This Sunday finds another huge match for the women's team of 1. FC Union Berlin in the Regionalliga Nordost, as they travel to play RB Leipzig II. Due to the current snowfall in Leipzig the match is being played on artificial turf meaning kick-off has been moved to 3pm.
RB Leipzig's second team - their under-20's - are currently only a place behind Union in 4th (Viktoria and Türkiyemspor are above them at the top of the table), but there is only a five point gap, and the Saxons have a game in hand. Things will get ever tighter should they win at home on Sunday.
Head coach Paul Nürnberger's team have been particularly convincing at the back this season, having only conceded nine goals so far all season, giving them the second-tightest defense in the league, with only Türkiyemspor Berlin having conceded one goal less.
They have also only been beaten once, when they lost 3-1 at home to Viktoria on matchday six. The drew against both Türkiyemspor and Union. However, despite this record, Leipzig are adrift of the leading pack because of those draws, with six, they have the most in the league and last weekend, in the Saxony derby at Bischofswerdaer FV, they once again dropped points.
They were happy with that in the end, however, having been a goal down until captain Lisa Reichenbach managed to equalise late on.
The head to head
Leipzig have only had a second team since 2018, so there have only been two meetings between the two teams so far.
In the fourth game of the season the two sides drew 1-1, with Leipzig taking the lead shortly before the break before Union stepped up after the break and scored a deserved equaliser through Zita Rurack. Union were the better side that day but they couldn't make the breakthrough, it was their first dropped points of the season.
In November 2021 in Leipzig, however, things were more decisive. The hosts were leading 1-0 at half-time, but Union overpowered them in the second half, going on to win 4-1 thanks to goals from Celine Frank, Lisa Heiseler and Elisa Spolaczyk.
The coach's view ahead of the game
"We can expect a different game than in the last two matches," said Union's head coach, Ailien Poese on Thursday. "Leipzig are a young, strong and creative team that are as determined as they are intense up front."
In the meantime, there is some respite from Union's chronic injury list. In addition to Zita Rurack, Lisa Görsdorf is once again an option for the matchday squad. Only the long-term injured Pauline Wimmer, Luca Scheel and Hannah Kratz are still missing. Elisa Spolaczyk is still absent due to illness.