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May 14, 2022 at 2.30pm UK at Stadion An der Alten Försterei
Union Berlin
3 - 2
VfL Bochum
Promel (5'), Awoniyi (25' pen., 88')
Michel (44'), Trimmel (75'), Awoniyi (89')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Zoller (55'), Lowen (79')
Tesche (24'), Losilla (28')

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

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

Seeking to qualify for the Europa League, Union Berlin will welcome VfL Bochum to the Alte Forsterei for their final Bundesliga game of the 2021-22 campaign on Saturday.

The Iron Ones could finish as high as fifth with a victory on home soil, while the visitors could climb into the top half if they were to claim maximum points on the road.

Match preview

Union Berlin are finishing the season strongly after claiming 16 points from the last 18 available, including all three in an impressive 4-1 victory away at Champions League-chasing Freiburg last weekend.

The Iron Ones took a deserved 3-0 lead into half time, courtesy of strikes from Grischa Promel, Christopher Trimmel and Sheraldo Becker, and although Lucas Holer pulled one back for the hosts, Andras Schafer's goal restored the visitors' three-goal advantage in stoppage time.

Urs Fischer's men finished seventh and qualified for the Europa Conference League last season, but this term they could qualify for the Europa League for the first time in their history.

Victory on Saturday would see them leapfrog Freiburg into fifth place, if the latter were to lose at Bayer Leverkusen, but if Freiburg were to draw then Union Berlin would need to win by a nine-goal margin to finish fifth on goal difference.

Union Berlin have won three and drawn one of their last five meetings against Bochum, including a slender 1-0 away win in December's reverse fixture.

After securing promotion from the second tier last season, Bochum have successfully survived the drop this campaign, with back-to-back victories over Borussia Dortmund and Arminia Bielefeld consolidating a mid-table finish.

An 89th-minute own goal from Arminia's George Bello helped Bochum secure all three points last weekend – their 12th league victory of the season – and they now sit 11th in the table, 12 points clear of the bottom three.

Thomas Reis's side will now be looking to finish the season on a high when they face Union Berlin on Saturday by claiming their third successive Bundesliga win for the first time since November 2007.

They have, however, failed to win any of their last four encounters with the Iron Ones, with their last victory dating back to December 2017 when they won 2-1 at home in the second tier.

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

Union Berlin form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

VfL Bochum Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Union Berlin's only injury concerns are with goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow and defender Dominique Heintz, who are recovering from respective muscle and ankle problems.

Top scorer Taiwo Awoniyi, who has netted 14 Bundesliga goals this term, will be hoping to end the season on a high after failing to score in each of his last four appearances.

Becker is set to start up front alongside Awoniyi, while Promel, Rani Khedira and Genki Haraguchi are all expected to retain their places in centre-midfield.

As for Bochum, Reis will have a fully-fit squad to choose from, while Kostas Stafylidis is available after serving a three-match suspension and will compete with Cristian Gamboa for a place at right-back.

Sebastian Polter, Takuma Asano and Gerrit Holtmann are the three most likely candidates to start in attack, though the likes of Danny Blum and Jurgen Locadia will be hoping to force their way into the first XI.

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Luthe; Jaeckel, Knoche, Ryerson; Trimmel, Haraguchi, Khedira, Promel, Giesselmann; Awoniyi, Becker

VfL Bochum possible starting lineup:
Riemann; Gamboa, Masovic, Leitsch, Soares; Pantovic, Losilla, Rexhbecaj; Holtmann, Polter, Asano

We say: Union Berlin 3-0 VfL Bochum

While there is no pressure on Bochum this weekend, victory for Union Berlin on Saturday could see them secure their highest-ever top-flight finish and Europa League qualification.

The hosts will be the favourites heading into this contest and we can see them claiming a comfortable victory to finish the season in style.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data

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