Finally, the last game of the first half of the 2022-23 Bundesliga season hoves into view for 1. FC Union Berlin, as they travel to the Weserstadion to play SV Werder Bremen. Kick off on Wednesday, 25.01.2023, is at 20:30.
The lay of the land
The re-start could not have been gone differently for both clubs. Union won 3-1 against Hoffenheim depite having fallen behind in the first half, and with it maintaining their position in the chasing pack behind Bayern. Union sit now in third place in the table with 30 points.
Bremen, on the other hand, slumped to a brutal 7-1 defeat at home to 1. FC Köln, slipping down a place to tenth because of the kicking their goal difference took. Still, morale aside, it’s hard to judge where it leaves the side from the north. They are still as close to European qualification as they are to relegation
That loss can prove deceptive. Before Saturday's game Bremen were still among the more parsimonious sides in the league, but now they’ve conceded more than anyone bar Schalke. And that’s happened suddenly, too. 15 of the 34 goals they have conceded have come in the last three league games.
Home advantage is also not to be relied upon this season. Despite the thumping 5-1 victory at home against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bremen have picked up more points on the road (11) than they have in the Weser Stadium (10).
There is however no denying the Bremen side's fighting spirit. 13 of their 21 points have been secured in the last five minutes of the game, so there is no lack of mentality in the four-time champions. And they have another advantage in the form of striker Niclas Füllkrug, who is second in the Bundesliga scoring charts behind Christopher Nkunku with 11, and has scored over 40% of Bremen's goals.
Morgen Thorsby is still not ready, but other than him Urs Fischer has a full squad at his disposal.
The coach’s views ahead of the game
Fischer batted away any thoughts of Bremen’s loss to Köln being an influence. “We can look past Bremen’s last game, simply put, a lot just went wrong. Tomorrow they’ll show a different face. It’ll be a tough job, because they’re an aggressive and compact team who press high and put pressure on their opponents. I can see similarities to us,” he said.
Bremen’s head coach, Ole Werner, meanwhile was typically blunt and to the üpoint in his estimations of his guests. “Union are a top team. They deserve to be where they are.”
Service info: Full away block in Bremen
For the last, first-round, match of the season, 2,154 Unioners will travel to the Hanseatic city, which means a sold-out away section. So there will be no tickets available on the day, though the Union Zeughaus van will be present. Further important information for travellers, as well as a letter from the police, can found (in German) here Further important travel information can be found here.
The match will be broadcast live on Sky. As usual, Union will also provide information on the match in the club's own live ticker, as well as in English on Twitter.