1. FC Union Berlin will run out at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei for the first league match of 2020 this Saturday (15:30) against FC Augsburg.
Review: Union beaten in Leipzig, Augsburg in eight-goal thriller with BVB
Marius Bülter put away the first league goal of the new decade for 1. FC Union Berlin as Urs Fischer’s team started with a sense of purpose in the Bundesliga. The wide man struck after 10 minutes in Leipzig, but Julian Nagelsmann’s men came out of the blocks in the second half and showed why they are the current pace setters. Timo Werner hit a double to continue his own incredible scoring form, with Marcel Sabitzer putting the hosts ahead in between. A disappointing second half in the end for the 7,000 Union fans in Leipzig, but the Köpenick club left with enough signs of encouragement following the dominant first-half performance.
Meanwhile, Martin Schmidt’s team made an incredible start to the Rückrunde — the second half of the Bundesliga campaign. Augsburg stormed into a two-goal lead through Florian Niederlechner’s goal on 34 minutes and Marco Richter’s strike shortly after the restart. While Julian Brandt pulled one back, Niederlechner’s second restored the advantage with about half an hour to go. Augsburg, in 10th place, were set for a memorable win at the WWK-Arena but then Erling Haaland was given his Bundesliga debut in Dortmund colours. The 19-year-old, who joined from Salzburg in January, scored a hat-trick inside 30 minutes, while Jadon Sancho scored the other, demonstrating Dortmund’s title credentials in spectacular fashion. In the January window, Schmidt has lost Michael Gregoritsch to Schalke but has toughened up his midfield with 22-year-old Eduard Löwen, who signed on loan from Hertha until the end of the season.
Record: Historical stalemate in Berlin
Four of the five league meetings between Augsburg and Union Berlin have ended in draws. Sebastian Andersson bagged the club’s first-ever goal in the Bundesliga in the reverse fixture back in August. In season 2009/10 and 2010/11, the teams drew 0-0 on two occasions at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Personnel: Four confirmed missing
Urs Fischer confirmed some of the fitness issues at the pre-match press conference on Thursday. Andy Gogia, Laurenz Dehl, Joshua Mees and Manuel Schmiedebach are certainly out. Suleiman Abdullahi suffered a setback in training this week, while Sebastian Polter was forced to miss yesterday's session. It's a race against time for the striker but he has a chance. Grischa Prömel is making strides towards full fitness but he needs more time.
Service: ‘Augsburg Re-Call’
As normal, tickets are already long sold out for Saturday’s game in Köpenick. The secondary ticket market is open for club members.
Meanwhile, 1. FC Union Berlin’s foundation “UNION VEREINT. Schulter an Schulter” and the club’s business council will host an event in return for the hospitable treatment in Augsburg back in August. Registration is mandatory for “Augsburg Recall” on Saturday, while a closed-door event will be held the night before in Oberschöneweide, where the roots of 1. FC Union Berlin originally lie.
More information can be found here.