Next Sunday, 12 November 2023, 1. FC Union Berlin's women's team will host Türkiyemspor Berlin in the 10th game of their Regionalliga Nordost season, and their last home game of 2023. Kick-off at the Fritz Lesch Sportplatz is at 13:00.
Union Berlin and Türkiyemspor fought out an intense battle for second place in the Regionalliga Nordost behind season champions Viktoria Berlin last season, with Türkiyemspor enjoying a three-point advantage over Union as they headed into the winter break. But thanks to an almost flawless second half of the season, with twelve wins in a row (one of them away, against Türkiyem'), Sunday's hosts ultimately finished four points ahead of the Kreuzberg side in second place.
Türkiyemspor have established themselves as keen rivals to Union since promotion to the Regionalliga in 2020, and their games against each other are one of the high points of the season, and, remarkably, they've never drawn a game with each other.
Türkiyemspor - under the charge of head coach Mehmet Bolat and player-coach Erika Szuh - are currently, once again, in 3rd place in the table with 19 points from nine games. After a somewhat bumpy start with two defeats in the first three games, including a 5-0 home defeat against Viktoria Berlin, they fought back with a run of five wins in a row, a run that only ended a fortnight ago with a 2-2 draw against Bischofswerdaer FV. Last weekend, however, they returned to winning way, recording a 2-0 win at 1. FFV Erfurt.
Türkiyemspor have eight players with an 1. FC Union Berlin past, even counting their top scorer among them. Venus El-Kassem played in the Union youth programme before joining the youngsters of 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam back in 2010. Remarkably, the 28-year-old, who was also a youth international and made eight Bundesliga appearances, was without a club from 2016 to 2023, and the centre-forward only started playing again in February 2023. El-Kassem has already scored three goals this season.
The head to head
The two clubs have met seven times so far, with Union having won five and Türkixemspor two.
Last season, Union won both encounter, the first at home in Dörpfeldstraße, 3-1, and the second, with the pressure on, at the Willy Kressmann Stadium, 3-0 thanks to a hat-trick from captain, Lisa Heiseler.
Head coach Ailien Poese will be without five players on Sunday: Luca Scheel, Elisa Schindler, Pauline Wimmer, Maria Cristina Lange and Anna Weiß.
The coach's view ahead of the game
"We expect Türkiyemspor to be determined to win and play aggressively," said Union's head coach, Ailien Poese during midweek. "We need to show intensity at the back, keep the ball and show willingness to fight in this derby. We're looking forward to the challenge and have been able to use the training week to make small adjustments."
The match against Türkiyemspor Berlin will kick off at 13:00 on Sunday at the Fritz-Lesch-Sportplatz in Dörpfeldstraße. Admission, as ever, is free.