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Union to Play Hoffenheim


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1. FC Union Berlin will play away at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday, 16.02.2024, as part of the 22nd Bundesliga matchday. Kick off at the PreZero Arena is at 15:30

The lie of the land

Following their 1-0 home win over VfL Wolfsburg, Union now have 21 points, while the side from Sinsheim are six points and seven places ahead, in 8th in the Bundesliga table. Hoffenheim were held to a 1-1 draw against 1. FC Köln in their last match, only equalising in stoppage time with a direct free kick.

The opponents

The hosts actually started 2023-24 superbly, with four wins from five games, and were in one of the Europa League places for most of the first half of the season,  but a slump in form has seen them with only on win since matchday 10, the 3-1 victory over VfL Bochum back at the beginning of December. In total, Hoffenheim now have seven wins, six draws and eight defeats after 21 games.

Things are not going so well for Pellegrino Matarazzo’s team, particularly, at home, having only won twice in ten games so far. In contrast, however, the club is in fourth place in the away form table.  Altogether they have scored 38 goals and conceded 40 this season.

In the DFB Pokal, Hoffenheim had to bow out in the second round, suffering a 1-0 defeat away at Borussia Dortmund. They had got there courtesy of a 4-1, first round win at the 3. Liga’s VfB Lübeck.

Andrej Kramarić is once again one of the most dangerous players in the Hoffenheim ranks this season. The Croatian international has scored eight goals in 18 Bundesliga games and also contributed an assist, but he is joined by Brandenburg native and U21 international Maximilian Beier, who has also showed his goal threat and pace in the TSG attack, scoring Beier also scored eight in 20 appearances with five assists.

The reunion

Having moved to Köpenick in the winter, Kevin Vogt will return to his old stomping ground on Saturday, where he made 226 appearances for TSG, and played every game in the first half of this season.

Midfielder Grischa Prömel, who has been playing in Sinsheim since the summer of 2022, wore the Union jersey from 2017 to 2022, scoring 20 goals in 141 competitive matches and was a key member of the squad that achieved promotion to the Bundesliga in 2019. This season, Prömel has scored three goals and provided five assists in 19 league appearances. 

Marius Bülter also played in the capital between 2019 and 2021 before moving to FC Schalke 04. Following Schalke’s relegation to the 2. Bundesliga, the striker left for Hoffenheim, but could miss this weekend’s game due to a flu-like infection.

The current Union squad includes two other players with a past at TSG Hoffenheim. Kevin Volland made 144 appearances for them between 2012 and 2016, while Janik Haberer made 17 appearances for the second team in the 2014/15 season in the Regionalliga Südwest.

The head to head

The sides have met nine times in the Bundesliga so far, Union with three wins, Hoffenheim with four, and there have been two draws. The only thing certain is that they rarely lack intriguem with at least two goals being scored in every game.


András Schäfer is still being rested due to his collision in the game against Wolfsburg, but everyone else is fit for Saturday.

The coaches’ views ahead of the game

“After a very good week of training, a number of players have returned to the squad, which is why we want to take this positive energy into the away game,” said an optimistic Nenad Bjelica during his press conference on Thursday afternoon. “Hoffenheim are a strong team in terms of play and will certainly want to score at home. We want to stand up to them and take our chances to pick up some points away from home.”

“Union didn’t get off to a good start, but they’ve now stabilized. Union do things “Union-like”: they defend with passion and rely particularly on their strength at set-pieces where they’ve also been successful recently,” commented TSG coach Pellegrino Matarazzo on the match before being drawn on his own current situation at Hoffenheim. “I feel the pressure in every game. I’m aware of the situation, but it’s not profitable to feel the pressure in day-to-day business. It depends on the balance between tension and relaxation.”

Service information

Almost 1,500 Union fans are expected to travel to Sinnsheim on Saturday.  Fan merchandise can be purchased on site at the Union-Fahr-Zeughaus, while further information about visiting the stadium can be found here (German).  

The match will be broadcast live on Sky, and there will also be an audio stream on rbb24 Inforadio and rbb24. As usual, Union will also provide information about the match via the club’s own live ticker, or in English and Spanish on Twitter. 

Union to Play Hoffenheim

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