Union Berlin vs Sporting Braga
The two sides to have lost their opening Champions League games lock horns at the Olympiastadion as Union Berlin take on Sporting Braga in a bottom-table Group C encounter.
Union Berlin were moments away from pulling off a massive upset in their maiden Champions League outing as Jude Bellingham’s 95th-minute strike made the difference in a frustrating 1-0 away loss to Real Madrid last time out. Unfortunately for manager Urs Fischer, that disappointing result forms part of Union Berlin’s woeful five-match losing streak in all competitions, with four of those games seeing ‘Die Eisernen’ fail to get on the scoresheet. Fischer’s men will have a point to prove this midweek as they bid to arrest their longest losing run since March-May 2020. On the upside, the Germans are no strangers to upsetting Braga, as they progressed into last season’s Europa League knockouts at the Portuguese side’s expense, even though both sides won their home matches by an identical 1-0 scoreline.
In the meantime, Braga almost held Napoli winless in their Group C curtain-raiser before Sikou Niakate’s late own goal fired the Italians to a 2-1 win at the iconic Estadio Municipal. But Artur Jorge’s men have since gone from strength to strength on the domestic front, thrashing Estrela and Boavista by an aggregate score of 8-3 whilst netting precisely four goals on both occasions. They’ll need to replicate those free-scoring records in Berlin to bolster their hopes of taking home only their third win on their last 11 continental travels (W2, D2, L6), spreading across three campaigns. Even if they go down, they’ll likely keep this match-up competitive, considering just one of their six defeats during that sequence yielded a multi-goal margin at full-time.