Away Duel on the Rhine

Union Face 1. FC Köln

Fri, 10. May 2024
Away Duel on the Rhine

On Saturday, 11.05.2024, 1. FC Union Berlin will face 1. FC Köln in their penultimate Bundesliga fixture of the season. Kick off at the RheinEnergieSTADION is at 15:30.

The lie of the land

The "Effzeh" picked up a point at home against SC Freiburg last weekend, with a 0-0 draw while Union, on the other hand, lost 4-3 at home to VfL Bochum. Despite a furious comeback in the second half, the hosts were unable to make up for the 3-0 half-time deficit. 

The opponents

Köln are currently 17th in the table and therefore face the direct danger of relegation. With 24 points and a six-point gap to a non-relegation place with two games remaining, the club needs two wins to stay up. Apart from the already relegated SV Darmstadt, with -30, they have the worst goal difference in the league.  To compound that they also have the weakest attack in the league, statistically speaking, having scored only 24 goals.

In their last five matches, 1. FC Köln have recorded one win, two draws and two defeats, scoring three goals in the process. They have won four matches in total so far this season, three of them in the RheinEnergieSTADION.

The reunions

Dominique Heintz was under contract with Union from January 2022 to August 2023. During this time, the 30 year old defender was loaned out to Bochum for a season.

Kevin Vogt is also returning to an old club. The Union's new winter signing played a total of 60 competitive matches for 1. FC Köln between 2014 and 2016.

The head to head

The two sides have already faced each other 17 times, with Union having won nine, Köln five and three draws. In the Bundesliga Union are unbeaten against them, with seven wins and two draws in nine encounters, the last of which was the 2-0 win at the end of 2023 when a 2-0 win saw them rise to 16th place.

The personnel

Union coach Marco Grote can look forward to having a full squad of players to choose from on Saturday afternoon.

The coaches’ views ahead of the game

"Everyone involved is aware of the situation,” said a confident Marco Grote, Union’s coach, during his press conference on Friday afternoon. “It's the penultimate matchday, so there's always a certain amount of pressure, but that's also what makes it so exciting. Our team spirit is strong, we exude a lot of energy and that's exactly what we want to bring to the pitch tomorrow from the very first second. We're all up for this game!"

His opposite number, Timo Schultz, meanwhile said, "It's felt like we've had no alternative but to win for weeks. But now it really is a final game. The way the team has presented itself in the last few games, there's only one way to go on Saturday and that's forward. We now have to make sure that we keep the three points here and play another final in Heidenheim."

Service information

The team can look forward to around 5,000 Union fans traveling with them, all further information about visiting the stadium can be found here (German). 

The match will be broadcast live on Sky, and there will also be an audio stream on rbb24 Inforadio and rbb24. As usual, Union will also provide information about the match via the club's own live ticker, as well as in English and Spanish on Twitter.