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Apr 4, 2021 at 5pm UK
Union BerlinUnion Berlin
Hertha BerlinHertha Berlin
Andrich (10')
Ryerson (17'), Promel (28')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Lukebakio (35' pen.)
Guendouzi (28'), Tousart (45'), Torunarigha (53'), Ascacibar (78')

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

:Headline: Preview: Union Berlin vs. Hertha Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Bundesliga clash between Union Berlin and Hertha Berlin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Union Berlin take on Hertha Berlin in the Berlin derby on Sunday, with the visitors desperately looking to do the double over their city rivals and move further clear of the relegation zone.

Indeed, Union Berlin will be keen to avenge the 3-1 defeat suffered to Hertha in early December, especially with a Europa League qualification place to fight for.

Match preview

Not many club managers enjoy international breaks, but Urs Fischer may have been mildly relieved to have one straight after suffering a gruelling 5-2 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt last time out.

In only their sixth league defeat of the season, Union Berlin were played off the park by their opponents, with Andre Silva and Filip Kostic putting on a clinic of scintillating attacking football.

The duo combined in only the second minute of the match - Kostic crossing for Silva to convert once again - with Max Kruse's equaliser five minutes later proving a false alarm in terms of any signals of a closely fought affair.

Robert Andrich's overzealous back-pass found his goalkeeper Robin Knoche caught on his heels and unable to prevent the ball from flying past him into the back of his own net, with Kostic and Silva finishing two superb team moves to all but put the match to bed before half time.

Kruse did pull another back with a fine looping header before Timothy Chandler's injury-time strike, so Fischer will feel content that his talisman is scoring once again ahead of one of their most important matches of the season against Hertha on Sunday.

Having performed better without the return of improved results since appointing Pal Dardai as manager in January, the 45-year-old's second spell in charge of Hertha finally got off and running with a superb 3-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen last time out.

The hosts took the lead through Deyovaisio Zeefuik's excellent curling finish, which clattered off the side of the past and into the back of the net, with Leverkusen leaving incredible spaces at the back as they pushed for an equaliser.

For all of Hertha's weaknesses this season, they remain a potentially devastating side in transition, and so it proved with Matheus Cunha and Jhon Cordoba both racing in behind and applying the finishing touches to provide their team with a comfortable 3-0 win.

However, they are unlikely to find their city rivals as accommodating on Sunday, so may require a more delicate touch in their build-up phases to break them down.

While they will take confidence from beating Fischer's side in December, that match was flipped on its head by Andrich's red card with the scoreline 1-0 to Union Berlin at the time, so they cannot afford to take them lightly as they look to increase their gap to more than one point above the relegation zone.

Union Berlin Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L

Hertha Berlin Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Union Berlin are likely to remain without Sheraldo Becker, Petar Musa, Niko Giesselmann, Anthony Ujah and Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi due to injury.

Joel Pohjanpalo may lead the line in order to provide Kruse with more space to operate in behind, with Union Berlin's top goalscorer hoping to fare better than last time in the Berlin derby, when he sustained a torn muscle bundle.

Hertha will travel without the suspended Vladimir Darida, with the midfielder serving a further two-match suspension after his vicious tackle on Marco Reus against Borussia Dortmund last month.

Luca Netz and Eduard Lowen will definitely miss out through injury, with Dedryck Boyata perhaps needing more time on the training pitch before being thrown back into the starting XI.

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Luthe; Friedrich, Knoche, Schlotterbeck; Trimmel, Promel, Andrich, Lenz; Ingvartsen, Kruse; Pohjanpalo

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Jarstein; Klunter, Stark, Dardai; Zeefuik, Tousart, Guendouzi, Mittelstadt; Lukebakio, Cordoba, Cunha

We say: Union Berlin 1-1 Hertha Berlin

We can envisage a fiery, closely-fought Berlin derby on Sunday, with Hertha better placed to gain a positive result than they were even a month ago.

Dardai's side certainly have greater firepower in attacking areas, but Union Berlin's defensive resoluteness and the X-factor of Kruse should help them avoid the ignominy of falling to a league double to their city rivals.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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Bundesliga Table
CBayern MunichBayern34246499445578
2RB Leipzig34198760322865
3Borussia DortmundDortmund342041075462964
5Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt341612669531660
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen3414101053391452
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin34121485043750
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach341310116456849
12Mainz 0534109153956-1739
14Hertha Berlin34811154152-1135
15Arminia Bielefeld3498172652-2635
16FC Koln3489173460-2633
RWerder Bremen34710173657-2131
RSchalke 04Schalke3437242586-6116
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