Sunday brings the penultimate home game of 2019 for 1. FC Union Berlin, who will welcome 1. FC Köln to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei at 15:30 in the afternoon.
Review: Positives despite defeat at Schalke, Köln draw
Urs Fischer's side fell to defeat at the Veltins Arena last Friday, ending a strong run of form which included wins over Hertha Berlin and table-toppers Borussia Mönchengladbach. Although Marcus Ingvartsen levelled the scores, David Wagner's Schalke ran out 2-1 winners with strikes from Benito Raman and Suat Serdar. Keven Schlotterbeck was forced to come off after 26 minutes following knee ligament damage, while Rafal Gikiewicz took a knock in the second half, from which he has made a full recovery. Sunday's game at home to Köln is the second-last home match of the year with Hoffenheim to come, sandwiched between away matches at Paderborn and Fortuna Düsseldorf.
1. FC Köln, who earned promotion as 2.Bundesliga champions last season, have gone through a change of management in the past fortnight. Achim Beierlorzer was replaced in the technical area by Markus Gisdol, whilst Horst Heldt took control of all sporting matters. Gisdol's first match was a heavy loss at RB Leipzig (1-4), but the Billy Goats secured a much-needed point at home to FC Augsburg. Jhon Cordoba equalised with four minutes to play to move Köln on to eight points for the campaign — four points off survival and eight behind 1. FC Union Berlin.
Record: Recent balance with Union
In the 2.Bundesliga last season, 1. FC Union Berlin's promotion success was aided by good results against the eventual league winners. Sebastian Andersson's late equaliser clinched a point at the RheinEnergie-Stadion in August, while the Köpenick club won 2-0 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. However, Köln have a stronger record long-term with five wins in their favour in 2.Bundesliga matches.
Personnel: Abdullahi closer to action
Keven Schlotterbeck was injured in the last match and will miss the remainder of Bundesliga action this calendar year. The situation is the same for Andy Gogia, Grischa Prömel and Laurenz Dehl. Meanwhile, Suleiman Abdullahi is moving closer to first-team action and completed 2-3 sessions this week with the rest of the squad. Joshua Mees has taken part in parts, but Sunday's game will definitely come too early for the attacking midfielder.
Service: S-Bahn issues in Berlin
Supporters, who are planning to attend Sunday's game, are advised to read the following public transport information.
There are limited parking spaces at the stadium and in the immediate vicinity, therefore fans are encouraged to make use of all modes of transport.
The match is sold out.