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Jan 15, 2022 at 2.30pm UK
Union BerlinUnion Berlin
Voglsammer (22'), Promel (73')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Baumgartner (16' og.)
Akpoguma (28'), Dabour (45+1'), Geiger (85')

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

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

Union Berlin's second-half of the season push for the European places will continue on Saturday afternoon when they welcome Hoffenheim to the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei.

The hosts begin the weekend level on points with FC Koln in sixth, whilst the visitors will be keen to consolidate their position in the Champions League positions.

Match preview

Having competed in Europe for the first time since 2001-02, Union Berlin will be keen to maintain their continental status heading into next season.

Narrowly missing out on progression to the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League, Union Berlin's main focus will now switch to the Bundesliga, where they begin 2022 in a strong position.

Picking up a respectable point away to Bayer Leverkusen in their first match of the calendar year, Union Berlin have now gone unbeaten in all but two of their previous 10 competitive outings.

In fact, their seventh-placed position after 18 matches of the campaign is one place higher than Die Eisernen were at this stage of the season last year.

Much of their strong form for the campaign has been down to performances at the Forsterei, with Union Berlin having picked up 18 points at home compared to their 10 on the road.

Aiming to put a dent in such an impressive home record will be visitors Hoffenheim, who head to the capital targeting a place in the 2022-23 Champions League.

Last competing in Europe's premier competition three seasons ago, Die Kraichgauer will be confident of maintaining their position in the top four, come the end of the season.

Only leaders Bayern Munich and chasers Borussia Dortmund have taken more points this season, whilst their tally of 38 goals scored in the division's third-highest total.

Much like their opponents on Saturday, Hoffenheim have found results on the road hard to come by, ranking sixth in the division for points picked up away from home.

Winless in their previous two Bundesliga away games, Hoffenheim will be keen to end a run of three matches against Union Berlin, stretching back to their 4-0 victory in June 2020.

For Union Berlin, they have enjoyed somewhat of the upper-hand in recent meetings, going unbeaten in the previous three, whilst netting six goals compared to Hoffenheim's four during that time frame.

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

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

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Team News

With nine league goals for the season, Taiwo Awoniyi's omission from the Union Berlin side will no doubt prove to be a big loss as the Nigerian international competes at the African Cup of Nations.

Awoniyi is one of a number of absentees for the hosts, who will also be without fellow forward Sheraldo Becker as the 26-year-old recovers from a Covid infection.

Covid will also keep out duo Pawel Wszolek and Laurenz Dehl, while a hip problem continues to trouble Niko Giesselmann.

In light of the missing personnel, Max Kruse will once again shoulder most of Union's hopes as he looks to add to his three goals and four assists for the campaign.

In the visiting dressing room, Hoffenheim will be without a number of key players as they also battle the fight against Covid, injuries and internationals.

Florian Grillitsch and Kasim Adams will miss the clash through illness, whilst Malian international Diadie Samassekou is competing with his country at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Elsewhere, Pavel Kaderabek will be missing with a hip problem, Robert Skov's recovery continues from a thigh problem, while Marco John is unlikely to feature due to a knock.

Some positive news for Hoffenheim can be found with the impending return of Ermin Bicakcic, who has been absent since September 2020 with an ACL injury.

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Luthe; Jaeckel, Knoche, Friedrich; Khedira, Trimmel, Giesselmann, Haraguchi, Promel; Behrens, Kruse

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Posch, Vogt, Richards; Geiger, Kaderabek, Raum, Baumgartner, Kramaric; Bebou, Dabour

We say: Union Berlin 1-1 Hoffenheim

Two sides who enter the clash in strong form, while boasting respective European hopes.

Home advantage could be to Union's benefit, yet whether or not that is enough to secure all three points remains to be seen.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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 3.5:data

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Bundesliga Table
1Bayern MunichBayern19151361184346
2Borussia DortmundDortmund19131549292040
3Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen1995544311332
5Union BerlinUnion Berlin198742724331
7RB Leipzig1984736231328
8Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt197753028228
9FC Koln197753032-228
10Mainz 05198382721627
11VfL BochumVfL Bochum1972101727-1023
12Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach196492535-1022
13Hertha Berlin196492138-1722
16Arminia Bielefeld193971826-818
18Greuther Furth1914141551-367
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Scottish Premiership Table
7Dundee UnitedDundee Utd2174101725-825
9St Mirren2141072032-1222
10Ross County2156103036-621
12St Johnstone2135131127-1614
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