1. FC Union Berlin and Dynamo Dresden face off in Monday night's hugely anticipated encounter as both teams look to secure their first win of the 2. Bundesliga season. In their first meeting since 2014, a 0-0 draw, the two former East German clubs will be sure to provide an interesting spectacle, backed by their vociferous fans.
Will a new coach herald a new era for Union?
Following Union's defeat to promotion favourites VfL Bochum and Dresden's draw with 1. FC Nürnberg, both sides are hoping to finally kickstart their season.
In a campaign where Union are amongst the surprise outsiders to challenge for promotion, in what would be their first ever to the Bundesliga, three-points against a team who so often overshadowed them in the old-East German Oberliga would signify their intent. Dynamo, meanwhile, will be hoping to avoid their seemingly predetermined ad interim stay in the 2. Bundesliga; in the last twenty years, the club have never lasted more than three seasons.
Newly appointed Union head coach, Jens Keller, is set to take charge of his first ever match at Union's famous Stadion An der Alten Försterei, and as ever the ground will surely be packed. 'I am really excited for the game ahead,' Keller said in his press conference: 'These kind of games are why one is a trainer or a player.' Having won their last eight games at home, five without conceding, Keller will be hoping that the trend continues as his side look to bounce back from their defeat away to Bochum.
However, it will not be easy for Keller's charges, as Dynamo Dresden go into the game having gone 17 matches league matches without defeat, a run stretching back to January. Within their magnificent run, they have put the likes of Energie Cottbus and VfL Osnabrück to the sword. 'Dresden are a good team,' acknowledged Keller: 'They have strengthened following their promotion and it is sure to be an interesting game.'
A busy summer for both as they look to grow
During the summer, Dresden have brought in nine players, as they look to establish themselves once more as a Bundesliga team; be it first or second. Whilst almost every single one of their players has been signed from a lower league team, including Manuel Konrad from FSV Frankfurt in the 3. Liga, the acquisition of Marvin Schwäbe on a season long loan from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim could prove crucial as they look to tighten things up at the back.
Union themselves have been no slouches, bringing in seven players and making Felix Kroos' loan a permanent signing could prove their most astute business of the summer. There remain big hopes for Philipp Hosiner, who moved from Rennes of Ligue 1 in the summer, as he is tasked with replacing the goals of Bobby Wood, who left for Bundesliga football.
Having both given debuts to a host of new signings last weekend, Monday's affair should prove intriguing for both sets of fans as they get another sighting of their new look teams. With fully fit squads, it is likely they will both lineup similarly to how they did last weekend.
In any case, both maintain ambitions of reaching the fabled land of the Bundesliga, and Monday's fixture should provide some answers as to their ability to do so.