Two sides in the top three of their respective leagues will battle it out in one of the ties of the round in the Europa League play-off first leg with Union Berlin turning out to be the surprise package across Europe this campaign.
It's been an incredible trajectory for Union over the past year. A fifth-placed finish last season saw them get into the Europa League for 2022/23, and after finishing second in their group, they now head into this just one point behind Bayern Munich after 20 games. No side in Germany has run Bayern this close for a number of years and after registering a sensational 2-1 win at the Red Bull Arena against RB Leipzig, fans really are starting to believe that this upset could be on.
Janik Haberer scored once more for Union in the trip to Leipzig, as Robin Knoche's penalty won it from behind after a first half goal from the home team. Urs Fischer's side have now gone on to win all six games since the resumption of football in Germany, beating Hoffenheim 3-1, Werder Bremen 2-1, Hertha Belin 2-0, Wolfsburg 2-1, Mainz 2-1 and Leipzig just last Saturday - only Borussia Dortmund can match this form since the World Cup.
Union's one-point gap on Bayern is also matched with the most wins in the league alongside Dortmund, having won 13 games compared to Bayern's 12. What's more, Union have lost four times compared to Bayern's three with just 35 goals compared to their 59.
This will be the first meeting between Ajax and Union Berlin. Ajax are currently in unbeaten in four games against Bundesliga opposition, which is a record barely anyone across Europe can match. They drew twice with Bayern Munich in 2018/19 and went on to beat Borussia Dortmund last season in the Champions League across two group games. All six of Union's games in the Europa League have ended 1-0, winning their last four and losing the first two.
No team has scored more than once in any of the Bundesliga side's last eight games with them scoring six of their own and conceding three. Ajax Are coming into this one after beating Waalwijk 3-1, as Brian Brobbey, Jurrien Timber and Mohammed Kudus all scored a goal each. They do, however, remain third in the Eredivisie.
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