1. FC Union Berlin will face Holstein Kiel at the Holstein-Stadion on Friday March 1 at 18:30 as Urs Fischer’s team look to bounce back from last week’s draw at home to Arminia Bielefeld.
Review: Home stalemate, Kiel see off Bochum
On matchday 23 of the 2.Bundesliga campaign, Union welcomed Bielefeld to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Former coach Uwe Neuhaus returned to Köpenick and was warmly appreciated by those in the stadium. Joshua Mees headed Union into a first-half lead, but Fischer’s men were left frustrated by the events of the second half. Bielefeld came out stronger and equalised through Jonathan Clauss in the 62nd minute.
Meanwhile, Tim Walter’s Kiel racked up a 3-1 win at VfL Bochum. Alexander Mühling, Janni Serra and Masaya Okugawa found the scoresheet and extended Kiel’s unbeaten run in the league to six games. The northern Germans have gained praise for their expansive, attacking football and are just two points behind Union in the table.
Record: An even contest in the 2.Bundesliga
The historical data suggests the two teams are evenly matched in league meetings. Union have won three, drawn three and lost four in all competitive fixtures. In the second division, however, the Köpenick club have edged out Holstein Kiel on some occasions. Grischa Prömel and Sebastian Polter scored injury-time goals to beat Kiel at home in the reverse fixture. Last season, the clubs played out a 4-3 win for Union in Berlin, whilst sharing the spoils in a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Holstein-Stadion.
“We can expect a difficult, but interesting game against a team which has been doing well since the start of the season and plays successfully at home,” said coach Fischer at Thursday’s pre-match press conference. “This team has huge quality in the forward movement which will need to adapt to. So it’s definitely going to be an interesting task for us.”
Personnel: Fischer pushes Mane in training
The Berliners are dealing with the same long-term absentees as before: Sebastian Polter remains on the sidelines and is recovering from a foot problem. Michael Parensen picked up a virus last week and has missed training, but could be back on the pitch within the next week or two. After being left out against Bielefeld as a precaution, Carlos Mane has trained the whole week and will be available for selection in the starting XI, according to Fischer.
Holstein Kiel have been dealt blows on the fitness front since the return of the year: both David Kinsombi and Kingsley Schindler are ruled out at the moment. Aaron Seydel is injured, whilst the fitness of Dominik Schmidt is still questionable for Friday's match.
Service: No tickets left in Kiel
1. FC Union Berlin will again be well-supported on the road with 1,300 to fill the away block at the Holstein-Stadion. There are no tickets available on the day at the stadium and fans are reminded there are no parking spaces in the ground vicinity. Supporters are encouraged to use shuttle buses which can be found at Central Station.