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Union Berlin logo
Bundesliga | Gameweek 5
Sep 23, 2023 at 2.30pm UK
Stadion An der Alten Forsterei
Hoffenheim logo

Union Berlin
0 - 2
Hoffenheim


Tousart (72')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Kramaric (22' pen.), Beier (38')
Kramaric (45+4'), Stach (54'), Ole Becker (89')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Union Berlin and Hoffenheim, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fresh from making their Champions League bow at the Bernabeu in midweek, Union Berlin return to Bundesliga action with a home fixture against Hoffenheim on Saturday.

The UCL debutants suffered an agonising late defeat against Real Madrid on Wednesday, while Hoffenheim extended their winning run to three games with victory over FC Koln last time out.


Match preview

FC Union Berlin coach Urs Fischer reacts on September 3, 2023© Reuters

It is fair to say that Union Berlin could not have dreamed of a tougher way to begin their maiden Champions League campaign, as Urs Fischer's men experienced a baptism of fire against Real Madrid, who have lifted the famous trophy a record 14 times.

Not only did Union see just 24% possession while facing a barrage of 32 shots at the Bernabeu, but they also failed to register a single attempt on target, with Jude Bellingham breaking Die Eisernen hearts by scoring the only goal of the game deep into second-half stoppage time.

As a result, Fischer's side head into Saturday's clash on a three-game losing run across all competitions, with a 3-0 defeat to RB Leipzig and a 2-1 loss against Wolfsburg preceding Wednesday's Bernabeu failure, although Union remain within touching distance of the early Bundesliga frontrunners.

Having kicked off their campaign with successive 4-1 victories over Mainz and Darmstadt, Die Eisernen will be confident of returning to winning ways this weekend, although in-form Hoffenheim will back themselves to pile more pressure on Union Berlin.

Hoffenheim's Pavel Kaderabek reacts after the match on September 18, 2022© Reuters

Hoffenheim started their league campaign with a 2-1 defeat against Freiburg, but the Blues swiftly recovered from their opening-day loss, notching three consecutive wins to remain three points above Union in the early Bundesliga standings.

Following a 3-2 victory over Heidenheim, Pellegrino Matarazzo's men claimed a 3-1 win against Wolfsburg before securing a 3-1 triumph over FC Koln, with 20-year-old forward Maximilian Beier finding the back of the net in each of those victories.

Consequently, Hoffenheim have scored three goals in each of their previous three matches, picking up nine points along the way, while only the top two teams - Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen - have accumulated more points than Die Kraichgauer this season.

Although Union Berlin avoided defeat in all 17 of their home league games last season - registering 11 wins and six draws in the process - Hoffenheim can take confidence from the fact that they boast a 100% record on the road this term, having already secured two away victories in 2023-24.

Union Berlin Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

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

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Hoffenheim form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W


Team News

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

There will likely be some tired legs in the Union Berlin camp following Wednesday's efforts against Real Madrid, meaning that Fischer could make several changes to the XI that started the game at the Bernabeu.

Having scored four goals in four Bundesliga appearances this season - including a hat-trick against Mainz on the opening weekend - Kevin Behrens will continue alongside Sheraldo Becker in the hosts' forward line.

With Laurenz Dehl (Achilles), Rani Khedira (calf), Robin Knoche (leg) and Andras Schafer (foot) sidelined through injury, Fischer has multiple selection headaches, but the shrewd manager will not stray from his favoured 3-5-2 formation.

Hoffenheim also have several injury absentees at the moment, as Marco John (ankle), Dennis Geiger (muscle) and Bambase Conte (fitness) remain on the treatment table ahead of Saturday's showdown.

Matarazzo could be tempted to stick with the same XI that instigated the club's third consecutive victory last weekend, with new signing Wout Weghorst partnering in-form striker Maximilian Beier in attack.

At the opposite end of the pitch, former Liverpool defender Ozan Kabak is expected to join John Brooks and Kevin Vogt in a back three, while goalkeeper Oliver Baumann will retain his place between the sticks.


Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Ronnow; Doekhi, Knoche, Leite; Trimmel, Haberer, Laidouni, Kral, Gosens; Behrens, Becker

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Kabak, Brooks, Vogt; Kaderabek, Kramaic, Grillitsch, Promel, Skov; Weghorst, Beier


SM words green background

We say: Union Berlin 1-1 Hoffenheim

Aiming for a fourth successive win, Hoffenheim look set to frustrate Union Berlin, who will be fatigued after pushing Real Madrid all the way in midweek.

Still, we expect the two sides to play out a low-scoring draw on Saturday, as Union have lost just one of their home league games since the beginning of last season.



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


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: Union Berlin vs Hoffenheim

Union Berlin
26.9%
Draw
34.6%
Hoffenheim
38.5%
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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen34286089246590
2Stuttgart34234778393973
3Bayern MunichBayern34233894454972
4RB Leipzig34198777393865
5Borussia DortmundDortmund34189768432563
6Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt34111495150147
7Hoffenheim34137146666046
8Heidenheim341012125055-542
9Werder Bremen34119144854-642
10Freiburg34119144558-1342
11Augsburg34109155060-1039
12Wolfsburg34107174156-1537
13Mainz 05Mainz34714133951-1235
14Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach34713145667-1134
15Union BerlinUnion Berlin3496193358-2533
16VfL BochumVfL Bochum34712154274-3233
RFC Koln34512172860-3227
RSV Darmstadt 98Darmstadt3438233086-5617


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