While much of the Union milieu has been enjoying a winter break, Union's women's team haven't stopped, and still have two games left to play this year. The first of which is Sunday's match at SV Blau-Weiss Hohen Neuendorf. Kick-off at the Niederheide sports complex is at 13:00.
Eleven games into the season, Hohen Neuendorf's only real goal this season is to get out of the relegation zone. The blue and whites are currently stuck in 13th, a point from safety, their six points coming from only two victories, both at home against Rostocker FC (2-1) and Babelsberg 74 (3-1).
It seems that the Hohen Neuendorf will not be returning to their glory days, when they were a constant presence in the 2. Bundesliga - spending a total of seven years there between 2008 and 2018 - for some time. In 2018/19, Hohen Neuendorf finished in 5th place in the Regionalliga Nordost, but have been sinking further and further, slipping from lower-mid to their current spot in the relegation battle.
Should the club actually be relegated in the end, it would be a hammer blow. Hohen Neuendorf haven't played in the fourth division in the last 20 years.
Although Hohen Neuendorf is officially in Brandenburg, the town, which borders directly the north of Berlin, is part of the Berlin S-Bahn network (S1, S8) and the club also belongs to the Berlin Football Association (BFV). Blau-Weiss even won the Berlin Cup in 2011, 2012 and 2015.
The head to head
In contrast to the table, a look at the record of both clubs does not necessarily reveal much about the role of favourites this weekend. In 22 encounters, Union women have won ten, and Hohen Neuendorf nine. Three games ended in a draw.
Having said that, in the last few years, Union have been dominant over their near-neighbours in the more recent encounters. Since Hohen Neuendorf's relegation from the second division in 2018, there have been six matches, five won by Union.
The last encounter in October 2021, however, ended in a 3-3 draw, despite Union being 3-1 up at one stage.
The coach's views ahead of the match
"Hohen Neuendorf are a team fighting against relegation in the table, but that is exactly what can sometimes bring the best out of teams, so know we will have to fully concentrate, to play and to fight," explained Union head coach Ailien Poese before the match.
Despite last week's match-free weekend, Union's injury list is still endless. Marie Becker, Naika Reissner, Zita Rurack and Pauline Wimmer are all out, to which can be added the names of Lisa Görsdorf, Anouk Westphal, Pauline Gericke and Elisa Schindler who are questionable through illness.The same applies to Latoya Bach.
There was one piece of good news during the week, however: Celine Frank has returned to team training after an eight-month break following a torn cruciate ligament. However, it is still be too early for her to play at the weekend.