Union SG vs Union Berlin – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 16th March 2023
Constant Vanden Stock Stadium
As part of our Europa League Predictions, we took at the second leg between Union SG and Union Berlin. An entertaining 3-3 draw sees the Belgian side in the driving seat – can Union Berlin tighten up? Read on with our Union SG vs Union Berlin prediction.
Royale Union SG
Union SG vs Union Berlin Match Preview
Union SG come into this game having improved their form in the Jupiler Pro League. Indeed, having not won in three games before (two defeats and a draw, and conceding nine goals), the Belgians have won their previous two games, including the match before the first leg. A 2-1 victory away to league leaders Genk (after being a goal down) should be a real confidence booster for Union SG.
Union SG currently sit in second place in Belgium, five points adrift. However, given the curious nature of the Jupiler Pro League, Union SG should qualify for the Play-offs I. Therefore, they still have a real chance of being crowned champions. They have only lost three times at home all season in all competitions (though one was in the group phase against their opposition here). They should feel they can get the win they need to progress on home soil.
Union Berlin travel to Belgium in poor form. They are winless in their previous four Bundesliga games, including a loss to powerhouse Bayern and draws with Koln, Schalke, and at the weekend against Wolfsburg. The latter was a fairly even game regarding xG, and Union Berlin will take the point. However, they need to get back to winning ways if they want to play in the Champions League for the first time. They have allowed Freiburg and Leipzig to go level with them on points and Dortmund to overtake them. This blip is coming at the wrong time, near the end of the season.
Union Berlin have lost six times on their travels this season, including five times in the Bundesliga and once in the Europa League (away to Braga). However, as stated, they beat Union SG in Belgium in the group phase.
The first leg was an exciting game, where Union Berlin came back three times from deficits to obtain a 3-3 draw on home soil. A Boniface brace and Vertessen goal were cancelled out by Juranovic, Knoche, and Michel. Union Berlin had 61 per cent of the ball, which is surprising as they only average 44 per cent in the Bundesliga. Union SG’s game plan was obviously to counter away from home. However, Union Berlin also had xG of 3.19 to 1.47 and 20 shots to seven, so they dominated the game. They will feel aggrieved that they had to close the deficit three times and only got a draw.
Union Berlin will hope they can win again in Belgium. Union SG are using Anderlecht’s home stadium for this tie, so they might not have the desired home advantage.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play:
Might Not Play: Giesselmann
Will Not Play: Doekhi, Khedira, Schafer
Union SG vs Union Berlin Lineups (Predicted)
Union SG (3-5-2): Moris; Van Der Heyden, Burgess, Kandouss; Lapoussin, Lynen, El Azzouzi, Teuma, Nieuwkoop; Vertessen, Boniface
Union Berlin (3-5-2): Ronnow; Leite, Knoche, Doekhi; Juranovic, Haberer, Khedira, Thorsby, Trimmel; Behrens, Becker
In the three games between these teams this season, there has been one 1-0 win each and a 3-3 draw. True, the high-scoring draw favoured Union Berlin in terms of stats and dominance, but the German club still had to come back three times to draw the game. Therefore, we anticipate another close-run encounter here. Union SG will likely have more of the ball than they did in Germany, and there will be more onus on them to attack and create. The midfield must be industrious, and the wing-backs and midfielders must try to supplement the attack.
Vertessen and Boniface showed their clinical nature in the first leg. The three Union Berlin centre-backs and Khedria, Thorsby and Haberer in midfield must not allow little pockets or spaces to develop where Union SG can find the front players with passes or crosses. For their part, Union Berlin have much pace and creativity on the wings, with Trimmel and Juranovic flying forward and linking with the midfielders and attackers. Behrens and Becker are a danger up front, and Becker especially is fast and tricky.
This game might suit Union Berlin more than the first leg did. While Union Berlin dominated, they are a more adept team in counter-attacking scenarios. They prefer to create opportunities through these transitional situations. Their pace and fast style lend themselves to such a way of playing. Both sides will likely play 3-5-2 again, so they will match each other up. The midfield battle is vital, and whichever can find space on the flanks and whichever forward partnership is more deadly will likely win the tie.
We will go for another draw in this game, and extra time being necessary. If the match does go into overtime, anything could happen. However, we will predict Union Berlin to squeeze past Union SG in the 30 minutes by the narrowest of margins. We feel they have a bit more firepower.
Union SG 1-1 Union Berlin (90 Minutes)
Union SG 1-2 Union Berlin (Extra Time), Aggregate: Union SG 4-5 Union Berlin
Union SG vs Union Berlin Betting Tip – Union Berlin to Qualify Odds:
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