Union Berlin will be looking to close in on the top four when they welcome already-relegated Greuther Furth to the Alte Forsterei for their Bundesliga clash on Friday night.
The Iron Ones have won each of their last four top-flight matches, while the Cloverleaves will be looking to extend their unbeaten away run to three games.
After losing 2-1 at the Red Bull Arena against RB Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals last Wednesday, Union Berlin got their revenge just three days later in the same stadium when they claimed a 2-1 victory in the Bundesliga.
Leipzig were a goal in front heading into the final five minutes, but two goals in three minutes from Sven Michel and Kevin Behrens dramatically turned the game on its head to help the Iron Ones secure all three points.
Urs Fischer’s side remain in sixth place but they have now moved to within four points of Leipzig in fourth with just three league games remaining. With 50 points accumulated from 31 matches, Union Berlin have already equalled their Bundesliga points tally from last season.
With hopes of Champions League football still alive for next season, the Iron Ones head into Friday’s game looking to claim three successive home victories for the first time this campaign, and they will certainly fancy their chances of success against basement club Furth.
However, Union Berlin are one of only three teams in this season’s German top flight to have suffered defeat against Furth, who claimed a slender 1-0 win in the reverse fixture five months ago, so success on Friday is not guaranteed for Fischer’s men.
Greuther Furth’s relegation to the second tier has now been confirmed following their 4-1 defeat at home against Bayer Leverkusen last weekend.
Jetro Willems had given the Cloverleaves a surprise lead in the fifth minute, but goals from Patrick Schick, Sardar Azmoun, Paulinho and Exequiel Palacios helped the visitors turn the game on its head and cruise to victory.
Stefan Leitl’s side, who have been rooted to the foot of the Bundesliga table since September, have now lost 20 of their 31 league matches, and they head into Friday’s game as the only team in Europe’s top-five leagues who are yet to win away from home this season.
Furth are simply playing for pride in their final three Bundesliga fixtures and although spirits may be low following the confirmation of their relegation, they can take confidence into their clash with Union Berlin, having won two and drawn one of their last four league meetings against them.
Union Berlin Bundesliga form:
Union Berlin form (all competitions):
Greuther Furth Bundesliga form:
We say: Union Berlin 3-1 Greuther Furth
While Union Berlin’s defeat against Furth earlier this season may be in the back of their minds, Fischer’s side have been strong on home soil this term, losing only two of their 15 games at the Alte Forsterei, and they will be confident of success on Friday.
The Iron Ones will be seeking revenge this time around and they should have enough quality in their side to claim maximum points, which would boost their hopes of European qualification.