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  • 24 January 2024

Battleground Bayern: Clash of Titans as Munich Faces Union Berlin

When Bayern Munich hosts Union Berlin at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night, they will try to rekindle their dreams of winning the Bundesliga. The match between the two sides was originally supposed to take place on December 2, however bad weather forced the postponement of this game.

Match Preview

Bayern Munich's hopes of winning the Bundesliga for a record 12 times in a row were severely damaged on Sunday when they unexpectedly lost 1-0 to Werder Bremen, a team in the middle of the league, at home. In anticipation of the return of top-tier football, Thomas Tuchel had anticipated that his team's winter break warm-weather training camp in the Algarve would revive his players. However, the Bavarian giants fell short and suffered their first home loss of the year.

In the 59th minute, Bremen defeated Bayern for the first time since 2008 thanks to a goal from Mitchell Weiser, who left his old team scarred. With one game remaining, the undefeated leaders Bayer Leverkusen lead the league by seven points, and the defending champions will now have an uphill task to hold onto their crown.

Though Tuchel's team has won three of their last four home meetings against Union Berlin, including a 3-0 home victory in February of last year, they will fancy their chances of returning to winning ways on Wednesday. Bayern's 65-game run of scoring in the Bundesliga at the Allianz Arena may have come to an end.

The Bavarians have faced Union Berlin in the top division eight times before, going undefeated in three of those meetings, which included a 1-1 draw at Stadion Alte Forsterei the previous season. Consequently, they will need to play at their best if they hope to secure the maximum number of points and steer clear of another frustrating midweek matchup.

Union Berlin's trip to fellow relegation-threatened team Mainz 05 was postponed last Friday owing to inclement weather, one week after they played out a goalless draw with Freiburg in their first game of 2024 since the winter break.

Due to the significant accumulation of ice on the MEWA Arena's lower levels and the frozen conditions on the stadium's access roads, it was decided that spectators shouldn't attend this game. A replacement date will be announced soon.

Under new head coach Nenad Bjelica, Union Berlin had won seven points in four Bundesliga games before to Friday's delay. This is the same amount of points they had won in their previous 12 games this season.

Though they are just three points ahead of the three clubs behind them (Mainz, FC Koln, and SV Darmstadt 98), the Iron Ones are still in the relegation zone going into the second half of the season.

Union Berlin has accumulated less away points (four) than any other Bundesliga team into Wednesday's difficult match against Bayern Munich. Before going into a crucial match against Darmstadt on Sunday, the Irons Ones will need to put up a strong, tenacious performance at the Allianz Arena, much as Bremen did against Bayern last time out.

Team News

Kim Min-jae and Noussair Mazraoui, who are representing South Korea at the Asian Cup and Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations, respectively, are still absent from Bayern Munich.

While Tarek Buchmann (thigh), Bouna Sarr (ACL), Daniel Peretz (knee), Serge Gnabry (hamstring), and Matthijs de Ligt (centre back) recovered from minor aches and pains to start against Werder Bremen, they will likely start in the starting lineup on Wednesday.

Tuchel may decide to bring back midfielder Leon Goretzka at the cost of Raphael Guerreiro. Jamal Musiala may be replaced at number ten by Thomas Muller, although the latter is likely to remain in the attacking lineup with Harry Kane, Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, and Musiala.

Regarding Union Berlin, Rani Khedira is still out due to a calf injury, while Aissa Laidouni is travelling with Tunisia for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Irons Ones have signed Chris Bedia from Servette on a permanent deal. The 27-year-old will compete with Kevin Volland, Mikkel Kaufmann, and Kevin Behrens for a start in attack after Sheraldo Becker was sold to Real Sociedad last week and Chelsea loanee David Datro Fofana left for Burnley.

January signature Alongside Diogo Leite and Robin Knoche at centre back, Kevin Vogt is expected to stick around, while left wing-back Robin Gosens will try to push his way back into the starting lineup by dislodging Jerome Roussillon.

Possible starting lineup for Bayern Munich is as follows: Neuer; Laimer, Upanecano, Davies, De Ligt; Kimmich, Goretzka; Coman, Musiala, Sane; Kane

Potential starting lineup for Union Berlin: Ronnow; Knoche, Vogt, Leite; Haberer, Kral, Aaronson, Gosens; Kaufmann, Volland

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