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Dec 18, 2020 at 7.30pm UK at Stadion An der Alten Försterei
Union BerlinUnion Berlin
2-1
DortmundBorussia Dortmund
Awoniyi (57'), Friedrich (78')
Bulter (62')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Moukoko (60')
Witsel (67')

Preview: Union Berlin vs. Borussia Dortmund - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Bundesliga clash between Union Berlin and Borussia Dortmund, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Union Berlin welcome Borussia Dortmund to Stadion An der Alten Forsterei on Friday night, with the visitors looking to build on Tuesday's 2-1 win at Werder Bremen.

Union Berlin, meanwhile, earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Stuttgart without their injured top goalscorer Max Kruse.


Match preview

Union Berlin players celebrate Marcus Ingvartsen's goal on May 27, 2020© Reuters

Indeed, two successive draws against Bayern Munich and Stuttgart has been a more than respectable return for Union Berlin considering the expected negative impact of Kruse's torn muscle bundle on the team's results.

There is no denying Kruse has been one of the stand-out players of the Bundesliga season so far, and the 32-year-old will be a more than welcome return once he recovers, but Urs Fischer's side have shown impressive resolve to avoid defeat against two of the division's better sides without their talismanic figure.

However, there would undoubtedly have been a degree of regret upon leaving Stuttgart late on Tuesday night, having led 2-0 at Mercedes-Benz Arena with little more than five minutes of normal time remaining. Marvin Friedrich had got Fischer's side off to a flier after only four minutes, with Taiwo Awoniyi continuing his impressive loan spell from Liverpool by scoring his third goal in five matches to double the visitors' lead.

However, Sasa Kalajdzic struck twice in the 84th and 89th minutes to snatch a point for Stuttgart and deny Union Berlin a third away win in four matches on the road. That makes it four matches in a row where Fischer's side have taken the lead but failed to win, so the 54-year-old will be working on defending leads with greater concentration and organisation.

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring against Club Brugge in the Champions League on November 24, 2020© Reuters

After sacking Lucien Favre following the embarrassing 5-1 home defeat to Stuttgart last weekend, interim manager Edin Terzic promised more attacking football ahead of the trip to Bremen.

Terzic's players ultimately delivered for him, testing the opposition goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka on nine occasions in a relatively dominant display. Terzic utilised a back four rather than Favre's preferred back three system, with full-back Raphael Guerreiro still getting forward just as often as he would from wing-back, illustrated by the Portugal international opening the scoring for the visitors after just 12th minutes.

Kevin Mohwald levelled proceedings before the break, but it felt like a matter of time until Dortmund pulled ahead once more, with Marco Reus sealing a crucial three points for his side in the 78th minute.

Terzic will know his side are likely to face a sterner test in Berlin on Friday night, and a better performance may be required to earn another win, but the early signs were promising as Dortmund moved back into the top four of the table.

Union Berlin Bundesliga form: WWDLDD

Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form: LWLDLW
Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions): LDDWLW


Team News

Erling Braut Haaland in action for Borussia Dortmund on November 28, 2020© Reuters

Union Berlin will remain without Kruse until the New Year, with the forward confirming he had torn a muscle bundle and would likely face up to eight weeks on the sidelines.

Joel Pohjanpalo and Anthony Ujah are out with ankle and knee injuries respectively, with Robert Andrich serving the last of his three-match suspension having been sent off in the Berlin derby.

Dortmund remain without Erling Braut Haaland with a hamstring problem, while Thomas Delaney, Thomas Meunier and Marcel Schmelzer are also all out of action for the trip to Berlin.

16-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko led the line in Bremen in Haaland's absence and may receive another start up front with Terzic looking to utilise a youthful side.

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Luthe; Trimmel, Friedrich, Knoche, Grieselmann, Lenz; Griesbeck, Promel, Teuchert; Awoniyi, Becker

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Burki; Morey, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Can, Witsel; Sancho, Brandt, Reus; Moukoko


SM words green background

We say: Union Berlin 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

Even without the services of the influential Kruse, we have learned in recent weeks to write Union Berlin off at our peril.

We can envisage them digging in for another hard-earned point, with it being no surprise if they take an early lead once again before increasingly sitting on it and being pegged back.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data


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Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre pictured on November 4, 2020
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Monday's key events


ATHLETICS
· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

SAILING
· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

FOOTBALL
· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

CYCLING
· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

WEIGHTLIFTING
· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

HOCKEY
· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

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