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Union Host SC Freiburg

The Battle for the Top Spots Hots Up

Fri, 12. May 2023
Union Host SC Freiburg

With only three matches remaining of the 2022/23 season, 1. FC Union Berlin will host SC Freiburg on Saturday, 13.05.2023. The clubs meet in a not dissimilar situation to the one they found themselves in last season, as the Bundesliga’s two longest serving head coaches found themselves facing off at a crucial time, with both clubs fighting for important points in the battle for European places.

The lie of the land

Both Union and Freiburg saw themselves overtaken last weekend due to their own defeats, with Urs Fischer's team going down 1-0 in Augsburg, while Christian Streich’s were beaten by the same scoreline in Leipzig. After the emphatic cup loss four days earlier, this was their second defeat to the Saxons in the space of a week.

It means that FCU and SCF are currently 4th and 5th in the table with 56 points each, and only Union’s four goal advantage keeping their noses just in front.

The opponents

Freiburg have been flitting between 4th and 5th place since the beginning of February, a successful period that saw them go seven league games without defeat, and also included the surprising success in the DFB Cup quarter-finals at record champions Bayern Munich at the beginning of April.

With Union, VfL Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt still to play, SC Freiburg will have to meet three clubs from the top half of the table at the end of the season, and both Wolfsburg and Eintracht having not yet given up hope of securing 7th place, which could possibly lead to Europe.

The reunion

Janik Haberer will be facing many former companions and colleagues on Saturday. From 2016 to 2022, the former German U-21 international played a total of 171 games for Freiburg, scoring 14 goals and assisting a further 16.

On the Freiburg side, meanwhile, both co-trainer Florian Bruns and athletics coach Daniel Wolf were previously at Union.

The personnel

Should he take to the pitch, captain Christopher Trimmel will make his 300th appearance for 1. FC Union Berlin, making him only the fourth Union player, after Lutz Hendel, Joachim Sigusch and Tom Persich, to have reached the mark.

The coaches’ views ahead of the game

"Freiburg have played an outstanding season so far,” said a complimentary Union head coach, urs Gischer, during his press conference on Thursday afternoon. “They stayed involved in all competitions for a long time and have a stable and well-drilled team. Even though they recently lost twice against Leipzig, they seem very consistent. We also have to be careful at set-pieces, because Freiburg are very dangerous. There are still three games to go, but both teams certainly have enough fuel in the tank for this decisive phase."

Meanwhile his opposite number, Christian Streich, was careful not to draw too much from his sides’ heavy win the last time they met. "I expect it to be a very competitive game. Sure, in the last fixture it's 3:0 and there's the red card. But normally you would expect it to be very tight. We'll try to leave everything we can on the pitch."

Service info

The Alte Försterei is completely sold out and opens as usual two hours before kick-off.

The match will be broadcast live on Sky and, as usual, Union will also provide information on the match on the club's own live ticker, as well as in English on twitter. In addition, there will be an audio stream on rbb24 Inforadio and on rbb24.de.