In Europe’s elite competition, Real Madrid are the undisputed kings who reign supreme here. Los Blancos have played the most games, had the most wins, scored the most goals, had the highest win rate in Champions League history, and are the side with the most titles (14). On the other hand, Union Berlin is in their debut campaign, and many are expecting less from them.
Union Berlin’s form has cooled off after a decent start to the season. The Berlin side won their opening two games against Mainz and Darmstadt before losing the next two to RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg. The form going into their first-ever Champions League game at the Bernabeu needed to be better, and they fell 1-0 to the Spanish giants before they continued their abysmal winless run in their next set of games. Urs Fischer’s side have become a shadow of themselves; as of the time of writing, the Iron Ones are on a 10-game losing streak across all competitions.
The German side has not won any game since August and went through September and October without a point or a win. From their opening three UEFA Champions League games, Union Berlin could not secure an issue and will be knocked out after the first round.
Real Madrid, who failed to win the Spanish La Liga last season, have shown great character this season, and summer signing Jude Bellingham has been at the forefront of it all. Los Blancos won their first five league games of the season. They began the season with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. Rodrygo got the opening goal, while Bellingham scored his first goal in Spanish Football after just 36 minutes to secure the win. Carlo Ancelotti’s side followed that win with a 3-1 win over Almeria. After going a goal down, goals from Jude Bellingham (brace) and Vinicius secured the second win of the season. It was tough against Celta Vigo, but Real Madrid came away with a 1-0 win courtesy of Bellingham’s goal.
Since the opening day, Real Madrid have not kept a clean sheet, and that run continued when they were down by a goal against Getafe in their first game at the Bernabeu. However, goals from Joselu and Bellingham turned things around once again.
Bellingham was rightly voted the La Liga player of the month of August, while Real Madrid remained top with their 100% record intact. After the international break, Real Sociedad also gave them a scare like Getafe. Still, the Spanish giants found a way again through Valverde and Joselu in the absence of Vinicius Junior. Real Madrid then saw their winning run snapped as they lost to Atletico Madrid in the derby 3-1.
That setback would not trouble the momentum of Carlo Ancelotti’s men as they went ahead to win six of their next seven games in all competitions to get their campaign back on track. In that run, there were wins over Napoli and El Clasico bragging rights, which Bellingham stole the show again with a brace.
This is Real Madrid’s 27th consecutive Champions League campaign; they last failed to reach the knockout stages in 1996/97. Being Union Berlin’s debut season in the Champions League. Union is the 15th different German side to feature in the Champions League, the most from any nation.
Real Madrid sit perfect after three games with victories over Union Berlin, Napoli, and Braga, extending their brilliant record in the competition. Real Madrid have beaten an incredible 107 teams in the European Cup/Champions League, more than any other club in the competition’s history.
The epic match at Olympiastadion in Berlin kicks off on Tuesday 12th December, at 9 PM UK time, and it will be shown live on TNT Sports, with coverage starting from around 8 PM.
Regardless of the state or form of Union Berlin, this is a special night for them as they play host to the competition’s most successful side at the 75,000-capacity stadium. Real Madrid fans have been doing great things this season, and their fans will be pleased to be here for this one.
Getting tickets for Union Berlin vs Real Madrid tickets should be easy despite the magnitude of this game. Hence, you are advised to search ticket reselling sites should they be expectedly sold out on each club’s channels.
The union needs ideas and has failed to pick any point in the last two months. They usually play with three at the back and should keep it up. Following the disciplinary action against him, Datro Fofana should return to the squad for this contest, while András Schäfer (foot) remains the side’s long-term absentee.
Union Berlin: Ronnow; Doekhi, Knoche, Leite; Trimmel, Kral, Gosens; Laidouni, Haberer; Behrens, Fofana.
Don Carlo is fond of rotating his squad and might do that again. However, Kepa, Alaba, and Rudiger are all expected to start in the backline. The out-of-form Vinicius Junior should line up in attack alongside Rodrygo once again. Meanwhile, Éder Militão, Thibaut Courtois, and Tchouameni are all ruled out from the match.
Real Madrid: Kepa; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos; Bellingham; Rodrigo, Joselu.
Union Berlin is in the worst state to face off with the perennial champions of this competition. Because this game will also be played away from their home ground at the Olympiastadion, it becomes even more difficult to think they can get anything from this match.
Real Madrid has relied on Jude Bellingham’s goalscoring prowess – 13 goals from 13 games – a lot this season, and he has been crucial for them. In an inconsequential match like this, Madrid should be fine and get the desired result.
Real Madrid might be struggling to keep clean sheets this season, but they have been able to score in all their games this season, and that run should continue in this trip to the German capital.