Union host Bayern in unlikely top of the table Bundesliga clash



Thu, 01 Sep 2022 - 12:33 GMT


Thu, 01 Sep 2022 - 12:33 GMT

 Bayern Munich players applaud their fans after the match REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files

Bayern Munich players applaud their fans after the match REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files

(Reuters) - Union Berlin host champions Bayern Munich on Saturday in a classic David versus Goliath battle for top spot in the Bundesliga.

Swiss coach Urs Fischer's Union may only have a few years of Bundesliga experience and operate on a fraction of their opponents' annual budget but his team have now gone 11 games without defeat, stretching into last season.

With their 10 points from four games -- as many as leaders Bayern -- they have set a club record for their best season start and their run comes on the back of a strong previous campaign that saw them finish fifth, narrowly missing out on a Champions League spot.

Union this season have picked up where they left off and after firing six goals past hosts Schalke 04 last week they have now scored 11 in their four league games -- another club record -- with Sheraldo Becker joint top scorer in the Bundesliga with four.

Only Bayern have scored more goals in the league so far with 16 but following a powerful first three games they slipped up last week with a draw against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

They did bounce back in midweek with a 5-0 demolition of third-tier Viktoria Cologne in their German Cup first round on Wednesday with coach Julian Nagelsmann rotating his squad.

He now has even more options with Leon Goretzka scoring in the Cup on his comeback from injury.

"We are trying to bring all players to one level so that we can choose and change accordingly," Nagelsmann said. "I want to pick and choose things from players without having any drop off in performance."

Bayern are obviously favourites against Union, having expanded their attacking options following the departure of top scorer Robert Lewandowski.

With 26 goals in six games across all competitions so far this season few would bet against their awe-inspiring attack that includes Sadio Mane, Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Mueller and Mathys Tel.

But Union, who have yet to beat Bayern in the Bundesliga, hope their own fairytale run continues.

"You have the impression that it's a bit of a fairytale and I need to pinch myself now and again," Union sports director Oliver Ruhnert told SportBild magazine.

"There were a lot of people who said that after our promotion (in 2019) there would be a year of holiday and then we'd go straight down again."



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