On Tuesday night at 20:30, 1. FC Union Berlin will take on SC Paderborn at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei and will look to take a step closer to securing next season's spot in the Bundesliga.
Urs Fischer's team took a giant step away from the bottom three with a 2-1 win at 1. FC Köln on Sunday. The Köpenick club's fourth Bundesliga win on the road was secured with goals from Marvin Friedrich and Christian Gentner. Union's vice-captain headed in the opener after 39 minutes from Christopher Trimmel's corner kick. Markus Gisdol's men rallied after the interval at the Rhein-Energie-Stadion and put Rafal Gikiewicz's goal under pressure in the second half. But Marius Bülter's hopeful cross was brilliantly controlled by Gentner who smashed home his second Bundesliga goal of the campaign. Cologne's Jhon Cordoba poked in a consolation in stoppage time, but the visitors held on for an important three points.
Meanwhile, bottom-placed Paderborn could see their relegation confirmed at the Alte Försterei on Tuesday. Promoted automatically in second place last season, Paderborn are coached by former Union striker Steffen Baumgart who scored 22 goals in Köpenick. His plucky side went down 1-5 at home to Werder Bremen at the Benteler-Arena and saw their gap to safety extended to eight points. Abdelhamid Sabiri scored after 67 minutes but Bremen were four goals in front at this point with a double from Davy Klaassen, one from Maxi Eggestein and Yuya Osako. Niklas Füllkrug returned from long-term injury to score the fifth in stoppage time.
Marcus Ingvartsen's goal secured a point at the Benteler-Arena in the reverse fixture back in December with Kai Pröger scoring for Steffen Baumgart's team. Last season in the 2.Bundesliga, Paderborn's 3-1 win in Köpenick proved pivotal in securing their automatic promotion to the top flight. Christopher Antwi-Adjej, Sven Michel and Philipp Klement scored the goals to succumb Urs Fischer's side to a rare defeat in last term's promotion-winning campaign.
Urs Fischer described left-back Christopher Lenz as a big question mark, but confirmed he was all-but out of tomorrow's game at the Alte Försterei. Sheraldo Becker has trained with the squad and is an option for the matchday squad. Laurenz Dehl and Akaki Gogia are step-by-step returning towards match fitness.
"Sunday's three points were very important. If you look at the table now, you can see just how important they are. The team was great. They deserved it. Credit to them. But that's gone now. The next challenge is Paderborn, who are a difficult team to play. The home games, as the table has developed, mean a huge amount. It was important that we held our nerve, regenerated in Bad Saarow and get ready with a bounce game. The conditions were excellent. We had only two days to get ourselves ready after Sunday," said Urs Fischer at the pre-match press conference.
Tuesday's Bundesliga match is behind closed doors.
Sky Sports will broadcast the game in Germany, while rights holders BT Sport and Fox Sports will broadcast in the United Kingdom and United States.