1. FC Union Berlin travel to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, 08.04.2023, for their 27th match of the Bundesliga season. Kick off at Signal Iduna Park is at 15:30.
The lie of the land
Both Borussia Dortmund and Union's hopes of a DFB Pokal semi-final appearance in Berlin's Olympiastadion were shattered during the week. On Tuesday, Union lost 2-0 away at Eintracht Frankfurt, and on Wednesday Dortmund suffered the same fate, by the same scoreline in Leipzig. With neither side involved in European competition either, both sides are now fully focused on the Bundesliga where they currently occupy the second and third spots, with only two points separating them.
Things are tight at the top, with a gap of only two points between BVB and league leaders FC Bayern Munich, but it's been a topsy-turvy season for Edin Terzić's side. They swept to the top of the Bundesliga with a series of eight wins on the bounce following the start of the new year, but a draw against their arch-rivals Schalke 04 and a heavy defeat in Munich last weekend meant that they had to relinquish their lead.
Union will be coming face to face with two old acquaintances in the shape of Nico Schlotterbeck and Julian Ryerson, on Saturday. On loan from SC Freiburg at the time, centre-back Schlotterbeck played 17 games in 1. FC Union Berlin's defence during the 2020/21 season, scoring two goals. Out of action due to a torn muscle fibre, however, the German international will not be able to play on Saturday.
It was only in the recent winter transfer window, meanwhile, that Julian Ryerson left Berlin for Dortmund. The Norwegianfull-back played 109 games for Union between the start of the 2018 season and January 2023, scoring three goals and adding three assists. He played a key role in their promotion to the Bundesliga, not to mention their recent Bundesliga and European successes.
András Schäfer is still missing, while Frederik Rönnow is likely to be an option for the matchday squad again.
The coach's views ahead of the match
"Dortmund have a very stable team with a clear plan. They get into the spaces between their opponents lines well, always provoking mistakes," said Urs Fischer during his press conference on Thursday afternoon. "In addition, they always give everything, put in a lot of effort and their switching game is also one of their strengths. This will be a very difficult task for us, where we absolutely have to play to our limits and need a top performance."
Over 4,200 Berliners will accompany Union to Dortmund on easter Saturday. All the information on how to get there and for visiting the stadium can be found here.
The match will be broadcast live on Sky and, as usual, Union will also provide information on the match on the club's own live ticker, as well as in English on twitter. In addition, there will be an audio stream on rbb24 Inforadio and on rbb24.de.