Real Madrid vs Union Berlin Preview & Prediction | 2023-24 UEFA Champions League | Group Stage
When is Real Madrid vs Union Berlin on and what time does it start? Real Madrid vs Union Berlin will take place on Wednesday 20th September, 2023 – 17:45 (UK)
Where can I get tickets for Real Madrid vs Union Berlin? Visit each club’s official website for the latest ticket information
What channel is Real Madrid vs Union Berlin on in the UK? Real Madrid vs Union Berlin will be televised live on TNT Sports in the UK
Where can I stream Real Madrid vs Union Berlin in the UK? Real Madrid vs Union Berlin can be streamed live on the discovery+
Real Madrid head into the Champions League boasting a 100% record having won all their five fixtures played in La Liga this season, scoring at least twice in four of those five matches. The 14-time European champions were beaten 5-1 on aggregate by eventual champions Man City in the semi-finals of the 2022-23 Champions League, losing 4-0 in the second-leg and they’ll be determined to go all the way on this occasion.
It’s been very much the Jude Bellingham show so far this campaign from Real Madrid’s perspective. Their new big-money signing from Borussia Dortmund found the net in each of his opening four appearances for the club and could play a big role in this one. Another potential match-winner is striker Joselu, who is coming off the back of having scored in consecutive La Liga fixtures.
Whatever the result, this is guaranteed to be a special night for Union Berlin. Making their debut in the Champions League, the club who were only promoted from the 2. Bundesliga in 2018-19 via a play-off win over Stuttgart have enjoyed a monumental rise under the command of Urs Fischer. After finishing mid-table in their first season in the Bundesliga under Fischer, Union backed that up with a seventh-place finish in 2021-22, but this past campaign was their best yet, ending up in fourth-place ahead of clubs such as Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt.
Union aren’t novices though when it comes to European football. They reached the round of 16 in the 2022-23 Europa League before being knocked out by Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise. That experience should stand them in good stead here, although they arrive in Madrid on the back of having suffered consecutive Bundesliga defeats against RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg respectively.
THE TEAM NEWS
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and frontman Vinicius Junior, two key players in previous Champions League campaigns for ‘Los Blancos’ won’t be available for this match with the latter set to be out for potentially the entire season after rupturing an ACL. Dani Carvajal, Arda Guler and Eder Militao are also missing, while doubts over Ferland Mendy’s fitness may see Fran Garcia continue at left-back.
PREDICTED XI (4-3-1-2): Kepa; Camavinga, Rudiger, Alaba, Garcia; Valverde, Tchouameni, Modric; Bellingham; Joselu, Rodrygo
UNAVAILABLE: Carvajal (Injured), Courtois (Injured), Eder Militao (Injured), Arda Guler (Injured), Vinicius Junior (Injured)
QUESTIONABLE: Mendy (Fitness)
After missing Union’s defeat at home to RB Leipzig, forward Sheraldo Becker made his return from injury off the bench this past weekend and could be preferred from the start this time round over David Datro Fofana. Janik Haberer is suspended, so Brenden Aaronson could play in midfield, whilst Fischer will be hoping that both centre-back Leonardo Bonucci and midfielder Sami Khedira are fit enough to at least be named on the bench, as having their experience available could be crucial.
PREDICTED XI (3-5-2): Ronnow; Doekhi, Knoche, Leite; Trimmel, Laidouni, Kral, Aaronson, Gosens; Becker, Behrens
UNAVAILABLE: Haberer (Suspended)
QUESTIONABLE: Bonucci (Fitness), Khedira (Injured), Dehl (Injured)
It doesn’t get much tougher than this for a Champions League debut fixture and Union Berlin will be hoping their players are not overawed by the occasion. It stood out last season in the Bundesliga how well coached Union were from a defensive perspective and whilst Real Madrid are expected to dominate possession, patience will be of significant importance for the hosts. However, Carlo Ancelotti’s men have found ways to win all season so far, even if it has meant leaving it late to score. Back them to do the same again here and overcome Union.
TIP: REAL MADRID TO WIN WITH -1 HANDICAP