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On Super Saturday in the Bundesliga Niklas Süle, Emre Can, Jude Bellingham and Julian Ryerson of Borussia Dortmund will be out to get the better of Janik Haberer, Josip Juranovic, Rani Khedira and Kevin Behrens of Union Berlin. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
On Super Saturday in the Bundesliga Niklas Süle, Emre Can, Jude Bellingham and Julian Ryerson of Borussia Dortmund will be out to get the better of Janik Haberer, Josip Juranovic, Rani Khedira and Kevin Behrens of Union Berlin. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund vs. Union Berlin: a Super Saturday special

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Borussia Dortmund face Union Berlin on Matchday 27. With the two sides gunning for the title, their Super Saturday showdown promises to be a thriller.

bundesliga.com looks at how the two teams compare this season...

What happened last time?

Going into their Matchday 10 meeting in the capital, Union were sitting pretty at the top of the table after a fine start to the season. Dortmund were fourth - four points back from the early pacesetters.

The game went to form, with the hosts striking twice inside 21 minutes before sewing up a 2-0 victory. Janik Haberer was the star of the show that day, first opening the scoring after eight minutes and then doubling his team's advantage 13 minutes later.

Watch: The top four all meet on Super Saturday

That result moved Union four points clear in first, while Dortmund slipped to eighth. BVB boss Edin Terzic left the Alten Försterei impressed by Union's intense style of play.

"They throw themselves into every challenge and are very, very aggressive," he said. "They help each other, support each other, never leave a teammate alone… you're generally hit by two or three challenges within a few seconds."

Terzic's counterpart Urs Fischer took great pride in this. "With this kind of physical commitment you give yourself a chance of beating any team," he said after the win.

What's happened since?

Union are currently third and four points off league leaders Bayern Munich, while Dortmund relinquished top spot last weekend - succumbing to the defending champions in Der Klassiker. Two points now separate the top two, with another two points between Dortmund and Union. Victory for the home side could see them regain the lead then, while defeat would result in the visitors jumping into second.

Watch: Gregor Kobel vs. Frederik Rönnow

BVB have been Europe's form team in 2023, with the loss to Bayern their first in the league since the turn of the year. Powered by England midfielder Jude Bellingham and the creativity of captain Marco Reus, they had chalked up nine wins and a draw from 10 Bundesliga outings prior to their Klassiker defeat. That means they have a league-high 28 points so far this year.

Union's form has been impressive since the bells chimed on 2022 as well, scoring seven wins, three draws and losing only once. That's earned them a total of 24 points, just behind Dortmund as the second best in Germany's top flight from 1 January onwards.

The movement between the two teams hasn't been restricted to switches in the league table. Julian Ryerson was on the left of Union's defence on Matchday 10 but he will now line up on the other side of the fence after being snapped up by Dortmund in the winter transfer window. The 25-year-old Norwegian represented Union 79 times in the Bundesliga and has settled quickly at the Signal Iduna Park, starting nine of 11 league games since joining the club.

His arrival has coincided with Dortmund's stunning recent run of form, and you can see why Fischer reluctantly applauded BVB on a shrewd piece of transfer business. "I congratulate Borussia Dortmund," he said after losing Ryerson. "They have brought in a really good full-back. Of course it doesn't suit us at all - but that's the way the business is."

Borussia Dortmund coach Edin Terzic (l.) can count on Norway international Julian Ryerson (r.), who moved from Union Berlin in the winter transfer window. - IMAGO/Laci Perenyi

A yellow-walled fortress

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Dortmund are particularly excellent in front of their home support, given their status as one of the best supported teams in world football. And the iconic Yellow Wall has enjoyed itself this term, with Dortmund winning more home games in 2022/23 (10) than any other team in the league.

They're currently on a seven-game winning streak on home soil, and their record against Union at the Signal Iduna Park is just as imperious. Across three previous league meetings in Dortmund - plus another two DFB Cup fixtures - the hosts have won every time. In the Bundesliga showdowns, Dortmund have scored 11 times and conceded just twice. Their 5-0 hammering of Union in 2019/20 - Union's debut season in the top tier of German football - remains a joint-record Bundesliga defeat for the men from Berlin.

Efficient visitors

The latest Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS were unfurled in time to showcase some brilliance at the back from Union on Matchday 26.

Watch: Union beat Dortmund in October

A late replacement for regular No.1 Frederik Rönnow, stand-in goalkeeper Lennart Grill made seven saves and emerged from the win over VfB Stuttgart with a goalkeeping efficiency rating of +1.5. That was the highest of the matchday - and the standard for others to follow from here on out.

Union were also highly proficient in attack against Stuttgart, despite going into the break goalless following a tame first 45. Fischer's side were clinical after the interval - converting both of their two big chances to secure a 3-0 win. That was despite them having had five fewer shots than their opponents and conceding 58 percent of possession.

Another positive sign for Union ahead of their trip to Dortmund is that their pacy forward Sheraldo Becker has ended a barren run. The visitors' leading goalscorer got his eighth of the season against Stuttgart - to go with four assists - while Kevin Behrens is now on six league goals after also scoring in that game.

History in the making

Both Dortmund and Union remain in contention to wrestle the Meisterschale away from Bayern, and ending the Bavarians' 10-year grip on the title would make for historic stuff.

Watch: The best Dortmund vs. Union goals

Dortmund are looking to end their decade-long wait to add to their fourth and fifth Bundesliga titles of 2010/11 and 2011/12. Union, meanwhile, are in just their fourth Bundesliga campaign and the mere fact they're in a title race will be registering with the historians. With 51 points after 26 rounds, they are just six points off last season's best-ever points tally. Even a top-four finish would be a success from here, given that it would propel them into the UEFA Champions League for the very first time.

With the two camps having so much riding on this season's Bundesliga campaign, it's sure to be a Super Saturday indeed.