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Chemie, Union’s First Test of the Season

40th Anniversary of the relegation matches

Thu, 04. July 2024
Chemie, Union’s First Test of the Season

On Saturday, 6 July, 1 FC Union Berlin will travel to Leipzig to play a friendly against BSG Chemie Leipzig. Kick off at the Alfred Kunze Sports Park is at 15:30.

The lie of the land

On the 23rd and 27th of May exactly 40 years ago, the relegation matches took place between 1. FC Union Berlin and BSG Chemie Leipzig. At the end of the 1983/84 Oberliga season, both teams were level on points and goals at the bottom of the table. Relegation was decided in two play-off matches, which were attended by around 70,000 fans. These hugely dramatic matches ultimately ended with an extremely narrow victory for BSG Chemie. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Leipzig won the second leg 2-1.

It is the first match of Union’s 2024/25 pre-season preparations. Chemie Leipzig, however, have already started theirs with a 1-1 draw against TSV Aubstadt from the Bavarian Regionalliga last Sunday.

The opponents

Miroslav Jagatic's team finished eighth in last season’s Regionalliga Nordost with 50 points and a balance sheet of 40 goals scored, 40 conceded. BSG are therefore entering their sixth consecutive year in the Regionalliga. They exited the Saxon state cup with a 2-1 loss to Oberliga side VFC Plauen in the round of 16.

Following the draw against Aubstadt and the upcoming Union friendly, Leipzig will compete in an international test tournament before playing three more friendlies to complete their preparations for the season.

The head to head

The two teams met 24 times in the GDR's top flight, the Oberliga. Union won five of these duels, eleven ended in draws while Leipzig won eight times. There were also 14 Regionalliga encounters against FC Sachsen Leipzig, formed after reunification from the merger of BSG Chemie Leipzig and BSG Chemie Böhlen. Due to increasing dissatisfaction among some of the FC Sachsen Leipzig fans, BSG Chemie Leipzig were re-established in 1997. In these 14 matches, Sachsen won twice, Union five and the points were shared six times.

The two teams met three times in the then FDGB Pokal (the East German state cup), with Union winning once and Chemie twice, both on penalties.

The personnel

Union head coach Bo Svensson will be without some squad members who are either on international duty or a well-deserved holiday. European Championship participants Frederik Rönnow, András Schäfer, Josip Juranović, Tymoteusz Puchacz and new signings László Bénes and Leopold Querfeld will therefore not be available. In addition, Aïssa Laïdouni, who was away with the Tunisian national team, will not join the team until later on.

Service information

The Alfred-Kunze-Sportpark opens its doors two hours before kick-off. Information on how to get there and where to park can be found here (German). The venue is sold out in both the home and away sections.

If you can't be there live, you can watch the match live on AFTV. As usual, Union will also provide information about the match via the club's own live ticker, as well as in English on Twitter.