Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Union Berlin – prediction, team news, lineups


Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s DFB-Pokal clash between RB Leipzig and Union Berlin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In the first of two consecutive cup-and-league meetings, RB Leipzig and Union Berlin battle it out for a place in the DFB Pokal final at the Red Bull Arena on Wednesday.

The visitors head into the game on a run of two consecutive league wins against Die Roten Bullen and will be backing themselves to come away with the desired results once again and maintain their fairytale cup run.


Match preview

RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 2, 2022© Reuters

RB Leipzig continue to merit a place in next season’s Champions League as they visited the BayArena and picked up a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen last Saturday.

French forward Christopher Nkunku was at the heart of the action once again as he provided an assist for Dominik Szoboszlai, who fire home the only goal of the game in the 69th minute.

This was fresh off the back of securing their place in the Europa League semi-finals after Domenico Tedesco‘s side claimed a 2-0 second-leg victory over Atalanta to see off the Italian outfit 3-1 on aggregate.

Leipzig, who are currently unbeaten in 16 games across all competitions, now turn their attention to the DFB Pokal, where they will be seeking to progress to a third final in the last four years.

Die Roten Bullen have enjoyed a solid cup run so far, kicking off their title hunt with a 2-0 victory over Hansa Rostock on January 19 before cruising through the quarter-finals courtesy of a 4-0 victory at Hannover on March 2.

Leipzig, who are seeking a first major title since they were founded in 2009, now face the stern test of seeing off a Union Berlin side who they have failed to defeat in each of the last two meetings between the sides, losing 2-1 on both occasions.

RB Leipzig's Konrad Laimer celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 2, 2022© Reuters

Meanwhile, Union Berlin have once again been the dark horses in the Bundesliga as they find themselves in the mix for a top-four finish and a second consecutive appearance in European tournaments.

Urs Fischer‘s men head into Wednesday’s game fresh off the back of a comfortable 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt courtesy of first-half goals from Taiwo Awoniyi and Grischa Promel.

This was a third consecutive league victory for the Berlin-based club since the start of April, having picked up just one point across three games against Wolfsburg, Stuttgart and Bayern Munich respectively back in March.

Union Berlin, who are currently sixth in the Bundesliga standings with 47 points from 32 games, will look to carry this fine form into the DFB Pokal where they have enjoyed a stellar run and placed themselves on course for a first appearance since 2001.

Die Eisernen have won each of their three cup ties so far, brushing aside SV Waldhof Mannheim, Hertha Berlin and St. Pauli en route to setting up a mouthwatering semi-final clash against Leipzig.

With both sides also scheduled to lock horns in the Bundesliga on Sunday, Wednesday’s game promises to be a riveting contest as they will also look to set the pace for a potentially huge result in their hunt for a top-four finish.

RB Leipzig DFB-Pokal form:

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):

Union Berlin DFB-Pokal form:

Union Berlin form (all competitions):


Team News

Union Berlin's Taiwo Awoniyi celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 1, 2022© Reuters

Amadou Haidara remains out of contention for Leipzig after the Malian midfielder picked up a knee problem while on international duty against Tunisia back in March.

Yussuf Poulsen is a doubt for the hosts after the 27-year-old forward came off with a slight injury against Bayer Leverkusen over the weekend.

Christopher Nkunku, has caught the eye across Europe this season, registering 17 goals and 13 assists in the Bundesliga this season, and the French international will certainly be one to look out for.

As for Union Berlin, Keita Endo suffered a leg injury in the league game against Arminia Bielefeld back in February and is ruled out for Wednesday’s tie.

Nigerian forward Anthony Ujah is also set to sit out his fourth successive game after sustaining an injury following the game versus Bayern Munich on March 19.

The absence of first-choice goalkeeper Andreas Luthe is another huge blow for Die Eisernen as the 35-year-old German has also been out of action since picking up an injury in the aforementioned game.

Like Nkunku, Awoniyi has been a standout performer for Union Berlin this season, netting 13 goals in 27 league appearances so far and we expect the Nigerian forward to spearhead the attack once again.

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Klostermann, Orban, Gvardiol; Mukiele, Laimer, Kampl, Angelino; Szoboszlai; Nkunku, Silva

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Ronnow; Jaeckel, Knoche, Baumgartl; Trimmel, Haraguchi, Khedira, Promel, Giesselmann; Becker, Awoniyi


SM words green background

We say: RB Leipzig 1-0 Union Berlin

Union Berlin have carried on their fine league form into the cup, where they will be looking to make a first final appearance since 2001. However, with three finals appearances in the last four seasons, Leipzig head into the game as clear favourites to come out victorious. We expect a cagey affair on Wednesday with Leipzig going through to the final, given the gulf in quality and experience between the sides.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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