1. FC Köln: FC have picked up three points from their last four games and will be hoping to find a first win of the season come Sunday evening. Markus Gisdol’s men battled to draws with Eintracht Frankfurt and VfB Stuttgart before defeat to Bayern Munich. After taking the lead against Werder Bremen, a late Leonardo Bittencourt penalty denied FC a first three points of the season.
1. FC Union Berlin: Things couldn’t be going much better from an Union perspective. Urs Fischer’s men have started the season superbly, having picked up 12 points from their first seven games. Heading into Matchday 8, Union sat fifth and were the second top scorers in the division. The Berlin outfit will be keen to push on and continue their good form after the international break.
Markus Gisdol: “Union have stabilised. We saw in our win against them in pre-season, that they are very stable. At the time, Max Kruse was not yet there and he gives the team that little bit extra. Their form at the start is a surprise but compliments to Union Berlin for making that happen.”
Urs Fischer: “The last games against Bremen and Bayern, they were compact, deep in both matches. They have a good organisation and try to put pressure on the ball. For us, it’s mostly about looking at ourselves. We had a good pre-season, especially with a full squad. That was different at Köln. It’s helped us. We’ve improved our play with the ball. We can’t get complacent, need to keep going.”
1. FC Köln: Jonas Hector, Anthony Modeste and Benno Schmitz will not be part of the squad for the game against Union. The match will come too soon for the trio, with Florian Kainz still going through rehab for his knee injury. There is more positive news with Sebastian Andersson, who is set to be part of the squad today.
1. FC Union Berlin: The capital club are facing somewhat of an injury wave at the moment. Anthony Ujah will not make a return to Köln due to a knee operation, with Joel Pohjanpalo, Nico Schlotterbeck, Christian Gentnerand Keita Endo injured. Marius Bülter is still completing quarantine after his COVID-19 infection, while Marcus Ingvartsen and Grischa Prömel.
Max Kruse is the man of the moment for Union Berlin. The capital club brought Kruse in during the summer transfer window and the 32-year-old has hit the ground running on his Bundesliga return. Kruse leads the league with Thomas Müller when it comes to assists (5) and has also chipped in with three goals of his own. The former Bremen forward is also on the verge of Bundesliga history. Should he convert his next penalty, he will become the first player having taken 16 penalties with a 100% record.
Union have had the upper hand in recent meetings with FC. The Köpenick club have won the last three meetings, including both in their first ever Bundesliga campaign last season. FC will be keen to avenge those loses and get back to winnings ways against Union. The last victory came in Berlin back in 2014; the end of a run that seen FC win five of the first six games between the teams.