Union Berlin vs Hoffenheim: Probable Lineups, Match Stats and LIVE Blog!

Union Berlin host third-placed Hoffenheim, for whom Andrej Kramaric is aiming for his club-record 100th competitive goal on Saturday (kick-off: 3:30 p.m. CET).

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With nine-goal top scorer Taiwo Awoniyi at the Africa Cup of Nations, Union have started 2022 needing to find another source of goals as the 24-year-old leads the line for Nigeria. They did it on Matchday 18, albeit from a rather unlikely location. Grischa Prömel had just one Bundesliga goal to his name – and four in total in his career – before last weekend, but netted twice as Union initially trailed , then led and eventually drew 2-2 with Bayer Leverkusen. Max Kruse has been pushed slightly further due to Awoniyi’s in-form hole in attack and is set to partner Kevin Behrens again for the Hoffenheim visit, although Andreas Voglsammer is pushing to be involved upfront . Further afield, Marvin Friedrich swapped Union for Borussia Mönchengladbach this week and he will likely be replaced by Timo Baumgartl in the bottom three.

Kramaric has been locked on 99 goals at Hoffenheim for seven games now, his last strike coming in the 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin on Matchday 10. Despite the Croatian’s frustrating wait for a goal, Hoffenheim won five, drew two and lost. only once since their top scorer’s last sack, so Sebastian Hoeneß won’t be too concerned about Kramaric’s drought. Their latest victory – a 3-1 win at home to Augsburg – lifted Hoffenheim into third place, leaving them just six points behind second-placed Borussia Dortmund a week into the new year. Ihlas Bebou was the man to drive the win with a first-half brace before Germany left-back David Raum wrapped things up in stoppage time. Pavel Kaderabek’s injury will force Hoeneß to switch sides as they beat Augsburg, with Kevin Akpoguma set to enter on the right, but USMNT international Chris Richards set to remain the rock of the defensive trio.

Look: Chris Richards: Hoffenheim like home

Match statistics

  • Union are unbeaten in eight games this Bundesliga season with a goal from Awoniyi (W5, D3). They have won just two of 10 wins without a goal from their top scorer, losing three.
  • Kruse is Union’s second biggest attacking threat, with three goals and four assists.
  • Union have lost just once at home in the 2021/22 Bundesliga – against Bayern Munich – and twice since September 19, 2020.
  • Bebou needs just two more goals to equal his personal best of nine seasons, set last season.
  • Kramaric has never scored so few (two), nor scored so many goals (two), at this stage of a Bundesliga season.
  • Hoffenheim are enjoying their longest unbeaten streak since 10 unbeaten between October and December 2018, under Julian Nagelsmann.

The probable compositions

Union: Luthe – Jaeckel, Knoche, Baumgartl – Trimmel (c), Khedira, Prömel, Oczipka – Haraguchi – Kruse, Behrens
Outside: Awoniyi (African Cup of Nations)
Doubtful: Gießelmann (hitting), Van Drongelen (not included), Wszolek (not included)
Coach: Urs Fischer

Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) – Posch, Vogt, Richards – Akpoguma, Baumgartner, Geiger, Raum – Kramaric – Bebou, Dabbur
Outside: Adams (illness), Grillitsch (not included), John (not included), Kaderabek (thigh), Samassekou (Africa Cup of Nations), Skov (thigh)
Doubtful: Bicakcic (fitness match), Gacinovic (muscular)
Coach: Sebastien Hoeneß

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