1. FC Union Berlin will head to Leipzig on Wednesday night with an opportunity to reach the DFB Pokal final for the first time since 2001.
Review – The last match:
1. FC Union Berlin secured a 13th Bundesliga victory of the campaign at home to Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday. Urs Fischer’s side produced a magnificent first-half performance which saw goals from Taiwo Awoniyi and Grischa Prömel, which claimed all three points for the Köpenick club. Awoniyi pushed clear of the Frankfurt defence to shoot home on 17 minutes before Prömel’s wonderful long-range strike on 21 minutes made it two. A third goal was more likely but Union were unable to take advantage of those opportunities. Jens Petter Hauge was denied by Frederik Rönnow before the break, and that was as tense as it looked for the Danish goalkeeper through the second half.
Leipzig – Opposition Report:
Domenico Tedesco’s side are competing on three remaining fronts this season. It’s the Köpenick club who stand in the way of a first appearance in the flagship final in Berlin. A victory over Atalanta has set up a UEFA Europa League semi-final contest with Scottish champions Rangers with Leipzig firm favourites to reach the final. The nine-point gap to second-placed Borussia Dortmund looks to big to bridge at this point in the Bundesliga, but Leipzig are getting closer to securing UEFA Champions League qualification. Leipzig’s last defeat was at Bayern Munich – that’s 9 games in league business without a loss. After beating Dortmund 4-1 at Signal Iduna Park, Leipzig went on to beat Hoffenheim 3-0 and then secured a 1-0 win at Leverkusen, just three days off the back of the quarter-final Europa League success in Italy.
Leipzig – The coach’s view:
Urs Fischer said: “If you look at results, Dortmund won, in Leverkusen, at home to Hoffenheim, in Bergamo in Europe, they are really good. Very stable organisation, very compact. Work hard for each other. They do that really well. Individual quality with match-winning players. With the ball they are very accurate, good balance between playing through defences or going in behind. Lots of pace to go in behind. We need an optimal day to get the surprise result.”
Urs Fischer said there was mostly a clean bill of health following Sunday’s win. Julian Ryerson suffered some cramp but he has recovered. “Andreas Luthe needs to be at 100% to be a contender for the squad. We’re working on that,” added Fischer.
Red and loud – Union’s sections inside the Zentralstadion will be packed with all fans given the opportunity to buy special DFB Pokal semi-final hoodies.
No further vaccine checks will be needed at the stadium in Leipzig. There is also no mandatory mask regulations in place.