Bayern Munich ended their UCL group stage on a high and would look to get back to winning ways in the Bundesliga when they travel to face Union Berlin.

Bayern Munich played out an entertaining draw in the Bundesliga last weekend versus RB Leipzig that saw their lead at the top of the table cut short to just one point. Hansi Flick’s team would be hoping to maintain their spot at the top of the table for the next 3 games before the Bundesliga suspends for its annual winter break.

Union Berlin, who face the daunting task of playing Bayern Munich, would be hoping for a positive result after their 3-1 loss to Hertha Berlin last weekend. Union deserve a lot of applause for what they have achieved this season. Currently placed 6th in the Bundesliga, they boast the record of being joint-second best for goals scored with 22. Bayern, of course, are first in that list.

Last season, Bayern won both of the encounters between the two clubs, although Union Berlin didn’t make it easy for the German champions. It will be interesting to see what an improved, but injury-hit Union can bring versus the Bavarians this season.

This match-up guarantees a lot of promise and is certainly one to keep your eyes on over the weekend.

Team News & Tactics

Union Berlin

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In Union Berlin’s only second season in the Bundesliga, they have exceeded all exceptions and are challenging for the Europa League spots at this point in the season. A lot of the credit goes to Union’s talisman Max Kruse and their energetic style of football. However, the ace goalscorer is set to be sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks with a thigh injury.

Midfielder Robert Andrich will also miss out after getting sent off in the Berlin derby last week. He will be accompanied by Joel Pohjanpalo and Nico Schlotterbeck on the sidelines. Anthony Ujah and Florian Hubner remain to be doubtful for this fixture too. Urs Fischer will certainly have his work cut out in selecting his best team.

Last weekend’s goalscorer, Taiwo Awoniyi, is expected to lead the line again and bear the load once more. Marcus Ingvartsen is likely to operate in an attacking midfield role, while Grischa Promel will slot in at central midfield. Captain, Christopher Trimmel should start at right wing-back with Robin Knoche, Julian Ryerson and Marvin Friedrich in the back-three.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Luthe; Knoche, Friedrich, Ryerson; Lenz, Promel, Griesbeck, Trimmel; Bulter, Ingvartsen; Awoniyi

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich have yet again produced a dominant start to their domestic campaign as they sit at the top of the Bundesliga with 10 games played. They have only won 5 out of the 9 available points in their last 3 league games and the high-flying Union will certainly prove to be a stern test for the Bavarians.

Javi Martinez and Joshua Kimmich will surely miss this important fixture, whereas Corentin Tolisso has begun training but is not likely to feature. Bayern Munich are certainly devoid of options in midfield and a start for Leon Goretzka alongside Marc Roca is on the cards. Jamal Musiala also provides an option to Hansi Flick.

Leroy Sane, who has started in the last 3 games, is set to start off the bench with Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry likely to play behind Robert Lewandowski. Coman has been in scintillating form this season and will hope to keep it going.

Alphonso Davies’ long-awaited return provides Bayern Munich with a massive boost. The Canadian started in midweek versus Lokomotiv Moskow, and Flick might not risk him again in the early days of his return. Lucas Hernandez has produced some decent performances this season and could start at left-back.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Hernandez, Alaba, Boateng, Pavard; Roca, Goretzka; Coman, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandoswki

Key Stats

  • These two teams met competitively for the first time last season and Bayern won both the games 2-0 and 2-1 respectively. Benjamin Pavard and Robert Lewandowski found the net each on both occasions.
  • Three penalties have been awarded in the two competitive matches played between the two clubs. No other Bundesliga fixture in the 2019/20 season saw as many penalties.
  • This is only Union Berlin’s second season in the Bundesliga and they have won 4 games, drawn 4 and lost just 2. They lost to Hertha Berlin last week which was their first loss since the opening day of the season. They currently have 6 points more than what they did at this stage last season.
  • Bayern are undefeated in their last 8 games and have lost just once in the last 30 matches. Their last loss was against Hoffenheim on matchday when the champions lost 4-1.
  • Kingsley Coman assisted all three goals in the game versus RB Leipzig last weekend. The last time he achieved this feat was back in 2016 versus Werder Bremen.

Player to Watch

Kingsley Coman

While Lewandowski and Muller have led Bayern Munich in terms of goals, Kingsley Coman has played an equally important role. His performance versus Leipzig was nothing short of special and the Frenchman has looked in fine form this season. Hansi Flick singled him out for praise in the press conference and a lot of Bayern’s threat will go through Coman.

Prediction

Union Berlin 0-2 Bayern Munich

Despite the injuries, Union have proved that they are to not be taken lightly. However, the absence of Max Kruse could be too much for them against the might of Bayern Munich.

It could be difficult for Die Roten to score more than two goals versus Union’s resolute back-five and a lot is dependent on which side of the bed Lewandowski wakes up on. Nevertheless, it should be three points in the bag for the reigning champions.

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