1. FC Union Berlin are looking to end the 2017/18 campaign on a high note when they head east to Dynamo Dresden on Sunday May 13 (15:30).
Andre Hofschneider’s team claimed a vital three points last weekend at home to VfL Bochum that mathematically secured a place in the 2.Bundesliga for next season. The relegation battle has consumed more than half of the league, including Sunday’s opponents who are two points above the trap door of automatic relegation to the third tier.
Hofschneider, who took charge of the team before the home meeting with Dresden, is a long-time friend of Uwe Neuhaus, the current coach of SGD. Neuhaus is the most successful head coach of the Köpenick club’s history, taking Union from Regionalliga Nord to a stable element of the 2.Bundesliga. Hofschneider was his former student at the Alte Försterei, but insisted the visiting team has a responsibility to turn in the right kind of performance.
“We have a duty to ourselves, but also to sporting integrity and the other clubs. It's a special game for our fans anyway - losing against Dresden once in a season is bad enough. We will do everything we can to ensure that it does not happen a second time,” he said at the pre-match press conference.
Post-Reunification – a positive record:
1. FC Union Berlin and Dynamo Dresden share a storied past together. The two clubs have met 68 times before and after reunification. Union has won 11 from 25 league matches in the modern era, with nine draws and five defeats. The last away defeat was a 0-4 loss in August 2011.
Close to 3,000 Union supporters will make the near 200km trip from Berlin to Dresden and Hofschneider is looking forward to the lively atmosphere on Sunday. “Around 30,000 people, 3,000 of whom are from the Union, so emotions will play a major role. Peacefully, of course. We have to do our job on the pitch and we want to win the game,” added the coach.
Injuries: No Kroos or Skrzybski in Dresden
Hofschneider’s travelling squad will not include captain Felix Kroos and top scorer Steven Skrzybski, the latter unable to shake off muscle tightness in his thigh. There are no changes to the personnel who missed out last week against Bochum, with Jakob Busk, Sebastian Polter and Fabian Schönheim still unavailable. Central defender Christoph Schösswendter returned to full training after an injury to his knee.
“During the training week, I noticed a certain degree of ease and hope we can bring that onto the field Sunday. We know what’s expecting us, and we are ready to challenge our opponent over the whole 90 minutes of the match, to fight unconditionally for 90 minutes, in order to win this game,” said Hofschneider.
Please note: Important information for away fans
All tickets for Sunday's game in Dresden have been sold out for several weeks - and this applies to both the home and away sections of the ground. The gates to the away section of the DDV Stadium open at 1:30 pm.