Union Berlin’s push for European football continues when they host Hoffenheim on Sunday (12:30pm kick-off UK time).
The capital club are currently seventh, just three points behind Borussia Dortmund in the final European spot, while Hoffenheim are further back in 11th.
How to live stream Union Berlin vs Hoffenheim online:
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Where to watch Union Berlin vs Hoffenheim on TV:
- UK: BT Sport ESPN
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Union Berlin 2-0 Hoffenheim
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Union Berlin vs Hoffenheim build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
In just their second season in the Bundesliga, Union Berlin have exceeded expectations and are still in with a chance of bringing European football to the club for the first time. However, they may actually be ruing their current position having started the season so well and reaching as high as fifth at the start of January. But Urs Fischer’s side have endured a poor run of late, winning just one of their past six Bundesliga matches, with that victory coming against Freiburg last time out.
Meanwhile, Hoffenheim are trying to climb back up the table after a poor run of form saw them slip to 14th by mid-January. Sebastian Hoeneß’s side have won three of their past six Bundesliga matches, a decent return considering the three teams they failed to beat were Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund. Hoffenheim’s win over Wolfsburg last weekend ended a four-game winless run across all competitions but they fell to defeat again in midweek, being knocked out of the Europa League by Molde.
- Union Berlin (vs Freiburg): Karius; Schlotterbeck, Friedrich, Knoche; Trimmel, Promel, Andrich, Lenz; Ingvartsen, Pohjanpalo, Bulter.
- Hoffenheim (vs Molde): Baumann; Grillitsch, Richards, Vogt; Kaderabek, Samassekou, Rudy, John; Baumgartlinger; Bebou, Dabbur.
Andreas Luthe is available once again for Union Berlin but Loris Karius may remain in goal, while Max Kruse has also returned to training. However, the hosts remain without Niko Gießelmann, Taiwo Awoniyi, Sheraldo Becker and Anthony Ujah with Christopher Lenz facing a late fitness test.
The absentees are piling up for Hoffenheim with Kevin Akpoguma, Ermin Bicakcic, Benjamin Hubner, Dennis Geiger, Havard Nordtveit, Konstantinos Stafylidis and Stefan Posch all out, while Ishak Belfodil, Mijat Gacinovic and Robert Skov are doubts.
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Players to watch: Loris Karius (Union Berlin)
Loris Karius has had to make do with being second-choice goalkeeper behind Andreas Luthe at Union Berlin this season, but in his three appearances so far (including the past two Bundesliga matches) the Liverpool loanee has been unbeatable.
Granted, it hasn’t been the busiest of periods for Karius, with the German having to make just two saves in 201 minutes of action thanks to Union Berlin’s sturdy defence and wayward shooting, but it will have been a confidence-boosting run for him.
Naturally, with a save percentage of 100%, Karius has the best record in the Bundesliga this season and while the sample size is small it will aid the German in the summer whether he’s pushing for a spot as Liverpool’s back-up or looking for a permanent move. And even though Luthe has returned from compassionate leave, it might be worth Fischer keeping Karius in goal while his confidence is high.
Bundesliga 2020/21 recent form:
- Union Berlin: WDLDL
- Hoffenheim: WDLLW
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