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Union Berlin meet Stuttgart in play-off first leg

Preview:

Tue, 21. May 2019
Union Berlin meet Stuttgart in play-off first leg

The first leg of the Bundesliga relegation play-off sees 1. FC Union Berlin head to the home of VfB Stuttgart on Thursday May 23 at 20:30. 

Urs Fischer's team will contest the second leg at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Monday May 27 at the same time. 

Review: Union agonisingly miss out on second, Stuttgart finish with draw

Despite the efforts of a dramatic comeback, 1. FC Union Berlin were held to a draw on the final day of the 2.Bundesliga campaign. Grischa Prömel and Joshua Mees struck in the last 10 minutes to set up a memorable fightback, but Fischer's side couldn't get the decisive goal which would have secured automatic promotion given Dynamo Dresden's win over Paderborn. 

"A little sleep and a few hours of travel are not enough to get everything out of your head. It was important on Monday that we didn't deal with the game on Sunday, but immediately concentrated on the new task ahead. So, I had a positive experience with the team on Monday as well as today. It's also important that this new challenge comes around so quickly, as you don't have so much time to study what has just happened. We can't undo what happened. The focus is on Stuttgart," said the Union coach.

Meanwhile, Stuttgart finished their Bundesliga campaign with a goalless draw at Schalke. The five-time Bundesliga champions ended the season in 16th position, four points off Augsburg and automatic survival. The Swabians pulled the plug on Markus Weinzierl with four matches left and since his appointment, interim coach Nico Willig has led Stuttgart to some decent results, winning against Borussia Mönchengladbach and Wolfsburg at home. 

Record: All against the underdogs

Stuttgart suffered a shock relegation in 2016 and faced Union Berlin twice in their 2.Bundesliga campaign. The Reds won 3-1 at home, but only managed to take a point in Köpenick after a 1-1 draw. In the relegation play-off in particular, the Bundesliga side has emerged victorious from 15 of 20 matches – the last victory was Fortuna Düsseldorf's win over Hertha Berlin in 2012. 

Personnel: Hübner suspended

Fischer confirmed at the pre-match press conference that central defender Florian Hübner has reached the yellow card threshold and will miss Thursday's first leg. Christopher Trimmel, Felix Kroos and Manuel Schmiedebach walk a suspension tightrope going into the return match on Monday. Eroll Zejnullahu and Fabian Schönheim are still unavailable. 

Service: Public Viewing, Tickets

For those who cannot make the journey to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, there will be a public viewing at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Thursday. More information can be found here.