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Feb 5, 2022 at 2.30pm UK
Union BerlinUnion Berlin
Gregoritsch (16'), Hahn (59')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Khedira (42'), Voglsammer (60')

Preview: Augsburg vs. Union Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Augsburg vs. Union Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Augsburg and Union Berlin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two sides at opposite ends of the Bundesliga table meet on Saturday afternoon as Union Berlin travel south geographically but north in the rankings to face Augsburg at the WWK Arena.

The visitors are sat in fourth, just inside the Champions League places, whilst their hosts are struggling down in the relegation playoff spot.

Match preview

Augsburg are now winless in their last six games but, in their defence, have had a fairly tough run of fixtures at the start of 2022.

They faced three sides chasing European football in their three most recent league games, with a 1-1 draw at home to Eintracht Frankfurt sandwiched between a 3-1 loss at Hoffenheim and then a thrashing at Bayer Leverkusen.

Goals from Karim Bellarabi and Lucas Alario, as well as a hat-trick from Moussa Diaby, saw Die Werkself put five past Augsburg, with Arne Maier's consolation doing little to lighten the mood.

Markus Weinzierl's side were unable even to return to winning ways during a friendly against mid-table second-tier Jahn Regensburg during a friendly last week as they drew 3-3.

Their recent results have seen them drop to 16th place, and with Stuttgart just one point behind in the relegation zone, a win would be very welcome this weekend.

They will have to perform at their very best to pick up the three points, however, as they come up against a Union Berlin side in fine form.

A 2-1 home win over Hoffenheim was followed by a thrilling 3-2 victory in the DFB-Pokal at the home of their rivals Hertha Berlin, and just three days later they made it three victories in the space of a week.

A Max Kruse penalty opened the scoring against Borussia Monchengladbach, before Kouadio Kone netted an equaliser, but Kruse was on hand to strike again in the 84th minute and seal a 2-1 win that saw Die Eisernen break into the top four.

After returning to the top flight in 2019, they consolidated their place with an 11th-placed finish in their first season, then impressed by snatching a spot in this season's Europa Conference League with seventh last campaign, and now are challenging for a place at the top table of European football.

Their progression has all come under the tutelage of Urs Fischer, who should not have much work to do in motivating his team to keep up their impressive run on Saturday.

Augsburg Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L

Augsburg form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D

Union Berlin Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Union Berlin form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz has recovered from his bout of COVID-19 and will return to his spot between the sticks.

However, record signing Ricardo Pepi has only just returned from international duty so will most likely feature from the bench at best, and Tobias Strobl is ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury.

The big news for Union is the departure of Kruse, who stunned the club by returning to his former side Wolfsburg.

Sven Michel has been signed from Paderborn in an attempt to fill the hole left by the forward, along with Andras Schafer and Dominique Heintz who will boost the midfield and defensive options respectively.

Julian Ryerson is the latest to test positive for COVID-19 and will definitely miss out, whilst Grischa Promel is unlikely to have fully recovered from the virus yet.

Kevin Mohwald is back in training after testing negative, though, and will be joined by another returnee in Taiwo Awoniyi after Nigeria were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Augsburg possible starting lineup:
Gikiewicz; Gumny, Gouweleeuw, Oxford, Iago; Hahn, Maier, Dorsch, Vargas; Pepi, Gregoritsch

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Luthe; Baumgartl, Knoche, Heintz; Trimmel, Haraguchi, Khedira, Giesselmann; Oztunali; Awoniyi, Michel

We say: Augsburg 0-1 Union Berlin

The loss of Kruse is certainly a blow to Union, but they should retain a strong self-belief after their upward trajectory in recent seasons. Therefore, we are backing them to earn a win against a home side struggling for results in 2022, albeit by a narrow margin.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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