Despite a committed performance, VfL started the new year with a 2-0 defeat away to Borussia Dortmund, and they’re back on the road on Saturday as the Green-and-Whites travel to Union Berlin (kick-off 15:30 CET).
Since the 3-1 defeat against Augsburg on Matchday 1, Union have lost just one other Bundesliga game – 3-1 at Hertha having gone down to ten men early on – and began 2021 with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Werder Bremen. ‘Die Eisernen’ currently occupy fifth spot, level on 24 points with sixth-placed Wolfsburg and with an identical record of six wins, six draws and two defeats.
More facts and figures
VfL’s loss to Dortmund was only their second in the Bundesliga this season, following the 2-1 reverse at Bayern on Matchday 12. The Wolves matched their more fancied opponents in both games, and even had more shots on goal than Dortmund with 22 to 14.
The Green-and-Whites have fired off significantly more attempts on goal (202) than Union (172) this season. The Berliners have been more efficient, though, converting 57 per cent of their big chances compared to just 39 per cent for the Wolves.
Surprisingly, only Freiburg have contested fewer challenges than Union during the current campaign, while Wolfsburg have been involved in the second-highest number of duels. But the capital club are effective here too, and have the best defensive tackling success rate of any team. Urs Fischer’s men also do the most running in the league, covering 119.7 kilometres per game on average – VfL stand at 116.7 km.
Josip Brekalo is set to make his 100th Bundesliga appearance on Saturday. The skilful winger has established himself as a fixture in the team this season, starting in all 13 of his Bundesliga appearances. Brekalo has scored a total of 12 goals in 99 games in the top flight.
VfL collected four points against Union last season, winning 1-0 at home and drawing 2-2 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.