On the final matchday of an already historic Europa League group stage, 1. FC Union Berlin face a decisive 90 minutes against Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. The clash with the Group D leaders will influence in which European competition Union will play after the winter break. Kick off on Thursday, 03.11.2022, is at 21:00, in Leuven’s Den Dreef stadium.
Union go into the game with a strong run of form in Europe, having recovered from a shaky start in losing to Royal Union and Braga, to win their last three games on the bounce without conceding a goal.
How the teams stand in group D
Royale Union Saint-Gilloise are top of the the table with 13 points, and have already won the group, meaning Union are duelling for second place with SC Braga, who play against bottom team Malmö FF at the same time on Thursday.
An Union win would guarantee participation in the play-offs for the knock out stage, which will be drawn next Monday, 07.11.2022 in Nyon.
In the event of a draw, however, Union will be reliant upon the Portuguese losing in Malmö. Should both teams end up on 10 points (a draw in Belgium and a Braga win), then the next step, the head-to-head comparison, would be skipped as both teams won their home ties against each other, 1-0. Then it would go to goal difference, with both sides currently at +1. However, should Braga win, this would be improved in any case, thus sending Urs Fischer’s side into the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Should Union lose on Thursday, they will have to rely on the Portuguese side getting no more than a point in Sweden.
The side from the Brussels municipality of Saint-Gilles – who aren’t allowed to play European games in their home stadium – are currently enjoying a strong run of form. They are unbeaten in eleven matches in all competitions and have won nine of them. Indeed their last loss was back in September against runaway league leaders. Royale are eight points behind them in fourth in the Jupiler Pro League. A more detailed opponent check can be read in the pre-match report to the first tie.
Fischer has the complete European squad at his disposal, there are no injuries, nothing.
The coach’s, and defender’s, view ahead of the match.
“Royale Union Saint-Gilloise are top of the group, but haven’t only been very convincing there, but in the league as well. They are compact, organised, and dangerous on the break,” said Fischer in the pre-match press conference. “They play a similar system to us, it’ll be a goood challenge for us.”
Fullback, Julian Ryerson, said, meanwhile that “the win against Gladbach in the last second sparked off a lot of positive energy, and we’ve got to take that with us into the game tomorrow. because we are playing only to win.”
1. FC Union were not allowed to sell any tickets to away fans. This requirement is part of the punishment imposed by UEFA following the incidents that caused a halt to the away game at Malmö FF.
The club therefore recommend its fans not to travel to Belgium, additional information to the further away fans restrictions can also be found here. The match will be broadcast live on RTL+ and, as usual, Union will also provide information on the match in the club’s own live ticker.