No sooner had 1. FC Union made historical past on the weekend than the Berlin Bundesliga facet needed to care for the current once more. Whereas the followers sang in regards to the league lead and the forthcoming crowning of the German champions after the 1-0 win in Cologne, they remained anchored within the right here and now within the dressing room and the catacombs. “We’ll benefit from the time we have now to take pleasure in, after which we’ll proceed,” mentioned striker Sven Michel on membership tv.
At Union, time is a uncommon commodity nowadays: there’s presently hardly any time to breathe in Köpenick. However that’s not because of the skinny air up there on the prime of the Bundesliga desk, however to the jam-packed schedule. The subsequent problem is just some days after the euphoric weekend. On Thursday, the Berliners will play their second group sport within the Europa League in opposition to the Portuguese membership SC Braga (21.00/dwell on RTL).
The anticipation is comprehensible. Portugal might not be fully new territory for German vacationers, however Braga continues to be far more unique than a lot of Union’s earlier journey locations in Europe. There are not any pasteis de nata in Prague and there’s no stadium in Helsinki, the place as an alternative of a grandstand there’s a enormous granite rock behind the aim. The stadium is more likely to be remembered effectively, particularly by older spectators, as video games from the 2004 European Championships had been additionally performed in Braga on the time.
The group appears extra possible than final yr
If it’s a must to journey to Brussels in November for the second leg at Union Saint-Gilloise, then the climate must also be far more disagreeable than in September in Portugal. This is likely one of the the reason why an estimated 2,600 supporters are touring with them, though after the draw they’d little or no time to prepare and finance the journey. They had been helped partially by the affiliation, which offered 5 constitution flights and even offered catering on the airport.
Followers will most likely comply with the crew to Portugal.
However past the vacation feeling, Union additionally has a job to do in Portugal. After the stunning 1-0 defeat by Belgian outsiders Union Saint-Gilloise within the first group sport, Union is underneath strain within the second sport. In Braga, the Berliners need to keep away from having to just accept the second chapter in a row and thus perhaps even backside of the desk in Group D.
That might be the nightmare situation. As a result of in contrast to final yr’s Convention League, this European Cup season is loaded with some expectations. Though 1. FC Union is now theoretically one step larger within the European pyramid, this time the group is far more possible than a yr in the past, and Union can be stronger and extra skilled. When you don’t get a minimum of third place and a return to the Convention League, that will be a minimum of a disappointment.
We now have to point out our league face.
Goalkeeper Lennart Grill
With a view to do this, it’s a must to shortly get again to the shape in Europe that fuels Union’s present hovering within the Bundesliga. “We now have to point out our league face,” demanded goalkeeper Lennart Grill on Tuesday.
It may be a little bit simpler in opposition to Braga than in opposition to the Belgians, who had parked the proverbial bus in entrance of the aim within the Alte Försterei and relied on their defence. The Portuguese, then again, are mentioned to be the strongest drive on this group and Union are at all times stronger when the Berliners don’t should resolve the sport themselves.
This time, nonetheless, they don’t need to make any excuses in Köpenick. “It was our fault that we misplaced to Saint-Gilloise. The counter-pressing wasn’t good, the duel habits wasn’t good,” says captain Christopher Trimmel. However the essential factor is the response to it. They confirmed that in opposition to Cologne and now need to consolidate that in Portugal. “Now we’ve regained our self-confidence and can play a greater sport once more on Thursday,” says Trimmel.