With last week’s drama at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei put behind them, Union Berlin head to the Ruhrpott once again this season to take on VfL Bochum at the Rurhstadion. The Köpenick club have sacrificed their place in the top-three of the 2.Bundesliga, but aren’t out of touch with the leaders.
However, the 3-3 draw at home to Darmstadt continued a minor stumble following the 4-3 loss at Heidenheim the week previously. “Of course, we talked about the mistakes we've made in the last few games,” began coach Jens Keller. “We showed the players the situation and talked constructively about it. Our goal is to win every game. Whether we can do that then we have to see. There hasn't been a game yet that we went to with the goal of getting a point.
“We want to achieve maximum yield, demands and quality. It is again important that we perfom at 100% every week. we'll have a chance to win the game."
Bochum’s season has been anything short of calm so far. Dutchman Gertjan Verbeek was replaced in pre-season by Ismail Atalan, the rookie coach from Sportfreunde Lotte. However, the club let Atalan go at the end of October, putting Jens Rasiejewski in charge of first-team duties. Since then, Bochum has drawn four games in a row.
But Bochum have scored just 18 goals this season – the poorest return in the division. “Bochum set big goals at the start of the campaign, so they’ve got a quality squad,” said Keller. “Why they haven’t put it together on the park, I can’t judge from a distance.”
Rasiejewski is without his first-choice keeper on Sunday with Felix Dornebusch expected to replace Manuel Riemann. For Union, the injury list is the same as recent weeks with Kenny Redondo, Fabian Schönheim and Michael Parensen out with long-term problems. Felix Kroos has trained well this week and is expected to be available for selection.
“Every game in the second division is a difficult one for every team,” assessed the Union coach about the race for promotion. “We don't look at the others, we just look at ourselves. “
Tickets for the home and away sections are still available from the box offices at the Ruhrstadion in Bochum.