1. FC Union Berlin host Arminia Bielefeld in Köpenick for the first time in the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon with two familiar faces returning to the Alte Försterei.
Uwe Neuhaus, coach of Union Berlin between 2007 and 2014, has guided Bielefeld into the Bundesliga after an outstanding promotion-winning campaign in 2019-20. Marcel Hartel celebrated promotion with Union to the Bundesliga before joining up with Neuhaus' side last summer.
Monday's win in Hoffenheim was 1. FC Union Berlin's first victory on the road of the 2020/21 season. Goals from Max Kruse, Joel Pohjanpalo and Cedric Teuchert secured all three points against Sebastian Hoeneß's Europa League challengers who went down to 10 men after an hour when Robert Skov was shown a straight red card. Urs Fischer's team jumped into a lofty eighth, one point outside of the top six in the Bundesliga.
Meanwhile, Arminia Bielefeld went down 0-2 at home to Borussia Dortmund. The resolute Bielefeld defence was broken after 53 minutes when the ball deflected off Mats Hummels and went into the net from a corner kick. Marco Reus set up Hummels for a second after 71 minutes, but the Blues maintained their two-point advantage over the drop zone.
Arminia Bielefeld returned to the Bundesliga after an 11-year absence in June, securing the 2.Bundesliga title and automatic promotion. Uwe Neuhaus' team led from the early months of the season and despite the coronavirus outbreak, the Blues finished with 68 points – a lead of 10 points to second-placed Stuttgart and 13 to Heidenheim in third. In the summer, Neuhaus added nine new faces to his first-team squad, including Arne Meier who joined on loan from Hertha BSC. With four points from two games, Bielefeld got off to the perfect start. The Blues drew 1-1 in Frankfurt and beat 1. FC Köln by a single goal from Joan Edmundsson. The next run of games – Werder Bremen, Bayern, Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund – have left Bielefeld without any extra points.
Anthony Ujah, Grischa Prömel and Marcus Ingvartsen are unavailable for selection. The rest of Urs Fischer's squad trained this week, including Thursday's full team session.
Saturday's 15:30 kick-off will take place behind closed doors in accordance with the nationwide lockdown restrictions, which have been approved by the Berlin Senate.