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Union Berlin logo
Bundesliga | Gameweek 12
Nov 25, 2023 at 2.30pm UK
Stadion An der Alten Forsterei
Augsburg logo
Union Berlin

Preview: Union Berlin vs. Augsburg - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Union Berlin and Augsburg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Union Berlin will be desperate to avoid a 10th successive defeat in the Bundesliga when they host Augsburg on Saturday.

The visitors, meanwhile, are unbeaten in four league games and could move into the top half of the table with a positive result.

Match preview

Union Berlin's David Datro Fofana celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 8, 2023© Reuters

After qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in the club's history last season, Union Berlin's disastrous form this time around has been one of the most eye-catching features in any of Europe's major leagues during the current campaign.

Die Eisernen's 4-0 defeat away to league leaders Bayer Leverkusen prior to the international break saw them fall to the foot of the table, with nine straight league defeats leading the board to relieve Urs Fischer from his position as manager.

The 57-year-old will remain a club legend regardless of their poor start to the season, having taken Union Berlin to the Bundesliga for the first time in the club's history in 2019, before guiding them to their remarkable fourth-placed finish last time out.

Marco Grote has been drafted in as interim manager, having impressed as the club's Under-19s head coach. The likelihood is that the former VfL Osnabruck boss will be given three matches to make himself a candidate for the permanent role, but the club have already began an extensive search across the globe, with Fischer leaving big boots to fill.

However, having failed to win any of their last 14 matches in all competitions - blanking in front of goal in 10 of those defeats - Grote may consider that he cannot do much worse than his predecessor over the last few months. With difficult trips to Braga and Bayern Munich to come later in the week, the 51-year-old will sense an opportunity to lay down a marker against Augsburg this weekend, as his side look to move outside of the relegation places.

FC Augsburg's Ermedin Demirovic in action on August 27, 2023© Reuters

Augsburg, on the other hand, appear to have moved up a level under their new manager Jess Thorup. The former Copenhagen boss replaced Enrico Maassen during the summer, and after making a relatively slow start, Fuggerstadter have impressed in recent weeks.

Indeed, Augsburg stuck eight goals combined across back-to-back victories against Heidenheim and Wolfsburg, before claiming successive 1-1 draws against FC Koln and Hoffenheim prior to the international break.

Unlike his predecessor Maassen, whose background with Borussia Dortmund's reserve team meant that he had visions of making Augsburg more of a passing team, Thorup seems to place much less emphasis on having the ball. Since drawing 4-4 against Borussia Monchengladbach on the opening day, they have had less possession in all 10 of their ensuing league matches.

While this means that they may have to ride their luck on occasions - such as when Finn Dahmen made 10 saves during his side's draw against Koln - it does appear to be a more natural playing style for a side with Augsburg's relatively low budget.

Ultimately, they would almost certainly be content with extending their 12-year stay in the Bundesliga this season, and they are clearly on track to achieve that ahead of facing struggling opponents on Saturday.

Union Berlin Bundesliga form:

Union Berlin form (all competitions):

Augsburg Bundesliga form:

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Team News

Union Berlin's Sheraldo Becker celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 3, 2023© Reuters

Union Berlin will remain without midfielder Rani Khedira, who will serve the last of his three-match suspension after being sent off against Werder Bremen last month.

Danilho Doekhi and Andras Schafer are expected to remain sidelined through injury, while Josip Juranovic and Leonardo Bonucci were withdrawn against Leverkusen and face a race against time to recover from knocks.

The likes of Robin Gosens, Kevin Behrens and Robin Knoche should return to the hosts' starting XI as a result, but it remains to be seen whether Grote will persist with Fischer's preferred 3-5-2 formation, or seek to mix things up completely.

Augsburg, meanwhile, will travel without Raphael Framberger and Arne Maier due to serious knee and ankle injuries respectively, while Reece Oxford is still unavailable as the former West Ham United defender continues to battle with long-COVID symptoms.

David Colina and Frederik Winther missed their side's 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim prior to the international break but they should be available for selection this weekend. However, it would be a surprise if Thorup made any changes having seen his players perform to a high level in that match.

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Ronnow; Jaeckel, Knoche, Leite; Trimmel, Laidouni, Kral, Haberer, Gosens; Becker, Behrens

Augsburg possible starting lineup:
Dahmen; Gumny, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Pedersen; Rexhbecaj, Dorsch; Jensen, Demirovic, Vargas; Tietz

SM words green background

We say: Union Berlin 1-1 Augsburg

Although Union Berlin's sacking of Fischer was a desperately sad day for the club, in the end it was a decision that probably had to be made given their disastrous start to the season. Grote will hope to make an immediate impact, with this fixture likely to provide his best opportunity of doing so.

However, Augsburg have become tougher to beat in recent weeks, having drawn successive games 1-1. We can envisage a repeat scoreline in the capital on Saturday, with both teams likely to be content with avoiding defeat.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
1Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen11101034102431
2Bayern MunichBayern119204293329
4RB Leipzig1172228101823
5Borussia DortmundDortmund116322117421
7Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt114611711618
9Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach113442323013
12Werder Bremen113261822-411
14VfL BochumVfL Bochum111641125-149
15SV Darmstadt 98112271432-188
16Mainz 05Mainz111461124-137
17FC Koln11137923-146
18Union BerlinUnion Berlin112091126-156

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