In the first round of the DFB Pokal, 1. FC Union Berlin will head to fourth-tier VfB Germania Halberstadt on Sunday August 11 at 15:30. Urs Fischer's side meet their first competitive test following a successful pre-season, which saw just the one defeat at home to Celta Vigo last week.
Opposition Check: Halberstadt with mixed start
The side from the Regionalliga Nordost, Germany's fourth division for the north-east of the country, reached their regional final last season, but lost 0-2 to Hallescher FC. A strong performance in the competition guaranteed Halberstadt's place in the German Cup for the first time since 2017/18. In their first appearance in the tournament, Germania Halberstadt lost 2-1 at home to SC Freiburg in the opening round.
After three games, Halberstadt have four points and sit down in ninth. Last weekend, Sven Körner's team lost 2-1 in the capital against Berliner AK, but they started the season well with a win over Optik Rathenow and a draw at home to Meuselwitz.
Home Check: Union prepare for competitive football
Last Saturday's defeat to Celta Vigo was a minor setback in pre-season preparations following a string of good results in Austria. Although RB Leipzig is on the horizon in a week's time, there is work to be done in Halberstadt, with Union looking to progress in the competition, in which they reached the final in 2002.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference on Friday, the Swiss coach accepted Union's position as favourites for the cup match. "I see our role as favourites, but for me it's crucial how this delicate challenge is tackled. It takes the right attitude to leave the pitch as the winner. We have to respect our opponents and still be confident if we want to qualify for the next round. The cup has shown time and again that it is good for surprises."
Service: Extra away tickets available at the ground
Germania Halberstadt have made extra tickets available for 1. FC Union Berlin fans and those can be collected at the Friedensstadion on Sunday.
Gates will be open from 13:30.
The home club has organised a park-ride service given there is limited parking space around the stadium. You can be collected from Porta Möbel car park to H.-Neupert-Str. at the Friedensstadion.
No parking is available near the away section of the stadium.