For the first time in its club history, Union Berlin has to switch from Champions League to Bundesliga. Success is expected to return against Hoffenheim
After the last-minute knockout in Madrid, the reality for 1. FC Union Berlin on Saturday is TSG Hoffenheim. At their home stadium An der Alten Försterei, they want to score points after their unfortunate debut in the top flight at Real Madrid (0:1).
To a certain extent, that would also be good for the team’s morale. Including the two most recent Bundesliga defeats at VfL Wolfsburg (1:2) and at home against RB Leipzig (0:3), there have been three competitive games in a row with a loss of three points.
Fischer: “I don’t feel any pressure at all when I see how the team has performed.
But coach Urs Fischer doesn’t want to hear anything about a crisis. “I don’t feel any pressure at all when I see how the team has performed. Logically, we don’t like the results,” said the Swiss. “We also prefer to win. But we are still in the race. Our target is still 40 points.”
In this endeavour, as in Madrid, defender Robin Knoche (muscular problems) will have to miss out. Six-man Rani Khedira (calf injury) and attacker Kevin Volland (red suspension) are also out. In addition, Alex Kral, who was injured in Madrid, is doubtful to play.
Bonucci to make Bundesliga debut
For Knoche, Leonardo Bonucci will step in for the second time and will now also make his debut in the Bundesliga. Nothing stands in the way of the Italian’s call-up, although he had to be substituted for Paul Jaeckel in the closing stages in Madrid. “It looks good. I have spoken to him, he is feeling suitably well. It was right to take him off the pitch early,” Fischer said. “He had signalled that the musculature had closed up and now he has two days to recover. “
The match against Hoffenheim, who bring 800 fans, will not be a foregone conclusion. After all, TSG have already won three times in this series. Fischer expects a high hurdle: “They present themselves well organised. They are a team with a certain physicality, also when it comes to standards. A nice task awaits us there. “