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Top Game: 1.FC Nürnberg welcomes Union Berlin

Huge test for Keller's side

Fri, 18. August 2017
Top Game: 1.FC Nürnberg welcomes Union Berlin

Union Berlin couldn’t have asked for a better start to the league season with three victories from three games.

However, on Sunday (13:30), the Köpenick side will face one of their toughest tests of the entire campaign, when they take on 1.FC Nürnberg at the Max-Morlock-Stadion. If there were any doubts already, then they won’t be helped by Union’s record in Franconia: the Berlin club have lost their four 2.Bundesliga away games to Nürnberg. But Union’s former Schalke coach Jens Keller doesn’t care about statistics from the past and believes the club is well placed.

“These are basically good conditions for us. We’ve already broken a few runs in the past,” he said in the pre-game press conference. “It will be an interesting game because Nürnberg is already also off to a brilliant start and look full of confidence.”

Last season’s 12th-place finishers, Nürnberg underwent a transformation in the summer with 10 players leaving and 11 new faces arriving. But the start of the campaign has been very positive for coach Michael Köllner with FCN winning two from two in the league and progressing in the German Cup.

“Union Berlin is a strong team and one of the favourites in the league,” Köllner told the media this week. “This game has become a real barometer. We hope for a huge support. If we’re gonna have a chance of winning, we need the 12th man. Then we can be trusted to deliver,” he added before confirming Kevin Möhwald as an injury doubt for the weekend.

Keller has a clean bill of health aside from injuries to Kenny Redondo, Dennis Daube and Akaki Gogia. The 46-year-old has thrown his backing again behind Danish keeper Jakob Busk who faces the challenge for the no.1 shirt from Daniel Mesenhöler. “At the beginning of the season, we decided to go with Jakob. Nevertheless, we are happy to have Daniel on our bench. But the decision was clear from the start, so there’s no reason to change anything,” he said.

Hosts Nürnberg have sold around 29,000 tickets for the game on Sunday, with a further 2,000 or more travelling from the capital. Tickets are still available for both the home and away ends at the Max-Morlock-Stadion.