1. FC Union Berlin will face one of their toughest challenges of the Bundesliga season when they head to fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon.
1. FC Union Berlin battled from behind to earn three points in a 2-1 win over 1. FC Köln at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei last Saturday. The match was also significant for the club off-the-field as the trial of antigen rapid tests took place for those who are part of the Bundesliga's special match operations work force. With Keita Endo and Petar Musa combining early on to create several good opportunities, it looked like the Köpenick club would be the first to find the breakthrough. However, Robin Knoche's foul conceded a penalty kick on the stroke of the interval and Ondrej Duda put Markus Gisdol's team ahead. All of Union's best characteristics came to the fore in the second half with determination and mental strength pushing Cologne immediately on to the back-foot. Julian Ryerson won a penalty kick after two minutes and Max Kruse converted from the spot to level the scores. From there, there was one team in control and after 67 minutes, Christopher Trimmel rifled home the decisive goal from around 7 yards out. The captain wheeled away in celebration as he celebrated his first Bundesliga goal for the club and his first league strike since 2017.
Adi Hütter's Eintracht Frankfurt are showing all the signs of a UEFA Champions League challenger for next season. The Eagles are fourth in the table, four points behind Wolfsburg in third and with a two-point gap to closest rivals Borussia Dortmund. Potential changes in sporting management haven't derailed Frankfurt's performances on the park with a victory over league-leaders Bayern Munich in February and a point at home to Leipzig last time out. But Hütter's side are three games without a win, so Saturday's visit of 1. FC Union Berlin is a crucial opportunity to get back to winning ways and continue their push to finish in the top four this season.
The positive news for Urs Fischer's preparations is that Robert Andrich and Grischa Prömel have shrugged off questions of fitness problems by taking part in team training this week. However, Union will make the trip west without the services of Anthony Ujah, Sheraldo Becker, Niko Gießelmann, Christopher Lenz and Taiwo Awoniyi. Lenz is making progress in his recovery, but Saturday's game is early for the left-back's return. Meanwhile, Fischer gave an update on Becker's situation: "There was a setback with the operation, but we are confident Becker can play again before the end of the season."
Saturday's 15:30 kick-off at the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt will take place behind closed doors.