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A title defining clash

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Bayern Munich vs Union Berlin preview

The Bundesliga is having one of the most competitive seasons ever. It is a statement that we have heard rarely in recent times. However, with Bayern Munich winning the league for the past ten years, this season has a fresh change with the defending champions being challenged by long-time rivals Borussia Dortmund and the new rising powerhouses Union Berlin. The new boys, who only earned a promotion to the top league in 2019, have gone toe-to-toe with the two top teams.

Union Berlin have already faced Bayern and Dortmund at home, drawing against the former and winning against the latter. However, their toughest challenge will come this Sunday (February 26) when they travel to Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich. The two teams who currently are tied on points know that the result of the match will go a long way in determining the fate of the Bundesliga title race.

Bayern Munich have been far from perfect in the league but is still one of the best teams, which they showed against Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League. However, Union Berlin are also in perfect form and defeated Ajax 3-1 to qualify for the round of 16 in the Europa League. They are also unbeaten in 2023 and have taken even more points than Bayern Munich in the same period.

The match between the two teams is also a clash of systems, with Bayern playing with attacking flair while Union Berlin deploy a low block and then launch quick counterattacks down the wings. In addition, the duo are the top two teams defensively which means that the two backlines and their goalkeepers will need to be at the top of their game. 

Bayern Munich also have a crucial run of matches, starting with the game against Union Berlin, which includes the second leg of the Champions League against Paris Saint Germain. This means that Bavarians will want all three points against Union Berlin. However, doing so will require them to dismantle one of the stingiest defences across Europe.

Bayern Munich vs Union Berlin team news 

Bayern Munich will be without their best centre-back Dayot Upamecano who is serving a one-match suspension. Right-back Noussair Mazraoui is also not in the reckoning, but Bayern have a capable replacement in Joao Cancelo. Besides that, Lucas Hernandez is out of the season with a knee injury sustained during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. They will also be without their captain Manuel Neuer who is out for the season with a broken leg, but Bayern have signed a capable replacement in Yann Sommer.

Bayern Munich Predicted Lineup: Sommer: Cancelo, Pavard, De Ligt, Davies: Kimmich, Goretzka: Sane, Musiala, Coman: Choupo-Moting

Meanwhile, Union Berlin have a fully fit squad, barring midfielder Andras Schafer who is out with a foot injury. This means Urs Fischer will name a strong lineup which means Frederik Ronnow will start in goals behind the three-person defence of Danilho Doekhi, Robin Knoche, and Diogo Leite. Captain Christopher Trimmel and Niko Gießelmann will be the wing-backs, while the trio of Aissa Laidouni, Rani Khedira, and Janik Haberer will start in the midfield. Kevin Behrens and Sheraldo Becker will start up front as the two forwards.

Union Berlin Predicted Lineup: Ronnow: Doekhi, Knoche, Leite; Gießelmann, Laidouni, Khedira, Haberer, Trimmel; Behrens, Becker

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Bayern Munich is a team filled with game changers, with several players from the bench also able to turn a match on their own. And while there l; league form might not be perfect, Bayern have a tendency to raise their game during important matches. And on current form, Kingsley Coman is their best player, scoring the most goals for them in the league in 2023. He has also been instrumental to their chances in the Champions League, and Julian Nagelsmann will be hoping for him to again be at his best on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Union Berlin are a team that lacks a world-class star but together become a cohesive unit that can go toe-to-toe with the best. So, it is hard to identify a game-changer, but if one had to pick, it has to be Sherlado Becker, who scored seven goals and provided four assists.

Bayern Munich vs Union Berlin predictions 

Bayern Munich are currently facing one of the toughest bids to their hegemony over the Bundesliga, and for the first time in a long time, it is coming from not one but two rivals. And this is what will have an immense effect on the title race. 

While Union Berlin have found a way to stifle their opponents, Bayern Munich are a different beast at their home stadium.

FootTheBall predicts a 3-1 win for Bayern Munich.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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