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First home group clash with Maccabi Haifa

UEFA Europa Conference League:

Thu, 23. September 2021
First home group clash with Maccabi Haifa

1. FC Union Berlin will play their first UEFA Europa Conference League group match in the capital on Thursday at 21:00 against the reigning champions of Israel, Maccabi Haifa.

Review: The last match

Kevin Behrens came off the bench to score his first Bundesliga goal and secure 1. FC Union Berlin a 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Urs Fischer's side pushed and pushed for the winning goal, creating the bulk of the opportunities in both halves of the 90. But the 11,000-strong crowd in Köpenick needed to wait until two minutes from the final whistle to celebrate the goal when he hooked home a stunning finish. There was a first-half stoppage due to a nasty collision between Timo Baumgartl and Fabian Klos. The Union central defender was stretchered off but Urs Fischer confirmed after the game he is doing well following a concussion. Bielefeld grew more into the game after the interval and were denied on three occasions by the outstanding Andreas Luthe. Some switches and tweaks and Union returned to the driving seat with the momentum behind them. Christopher Trimmel got into the box and couldn't convert, while Julian Ryerson saw a shot deflected. Substitute Behrens didn't miss his chance though, scoring at the death — the 30-year-old nearly grabbed a second as his volley smashed against Stefan Ortega's crossbar.

Maccabi Haifa: Opposition Report

Maccabi Haifa celebrated their first league championship in 10 years last season — their 13th league win in their history. After the split, Maccabi Haifa won the title with a four-point cushion over Maccabi Tel-Aviv and securing a spot in the UEFA Champions League qualification round. But the Israelis were unable to progress towards the lucrative group stages after going down 1-3 on aggregate to Kairat Almaty. Barak Bakhar's team dropped into the UEFA Europa Conference League Champions Path and made light work of Dinamo Tbilsi, winning 7-2 on aggregate. A 7-3 win was racked up over HB Torshavn from the Faroe Islands before the same two-legged result sent Haifa into the group stages ahead of Neftchi Baku. In their opening group match, Maccabi Haifa hosted Dutch side Feyenoord and secured their first point of the group stage. The current Israeli top division is in its infancy with Haifa in fourth after picking up seven points from four matches. 

Maccabi Haifa: The coach's view

Urs Fischer: "I expect a team who wants to play football. They will look to find combinations. It's a team that has quality in transition, very quick players wide. Number 10 Chery has quality to decide games, left foot, creativity, does unexpected things."

Personnel

After suffering concussion on Saturday at home to Arminia Bielefeld, Timo Baumgartl will sit on the sidelines for Thursday's game as he recovers. Defender Paul Jaeckel was sent off in the first match of Group E at Slavia Prague and is unavailable through suspension.

Service

Information for fans attending the game can be found here.

Tickets are on sale here up until kick-off – please be aware of the 3G protocols.