Liga, while Union Berlin suffered a 2-1 loss to Wolfsburg in their last Bundesliga fixture on Saturday.

Match preview

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti before the match on August 25, 2023© Reuters

Real Madrid have not quite been at their free-flowing best early in the season, but the capital giants have been incredibly effective, recording five straight wins in La Liga to sit top of the table on 15 points.

Carlo Ancelotti's side beat Athletic Bilbao and Almeria by two-goal margins in their opening two league games of the campaign, but they have only edged their last three matches against Celta Vigo, Getafe and Real Sociedad, beating the latter 2-1 on Sunday evening to return to the summit.

Real Madrid have the small matter of a trip to Atletico Madrid in the Madrid derby this weekend, but their current focus is on the Champions League, as they bid to make the perfect start to a section which also includes Portuguese outfit Braga and Italian champions Napoli.

The Whites have won the European Cup an incredible 14 times, making them comfortably the dominant force in the history of this competition, with their last success coming in the 2021-22 season.

Real Madrid reached the semi-finals of last season's competition, losing to Manchester City, and they will again be expected to advance deep into the tournament this term.

FC Union Berlin's Milos Pantovic celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Robin Gosens, Sheraldo Becker and Aljoscha Kemlein on August 20, 2023© Reuters

Union Berlin, meanwhile, finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season, claiming 62 points from their 34 matches, which saw them directly qualify for the group stage of the Champions League for the first time.

Die Eisernen played in the Europa Conference League during the 2021-22 season but failed to progress past the group stage, although they did reach the last-16 stage of the 2022-23 Europa League.

Union Berlin will now make the step-up into the biggest cup competition in European football, and they will enter the contest at Bernabeu off the back of two disappointing domestic results.

Indeed, Urs Fischer's side have lost their last two in the Bundesliga against RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg, which followed three straight wins in all competitions, including their opening two in the league, and a total of six points has left them in eighth position in the table.

Union Berlin are very much an unknown quantity in this competition, which could help them on Wednesday evening, but their home form in the section is likely to determine whether they have a genuine chance of reaching the knockout round of this season's tournament.

Real Madrid form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Union Berlin form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham celebrates scoring against Almeria on August 19, 2023© Reuters

Real Madrid managed to recover one injured player at the weekend, with Dani Ceballos in a matchday squad for the first time this season, having overcome a hamstring issue.

Ferland Mendy could be back for this contest, but Los Blancos will again definitely be without the services of key trio Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao and Vinicius Junior, while summer arrival Arda Guler is still unavailable.

Dani Carvajal is also out with a muscular issue that he suffered in training, which could lead to Lucas Vazquez starting at right-back.

Joselu has impressed alongside Rodrygo in the final third of the field, and the pair are set to continue their partnership on Wednesday.

Eduardo Camavinga is likely to be recalled in place of Toni Kroos, who is no longer a guaranteed starter, while Luka Modric has already been confirmed to be in the XI by Ancelotti.

Jude Bellingham will get his first taste of Champions League football in a Real Madrid shirt, meanwhile, and the 20-year-old has been in excellent form this season, already finding the back of the net on five occasions.

Union Berlin, meanwhile, will be without the services of Rani Khedira, Andras Schafer and Laurenz Dehl for the contest in the Spanish capital through injury.

Kevin Volland is currently serving a Bundesliga suspension, but the forward is available for this contest and will more than likely provide an option off the bench.

Kevin Behrens has been the team's main source of goals early in the season, finding the back of the net on four occasions, and he will again feature in the final third of the field.

There is also likely to be a start for on-loan Chelsea forward David Datro Fofana, although the experienced Leonardo Bonucci is set to feature among the substitutes for the first whistle.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Kepa; Vazquez, Rudiger, Alaba, F Garcia; Modric, Tchouameni, Camavinga; Bellingham; Joselu, Rodrygo

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Ronnow; Doekhi, Knoche, Leite; Juranovic, Laidouni, Kral, Aaronson, Gosens; Fofana, Behrens

SM words green background

We say: Real Madrid 3-1 Union Berlin

This has the potential to be a very entertaining match, as Union Berlin will look to make their mark on Wednesday evening. We are backing the visitors to score but are fully expecting Real Madrid's vast experience in the competition to help them navigate their way to all three points in the Spanish capital.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS

Group A

4Man Utd61144

Group B


Group C

QReal Madrid660018
4Union Berlin60242

Group D

QReal Sociedad633012
QInter Milan633012

Group E


Group F

3AC Milan62228

Group G

QMan City660018
QRB Leipzig640212
3Young Boys61144
4Red Star60151

Group H


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