1. FC Union Berlin meet Hamburger Sport-Verein for the second time this season in the 2.Bundesliga, with the Stadion An der Alten Försterei sold out for Sunday’s big game.
Review: Stalemate in Fürth, Hamburg fall at semi-final stage
Union had Rafal Gikiewicz to thank for a stunning performance in Fürth, which kept hold of a point from a difficult away match last Saturday. Urs Fischer’s team are five games without a win going into the meeting with Hamburg after Marco Caligiuri’s equaliser cancelled out the opener from Joshua Mees. Both sides had a man sent off: Daniel Keita-Ruel for Fürth and Nicolai Rapp for the travelling Berliners. The last win for Union was a 2-0 triumph over Ingolstadt in Köpenick at the start of March.
Meanwhile, it was a momentous week for Hamburg, who featured in the DFB Pokal semi-finals against RB Leipzig. The northern Germans went down 3-1 on the night, but a spirited performance will have lifted their spirits. On Saturday, Manuel Wintzheimer scored for the second game running to re-claim a point from Erzgebirge Aue, who went into the lead at the Volksparkstadion after 43 minutes. It has been a rather sticky patch for Hannes Wolf’s team, with a solitary victory over Paderborn in a period of seven games — which included surprise home defeats to Magdeburg and Darmstadt.
Record: One competitive game
November’s 2-2 draw in Hamburg was the first competitive meeting between HSV and Union, in its current form. In 1923 & 1950, Hamburg beat SG Union Oberschöneweide in the German championship finals, with several officials defecting when Union travelled to Kiel and leaving the club altogether. This season, the club's record against higher-ranked teams has been strong: with draws in Dortmund, Köln and Hamburg, as well as, the 2-0 win over the Billy Goats in January.
When asked about the possible similarities between Sunday and the Köln win, Fischer answered: "Above all, we have to get the last five matches out of our heads and be ready for the new opportunity on Sunday. That's what it's all about. The Köln game is far away. What we have in mind at the moment are the last five games, so we have to cope with that. But our approach must be to get us back on track with a good result this weekend. First and foremost, it's about finally being able to deliver a good performance again."
Personnel: Hübner to miss out
Fischer confirmed that central defender Florian Hübner won’t be available for this weekend’s match. Nicolai Rapp, his replacement last week in Fürth, will start to serve his two-game suspension following a straight red card in that draw. Eroll Zejnullahu and Fabian Schönheim, both longer-term absentees, are not in contention to return to the team.
Service: No tickets left, travel tips
As has been the case for several weeks, Sunday's game is completely sold out and the stadium is at maximum capacity.
Please observe our travel information for the match with some disruptions expected to the public transport in Berlin. The stadium gates will be open at 11:30, earlier than usual.
The club has also installed bike racks and we would recommend leaving all cars at home given the limited parking spaces and instead travelling by bike.