1. FC Union Berlin’s recent successes will be put to the test in the Veltins Arena on Friday night as the Köpenick club make the trip to Schalke.
Review: Bundesliga leaders beaten, Schalke win in Bremen
Fischer’s men built on excellent results against Mainz and Hertha to make it a third successive win against Borussia Mönchengladbach in Köpenick. Anthony Ujah handed Union a vital edge on 15 minutes, heading in a cross from Marcus Ingvartsen. Despite Gladbach’s impressive start to the season, the Foals were unable to trouble the Union defence — aside from a Patrick Herrmann header and a chance for Alassane Plea. Union played with purpose and speed, eventually taking all three points with a goal on the break, which was finished off by Sebastian Andersson.
David Wagner’s Schalke are in fifth place and in good spirits following a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen last week. Amine Harit and Benito Raman netted for the Royal Blues as the Bundesliga returned from the international break. Overall, the club from Gelsenkirchen have performed well in the first third of the campaign, earning a 0-0 draw against Dortmund in the derby and winning 3-1 at title-challengers RB Leipzig.
Record: DFB Pokal milestone
In 2000/2001, Union Berlin went on a memorable run to the German Cup final as a third-division side. Borussia Mönchengladbach were defeated on penalties to set up the dream final in the capital against Schalke. In front of 73,000, Jörg Böhme scored two In five minutes, one from the penalty spot to end the Union dream of lifting the first major trophy since the 1968 FDGB-Pokal.
Personnel: Andrich back, three remain out
Fischer confirmed that Grischa Prömel, Laurenz Dehl and Andy Gogia are still unavailable. Joshua Mees and Suleiman Abdullahi are “on a good way” and should step up their training next week. Midfielder Robert Andrich is in contention after sitting out the Gladbach game due to suspension.
“It will be a very difficult task because if Schalke win, they would have 25 points and be in first place. So we need an optimal day, we need a very good performance and I think the ideal amount of luck needs to be on our side too. But there’s a chance for us to win in Schalke, sure,” said the Union head coach, who also paid tribute to the late former Swiss coach ‘Köbi’ Kühn.
Service: Full away support
The away sections are sold out through Union with more than 6,000 supporters expected to travel. There is a special train travelling from Berlin to Gelsenkirchen and the schedule is confirmed here.