To the Alm: Union head west to meet impressive Bielefeld
Trip to Bielefeld awaits
Union Berlin will close the 21st matchday in the 2.Bundesliga with a visit to Arminia Bielefeld at the Bielefelder Alm.
Andre Hofschneider’s team are still on the hunt for their first win since November following a draw in Kiel and a defeat at home to Nürnberg in 2018. The coach, however, remains optimistic that results will turn if the current performances are maintained. “We simply have to take advantage of our opportunities, which are already there, and to take the lead once in a while,” he said at the pre-match press conference.
There are selection issues for Union with Toni Leistner and Philipp Hosiner suspended after both were dismissed in the defeat to Nürnberg. Kenny Prince Redondo and Fabian Schönheim continue their recovery from longer-term issues, while Stephan Fürstner has picked up a muscle strain. Hofschneider could use a back-three with Marvin Friedrich in line for a debut. "If he doesn't get injured while getting out of the bus, Marvin will play on Monday," joked the coach.
Hofschneider has a strong connection to Bielefeld, having made more than 80 appearances for the club between 1998 and 2002. “Bielefeld is a really euphoric city. The fans there – similar to here – do so much for the club. Now and then the atmosphere changes, but it’s actually a very nice stadium where it’s fun to play,” explained the 47-year-old.
Monday’s opposition are enjoying a positive season on the park and have proven difficult to beat for Union this season following the 1-1 draw in September. Bielefeld took their season tally to 29 points with a 1-0 win over Bochum last week and will be looking to open up a five-point gap over the Köpenick club.
“It has to be said that since Jeff Saibene has been at Bielefeld, a lot has changed. They are very stable, they run 120-130 kilometers in the match on a regular basis, and there is a clear sign of the coach’s work,” added Hofschneider.
More than 500 fans from Berlin will make the trip on Monday night, with tickets still available for both sets of supporters at the Schüco-Arena.