Five days after 1. FC Union Berlin returned to Bundesliga action, Urs Fischer's team will take on city rivals Hertha Berlin for the second time this season. Compared to the first Bundesliga battle, the settings could not be further away with the match taking place at the Olympic Stadium on Friday at 20:30 local time – but with no fans present.
Review: Union beaten by Bayern, Hertha win at Hoffenheim
The Bundesliga's shutdown ended after nine weeks with Union hosting champions Bayern at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. The Köpenick club were without coach Fischer who left the training camp in Barsinghausen due to personal reasons. Markus Hoffmann assumed all responsibilities in the technical area and came up against Bayern's head coach Hansi Flick. The Bavarians ran out 2-0 winners with goals from Robert Lewandowski and a header in the second half from Benjamin Pavard.
A day earlier, Bruno Labbadia's first match as Hertha head coach saw the experienced coach take all three points from Hoffenheim. Kevin Akpoguma's own goal was quickly followed up by a strike from Vedad Ibisevic to put the Berliners ahead. Matheus Cunha netted late on to move the club from Charlottenburg ahead of Union in the Bundesliga table.
Fischer: Looking forward to Friday
"Even though the conditions are unusual, I'm looking forward to Friday," said coach Fischer at the pre-match press conference. "In the end, it's a derby. It's a special game with lots of emotions. I'm sure I don't need to do much to get the players up for Friday.
"For me, the first and main goal is our overall goal - that is staying in the Bundesliga. On Friday, as well, we will have to focus on three very important points to achieve this target. We currently have 30 points, but that alone won't be enough at the end of the season. We want to stay in the league with all our might, a victory against Hertha would help us a lot to reach this goal."
Personnel: Union without Schlotterbeck, Friedrich available
Keven Schlotterbeck picked up his fifth yellow card against Bayern Munich and will miss the derby. Marvin Friedrich returns from suspension to give Fischer a boost in central defence. However, Akaki Gogia and Sheraldo Becker are missing from the squad, while Laurenz Dehl and Maurice Opfermann Arcones have taken part in a small amount of training. Christopher Lenz withdrew from training on Wednesday and his fitness will be assessed in the final sessions. Meanwhile, Yunus Malli returned to full training this week and Fischer believes the attacker is close to being an option. "He has had a long period of suffering, which was not easy for him. But it's really amazing how far he's come already. That surprised us all. He is on his way back and is definitely a topic for the squad," said the coach.
Service: Broadcast information
Supporters in the United Kingdom can watch the match live on BT Sport, while Fox Sports will broadcast the match in the United States. All Bundesliga matches in Canada are live on Sportsnet.
In Germany, the match is live on DAZN.