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Jan 2, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at Weserstadion
Werder BremenWerder Bremen
0-2
Union BerlinUnion Berlin

Gross (33'), Selke (53')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Becker (12'), Awoniyi (28')
Andrich (25'), Promel (44'), Hubner (50'), Becker (68')

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

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

Werder Bremen will endeavour to secure their third successive victory in all competitions when they welcome Union Berlin to the Wohninvest-Weserstadion for Saturday's Bundesliga clash.

The hosts advanced to the third round of the DFB-Pokal with a 3-0 win over Hannover 96 just before Christmas, whereas Union Berlin exited the competition with a 3-2 defeat to Paderborn.


Match preview

Werder Bremen manager Florian Kohfeldt pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Werder Bremen are regarded as one of the giants of the German game, but they are edging closer towards a second relegation dogfight in as many seasons following a string of poor results.

Florian Kohfeldt's side suffered four defeats on the trot to Wolfsburg, Stuttgart, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund but did manage to end their losing streak with a hard-fought 1-0 win over 17th-placed Mainz 05 in their most recent Bundesliga outing.

The only goal in that game came from an unlikely source in Eren Dinkci, who came off the bench to score on his debut for the club after a prolific run for the second team.

The 19-year-old had only been on the pitch for five minutes before heading in a last-minute winner for 13th-placed Werder Bremen, who ended a nine-game winless run in the German top flight with only their second away league victory of the campaign.

Kohfeldt's men followed up their nervy win over Mainz with a resounding 3-0 triumph over Hannover 96 in the second round of the DFB-Pokal, with Jean-Manuel Mbom, Josh Sargent and Theodor Gebre Selassie chalking up the goals in that victory.

Union Berlin's Max Kruse celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on November 22, 2020© Reuters

If 2021 is anything like 2020 was for Union Berlin, the Eisernen faithful have plenty to look forward to from their side in the second half of the season.

Urs Fischer's men cemented their status as a Bundesliga club last season and have already produced plenty of impressive results in the current campaign - including a 2-1 triumph over Borussia Dortmund in their last top-flight outing before Christmas.

This weekend's visitors have only suffered two Bundesliga defeats all season and deservedly occupy a spot in the top six ahead of their first match of the New Year, but Stuttgart and Borussia Monchengladbach are only three points behind and ready to pounce on any slip-ups.

However, something has to give when fourth-placed Wolfsburg play fifth-placed Dortmund on Sunday, so Union Berlin can temporarily rise to fourth and likely end the weekend in fifth should they take the spoils at Werder Bremen, whom they beat 2-0 in this fixture last season.

Despite holding their own in the top flight, Union Berlin's DFB-Pokal journey ended prematurely as second-tier side Paderborn won 3-2 in the second round on December 22, which was only their second defeat in 13 matches across all competitions.

Werder Bremen Bundesliga form: DLLLLW
Werder Bremen form (all competitions): LLLLWW

Union Berlin Bundesliga form: WDLDDW
Union Berlin form (all competitions): DLDDWL


Team News

Milot Rashica in action for Werder Bremen on June 27, 2020© Reuters

Werder Bremen's only long-term injury concern at the minute is Milot Rashica, who is yet to recover from the hamstring problem that kept him out of action in December.

However, fellow forward Niclas Fullkrug is back in training and could play a part at the weekend, although Dinkci is unlikely to be rewarded with a start despite his heroics against Mainz.

David Selke and Leonardo Bittencourt should be involved as well, but question marks remain over the fitness of Marco Friedl, who missed out against Hannover due to a hamstring issue.

Union Berlin star man Max Kruse, who already boasts six goals in the league this season, will play no part against his former club as he nurses a thigh problem.

Christian Gentner is not expected to be involved just yet either, while Nico Schlotterbeck is back in training but unlikely to be risked this weekend.

Loris Karius was handed a rare start in goal against Paderborn but will make way for Andreas Luthe here, while Marius Bulter and Sebastien Griesbeck should also feature from the off.

Werder Bremen possible starting lineup:
Pavlenka; Toprak, Friedl, Gross; Gebre Selassie, Eggestein, Mohwald, Augustinsson; Bittencourt, Osako; Sargent

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


SM words green background

We say: Werder Bremen 1-2 Union Berlin

Having already overcome Dortmund and held Bayern Munich to a draw this season, Union Berlin will certainly feel capable of taking all three points in this one. Werder Bremen will be buoyed by two positive results and should be able to welcome a few attackers back from injury, so the hosts should have no problem getting on the scoresheet, but we are still expecting a narrow away win.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data


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Loris Karius in action for Union Berlin on December 22, 2020
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Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

ATHLETICS
· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

SAILING
· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

TENNIS
· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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Olympic Games Men's Football
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Scottish League Two
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Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League
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