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Union Berlin is a Bargain Pick vs Shorthanded Leipzig

Berlin Defend Home Field With Vigor

With both sides looking to shake off losses, RB Leipzig will make the short trip to meet Union Berlin Friday.

Despite not having a road win to their name this season, RB Leipzig are favored at -115 by the latest soccer odds. Four points outside of the top four, Jesse Marsch’s side could use the points following consecutive defeats.

union berlin vs rb soccer matchday 14 2021
Gerrit van Keulen / ANP / AFP

Game: 1. FC Union Berlin vs RB Leipzig
Location: Stadion An der Alten Försterei, Berlin, Germany
Date/Time: Friday, 2:30 p.m. ET

Team Goal Line Moneyline Over/Under Team Total
Union Berlin +½ (+105) +310 2½ (-120o) ½ -220o/+175u
RB Leipzig -½ (-115) -110 2½ (Evu) 1½ -120o/-110u
Draw +265

Union Berlin vs RB Leipzig Betting Preview


As relative newcomers to the Bundesliga, these teams have only met four times in the top division. RB Leipzig won the first three meetings, but Union Berlin managed a 2-1 home win in May.

Down 1-0 after 55 minutes, Union came back and Max Kruse’s dramatic stoppage=time winner gave them their first Bundesliga win over Leipzig. The reverse fixture was similarly close as Leipzig won, 1-0, thanks to an Emil Forsberg goal.

Could Union Challenge for the Top Four?

Last time out, Union Berlin lost to Eintracht Frankfurt on one of the last kicks of the game. Frankfurt’s Evan Ndicka dashed Union’s hopes of getting a point on the road and made it a 2-1 game in the 95th minute.

Union are still very much in the top-four race and are currently in sixth place on 20 points. They’ve been a great pick for betting online at home, with just one loss in seven matches.

Taking part in the group stage of European competition for the first time in their history this season, Berlin defeated Maccabi Haifa, 1-0, in the Conference League last week.

They’re currently in third place in Group E, which means they’ll need a win over Slavia Prague in their last match to advance to the knockout stage. It’s a significant milestone for a club that only played their first-ever Bundesliga season two years ago.

Taiwo Awoniyi spent last season on-loan to Berlin from Liverpool, scoring 13 goals. Signed permanently over the summer, he’s become even more prolific, already with eight goals to his name. In Christopher Trimmel and Max Kruse, Union have crucial veteran leadership and key contributors.

COVID, Injuries and Coaching Transition Impacting Leipzig

In a bounce-back opportunity following a 2-0 loss to Hoffenheim, RB Leipzig dropped their match at home to Leverkusen, 3-1. It continued a disappointing trend for Leipzig, who have been one of the Bundesliga’s most inconsistent soccer picks this season.

They did comprehensively defeat Club Brugge, 5-0, in the Champions League last week, though are already eliminated from knockout contention. Pressure is starting to build on the American head coach, Marsch as Leipzig have struggled to regain the form they had under Julian Nagelsmann.

Because Marsch has built up a lot of good will managing other Red Bull-affiliated clubs, he’ll probably have a decent chunk of time to right the ship. The fact that Leipzig have failed to win a single Bundesliga game on the road in six tries is concerning, though.

To make matters worse, multiple Leipzig players have tested positive for COVID, including goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi along with center backs Willi Orban and Mohamed Simakan. Outbreaks have placed the state of Saxony in partial lockdown and Leipzig will play their Champions League fixture vs Manchester City behind closed doors.

Dani Olmo, arguably Leipzig’s most important player, has been in the treatment room more than he’s been on the pitch this season and will be out until Christmastime. Yussuf Poulsen, another attacking threat, has a torn muscle fiber and is also out.

So, all of that’s to say that Leipzig’s slow start can only partially be put on Marsch’s shoulders. There have been good results, like a win over Dortmund, but they’ve been few and far between.


Even without it completely full due to COVID, Union have one of the best stadium atmospheres of any Bundesliga club. They’ve only lost to Bayern Munich in Berlin this season and are +315 underdogs in the sportsbook vs RB Leipzig.

That represents great value, especially since Leipzig have no road wins, multiple players recovering from COVID, key injuries and a lack of continuity. RB Leipzig are a dangerous side but I think Union can keep them at bay here and pull off the win.

Pick: Union Berlin (+310)

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