The Bundesliga continues tomorrow, Saturday, for 1. FC Union Berlin as they face Eintracht Frankfurt in their tenth game of the season. Kick off at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei is at 15:30.
Having parted ways with Oliver Glasner, Dino Toppmöller took over as Eintracht’s head coach in the summer. Prior to that, the former striker had gained his first experiences on the touchline in Luxembourg, winning the championship three times and the cup twice with F91 Düdelingen. He later returned to Germany, joining RasenBallsport Leipzig as assistant to current national team coach Julian Nagelsmann. Toppmöller also held this position at Bayern München from the 2021/22 season onwards before being released together with Nagelsmann in March 2023.
Although the coach had to cope almost immediately with the departure of top striker Randal Kolo Muani, his team have only lost once this season. They remain unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions and qualified for the last 16 of the DFB Pokal last Wednesday with a 2-0 win over third-division side Viktoria Köln.
In the UEFA Europa Conference League play-offs, they beat Lewski Sofia to move into second place in a group with PAOK, Aberdeen and HJK Helsinki after three matches, having won their last game 6-0 at home against the Finnish side. With a five-point lead over third place, the 2022 Europa League winners currently have a good chance of reaching the next round.
The (family and other) reunions
Union keeper Frederik Rönnow was under contract with Eintracht between 2018 and 2021, playing 21 competitive matches. However, he was loaned out to FC Schalke 04 during the 2020/21 season.
Brenden Aaronson will also face his brother Paxten, who has worn the SGE shirt since January 2023 and has made eight appearances in all competitions so far this season.
The head to head
The first meeting between the two clubs was over 20 years ago, when Union fell to a 4-0 loss at the Alte Försterei. Since then they have played a further 15 times of which Union have won three, the most recent being last season’s 2-0 win at home, thanks to goals from Rani Khedira and Kevin Behrens.
András Schäfer, Danilho Doekhi, Alexander Schwolow and Josip Juranović will not be available on Saturday. Rani Khedira is also suspended following his red card in the match against Werder Bremen.
The coaches’ views ahead of the game
"We've drawn up a plan for how we want to approach the game and have to push ourselves to the limit for 90 minutes, because Frankfurt are very stable at the moment,” said Union’s head coach Urs Fischer during his regular press conference on Friday afternoon. “They had a few problems at the start of the season, but they've now found their feet. You can clearly see the coach's signature: they are variable in their positional play, have enormous pace on the wings and are dangerous from set pieces. Their strikers are agile and lively, and always get behind the defence."
"We'll do everything we can to win the game and make sure that Union don't win back any of their self-confidence due to a poor opening phase on our part,” said Eintracht coach, Topmöller, meanwhile. “We have to be brutal from the very first minute, we are very well prepared and confident that we can take something with us."
The match is sold out and will be broadcast live on Sky. There will also be an audio stream on rbb24 Inforadio and rbb24. As usual, Union will also provide information about the match in the club's own live ticker.