Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin go up against Jude Bellingham and title hopefuls Borussia Dortmund on Super Sunday. - © DFL
Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin go up against Jude Bellingham and title hopefuls Borussia Dortmund on Super Sunday. - © DFL

5 reasons to watch Union Berlin vs. Borussia Dortmund


Union Berlin and Borussia Dortmund are currently two of Germany's best sides, and their top-four meeting promises to be an enthralling battle. To get you in the mood, bundesliga.com explains exactly why you should tune in on Super Sunday...

Click here for Union vs. Dortmund teams and LIVE blog!

1) Becker and Bellingham headline all-star cast

This clash is made all the more mouth-watering by the form of players from both sides. For leaders Union, Sheraldo Becker has been a revelation, already scoring six times and providing three assists in the Bundesliga this term. His dramatic improvement has coincided with the arrival of USA international Jordan, who has bagged three league goals himself while turning creator on two other occasions. Urs Fischer's side are nothing if not defensively solid, with central defenders Robin Knoche and new boy Diego Leite impressing, while fellow summer signing Janik Haberer has been a calming presence slightly further forward. And what more can be said about Christopher Trimmel, who continues to age like a delicious Austrian St. Laurent?

Watch: The Sheraldo Becker-Jordan connection

While Dortmund sold Erling Haaland at the end of last season, they held on to another of their star men, Bellingham. Many English eyes will be on the midfielder, especially given the brilliant form he has produced for Edin Terzic's men. The 19-year-old Kopa trophy candidate has played with composure and leadership that belie his age, making history with his goals in the UEFA Champions League. He's even worn the captain's armband.

Elsewhere, Julian Brandt has rediscovered his best form, while Marco Reus has been doing Marco Reus things. Mats Hummels, Nico Schlotterbeck, Salih Özcan and 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko continue to make all the right noises. And not forgetting US international playmaker Gio Reyna, who has the potential to be like a new signing following an injury-hit 2021/22.

Top teams fielding top players. What more can you ask for?

2) The return of Reus

If Bellingham gives Dortmund their energy, then Reus embodies their heart and soul. During his decade at the club, he has seen star players such as Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Haaland and Jadon Sancho come and go, yet the skipper remains. Not because of a lack of suitors – you'd be mad not to want Reus in your squad – but rather his unbreakable commitment to his hometown club.

When he went down in agony clutching his ankle in the first half of Dortmund's home Revierderby victory over Schalke last month, a collective gasp echoed around the stadium as the seriousness of the injury became apparent. It was feared Reus might even miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November, but those worries were allayed when it became clear he would be back well before then.

In his absence, Dortmund lost to Cologne and, while the Ruhr-based outfit recovered from a two-goal deficit to draw in dramatic fashion with Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker, they cannot do without him for long if they are to finally break the Bavarians' dominance. As it is, the 33-year-old should return to action, whether in the starting XI or from the bench, on Sunday as he continues his quest for a first Bundesliga winner's medal. Any Dortmund game without Reus is not quite the same, and to have him back will be a blessing. Well, not for Union, perhaps.

Watch: Marco Reus inspired BVB to victory at Union in February - the leaders' last home loss in the Bundesliga!

3) Battle at the top

The comeback against Bayern may not have ended up in a win, but it certainly felt like one for Dortmund – you only had to see the celebrations following Anthony Modeste's late equaliser to feel that. In the grander scheme of things, it was a massive point as it keeps Terzic's men level with the reigning Bundesliga champions and, as the head coach alluded to after the game, there should no longer be any questions about Dortmund's mentality. Injuries have littered the side's start to the campaign, but they have shown the necessary fight to challenge at the summit, and are only four points adrift after nine games.

While Union may be punching slightly above their weight as they sit top of the table, their imposing performances this term should not come as a surprise. Ever since their promotion in 2019, they have been on an upward trajectory: a 14th-placed finish in their first-ever Bundesliga season was followed by consecutive European qualifications. Many thought last year's fifth place would be their peak, but they are currently suggesting they could climb even further.

A top-four finish, at the very least, is a distinct possibility. That, therefore, gives Dortmund's visit extra importance. With so much on the line for both sides, even at this early stage of the campaign, the two teams will be desperate not to give so much as an inch.

Watch: The Bundesliga's top four in Super Sunday spectacle

4) Commanding defence vs. thrilling attack

Battles across the pitch will decide the match's outcome, and how Dortmund's central defensive pairing plan to deal with the double threat of Becker and Jordan will be particularly intriguing. Former Union loanee Schlotterbeck emerged as a star at Freiburg, and he has adapted well to life at his new club since his summer move, playing every minute possible in the Bundesliga so far. The 22-year-old has excelled alongside the experienced Hummels, who appears back to his best, and together they have already formed an intimidating partnership. Of the 557 Bundesliga minutes in which they have both been on the pitch this term, Dortmund have conceded just twice.

If anybody can cause the pair problems, though, it's Union's attacking duo. It's frightening how quickly they have built chemistry up front, and most of Die Eisernen's success has relied on the two linking up to create chances. While Becker had already shown glimpses of his ability following Max Kruse's departure to Wolfsburg, Jordan came to Germany as a relative unknown with big boots to fill after Union's top scorer last term, Taiwo Awoniyi, moved on to the English Premier League. Although he is not quite as dynamic as the Nigerian, he possesses a stronger aerial presence and is more of a team player, with Becker reaping the benefits.

The winner of this duel could well build the foundation for their side's victory.

Get Becker for you Fantasy team for 10.9M!

Mats Hummels (l.) is rolling back the years for Dortmund in 2022/23. - Sebastian Widmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

5) Goals, goals, goals

Since Union's promotion to the Bundesliga, these two sides have faced off on six occasions and have rarely disappointed. Across those encounters, there have been 23 goals, which works out at a rate of 3.83 per game. That is considerably higher than the 2.94 average we have seen across the division this term.

There were also plenty of goals in their two DFB Cup match-ups, both of which came shortly before the Berlin outfit's foray into the top flight. Seven strikes, to be exact, as Dortmund won on penalties in 2016 after a 1-1 draw before prevailing 3-2 after extra-time two years later. Die Schwarzgelben will look to draw on the positive experiences of their two league victories last season but, having beaten their more illustrious opponents twice before - including to land their first Bundesliga win back in August 2019 - Union will be confident of getting a result.