Union Berlin vs Hertha Berlin preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo by Boris Streubel via Getty images

It's 8th vs 13th in the Bundesliga this weekend as Union Berlin welcome local rivals Hertha Berlin to the Alten Försterei Stadium.

Union come into the match off the back of a two-all draw against  FC Köln as well as losing by two goals to one against Feyenoord in the Europa conference league.

Union know that this is potentially one of if not their biggest game of the season not only because it's a chance to beat their local rivals but they can also keep the pressure on teams such as RB Leipzig and VFL Wolfsburg as they chase a European place.

Meanwhile, Hertha will come into the match off the back of an impressive one-all draw with Bayer Leverkusen.

Hertha know this game is absolutely vital to their season. They currently find themselves sitting in a measly 13th place. However, they know that a win against their smaller rivals can give their season a much-needed boost as they are only five points behind teams that are chasing a European place.

Team news

Union head coach Urs Fischer has got an almost fully fit squad with the only absentee being Hanno Behrens due to him not being selected for the matchday squad. 

In contrast, Hertha head coach Pál Dárdai has got several injury problems and concerns ahead of the match. Center back Derek Boyata will miss the game due to a suspension, while Vladimír Darida and Lukas Klünter are out due to injury. However, Stevan Jovetic could be available again for selection.

Union Berlin: Luthe, Friedrich, Knoche, Baumgartl, Ryerson, Khedira, Prömel, Gießelmann, Haraguchi, Kruse, Awoniyi

Hertha Berlin: Schwolow, Pekarik, Stark, Dardai, Plattenhardt Ascacibar, Tousart, Richter, Serdar, Mittelstädt, Piatek

Players to watch

Taiwo Awoniyi

Union have made a decent start to the season and currently sit in an impressive eighth place just a few points off the relegation place. One of the big reasons for this is the impressive performance of Taiwo Awoniyi

Awoniyi had a very poor season in front of goal last season managing to score a measly five goals in 21 matches. However, so far this season having played just 11 matches he has already scored seven goals as well as two goals in the Europa conference league.

Julain Ekkelenkamp

Hertha have had a dismal start to the season and currently find themselves sitting in 13th place. One of the big reasons for this is their inability to score goals.

Midfielder Julian Ekkelenkamp is their joint top scorer with just two goals along with  Jovetic. However, with Jovetic being a doubt to play in the match, Hertha will be hoping Ekkelenkamp can add to his tally and help them beat their local rivals.

Last time out

The last time these two faced each other was in April in what was a very firey and intense one all draw.

Union started the match quickly and got an early chance when in the second minute Petar Musa had a great chance to head the ball into the goal however he could only put it wide.

But their early dominance eventually paid off when they took the lead in the tenth minute. Musa dribbled past several Hertha defenders before giving the ball to Robert Andrich who shot from outside the box found the top right-hand corner.

From then on the match became much tighter with neither team creating any clear chances and both teams culpable of giving away cheap fouls.

Then seemingly out of nowhere in the 35th minute, Hertha equalised. Marvin Friedrich committed a ridiculous foul in his own penalty box and after consulting with VAR the referee awarded Hertha the penalty which Dodi Lukebakio dispatched with confidence.

The second half started at a much slower pace compared to the first. However, the first big chance of the half fell to Union in the 50th minute. Nico Schlotterbeck received the ball on the edge of the box and unleashed a powerful strike towards the Hertha goal however it was straight down the middle and the goalkeeper was able to save it.

Union then had a chance to win the match in the dying embers but  Musa missed a glorious opportunity. Christopher Trimmel made great progress down the right-hand side of the pitch before putting a cross into the box however Musa put the header wide.

How to watch

Fans in the UK will be able to watch the Berlin derby live on Sky Sports from 5:30 pm on Saturday while fans in the US can catch the game on ESPN+.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VAVEL Logo