After last weekend’s cup success at Carl Zeiss Jena, 1. FC Union Berlin turn their attention back to the 2.Bundesliga campaign with a home match against FC St. Pauli on Sunday August 26.
Urs Fischer’s team last ran out in league action in Cologne, where the Berliners earned a deserved point from the favourites for promotion in the second tier. The last home meeting, on the opening day, was a 1-0 win over FC Erzgebirge Aue.
Good start for Kiezkickers — League wins, but out of cup:
FC St. Pauli are the only team to win their two 2.Bundesliga games this season and enter the third matchday at the top of the table. However, the club from Hamburg lost in the German Cup to third-tier outfit Wehen Wiesbaden (2-3) which has put a damp note on their decent league efforts. Union head coach Fischer emphasised at the pre-match press conference that there is no need to underestimate St. Pauli on Sunday. "There are two possibilities: either it holds you back or you want to push forward. That makes St. Pauli more dangerous for us. First and foremost, we want to make sure we perform well," said the 52-year-old.
Union have a strong record against St. Pauli in recent times with seven games since their last defeat to the nothern German club. The two sides do share an honourable history with St. Pauli coming to Berlin for a friendly match on Wednesday June 2, 2004 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. The encounter was part of "Blüten for Union" (Bleed for Union) which was to help support the club through tough economic times. Fans donated blood for money and some of it went to help the club secure their license to play in the third division.
Last season, Union won both matches against St. Pauli. Sebastian Polter's injury-time header secured a narrow 1-0 win in Köpenick before Simon Hedlund scored to ease relegation pressures and take three points from the Millerntor.
Personnel situation — Absentees returning, Kroos fit:
Fischer confirmed new signing Robert Zulj will be available for selection after joining on loan from Hoffenheim this week and completing a few days of training. Marc Torrejon and Joshua Mees are in individual training with the fitness coach along with Fabian Schönheim and Suleiman Abdullahi. Felix Kroos completed a couple of days of training following his head knock last weekend and is ready to be involved.
“You’ll need to wait and see on Sunday,” added the coach when asked whether Christopher Lenz would continue at left back in place of Ken Reichel who missed Sunday’s win in Jena with a muscle issue.
Ticket information — Match is sold out:
Sunday's game in Köpenick is sold out for home and away fans. Any available tickets will be placed on the secondary ticket market. As normal for a 13:30 kick off at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, the gates will open for supporters at midday.