Leaders Union suffered a setback in the Bundesliga. This should have no effect on international business
No breathing space, history is being made! For 1. FC Union Berlin, the fourth English week in a row is coming up in the next few days. After the deserved 1:2 defeat at VfL Bochum on Sunday, the Europa League continues on Thursday (18:45). Sporting Braga will be the guests at the stadium An der Alten Försterei.
The first leg on 15 September was an unfortunate 1-0 loss for the Eisern in Portugal. Now, as the third-placed team in Group D, Union want to conceal this defeat in their duel against the second-placed team. “If you look at the table situation, we have to win to move past Braga. It will be an interesting and exciting task for us,” said midfielder Rani Khedira. “Braga are very good, we saw that in the first leg. But we didn’t have no chance there. It was a 0-0 or 1-1 game. We want to put it right on Thursday.”
As runners-up in the group, Union would have play-off games against a third-placed team in the Champions League next spring. The last group game on 3 November at Royale Union Saint-Gilloise may also be about first place, which would mean direct qualification for the last 16 of the Europa League.
For the last group match in Belgium, however, no visiting fans are officially allowed after the fan riots in the match at Malmö FF (1-0) on 6 October. UEFA decreed this at the end of last week. “We all know that the next away game in the European Cup will be played without our fans. From that point of view, it is the most important game on Thursday,” said captain Christopher Trimmel. “Of course we want to win it to give ourselves a chance of staying in the Europa League. “
Eighth-final play-offs already assured – Trimmel: “Of course we want more “
It is certain that Union will spend the winter at the international level. The play-offs for the last 16 of the Conference League are certain. “But now we want more, of course,” Trimmel explained. His team will probably be a bit more rested than last time on Thursday. On Monday, they finally had a day off again.