Real Madrid will aim to continue their flawless Champions League group stage as they travel to Germany to take on Union Berlin, who are striving to clinch a Europa League spot by securing a win and hoping for a Braga loss against Napoli.
Union Berlin, led by Nenad Bjelica, recently achieved their first victory since August in a 3-1 win against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Despite a challenging Champions League campaign, they secured a draw against Braga and are determined to clinch a Europa League berth with a victory over Real Madrid.
However, Union Berlin has struggled in the Champions League, collecting only two points from five matches, leaving them at the bottom of the group.
Despite this, their recent home European record could bolster their confidence against Real Madrid, who have faced difficulties against German sides in away fixtures.
Real Madrid has already secured their position as group winners with five consecutive victories. Despite this, their last match against Union Berlin saw them narrowly clinch a win with a late Jude Bellingham goal.
Los Blancos, following a draw with Real Betis in La Liga, lead the domestic table but face an arduous schedule before the winter break.
They aim to achieve a record-equalling sixth win in the group stage, displaying their intent to maintain their Champions League dominance.
Union Berlin (Champions League): L-L-L-D-D
Union Berlin (All Competitions): L-D-L-D-D-W
Real Madrid (Champions League): W-W-W-W-W
Real Madrid (All Competitions): W-W-W-W-W-D
Union Berlin will be without Danilho Doekhi due to a leg injury, while Sheraldo Becker remains a doubt. Kevin Behrens and Robin Gosens are expected to lead the attack.
Real Madrid’s squad is depleted due to injuries to several key players like Vinicius Junior, Eduardo Camavinga, and Thibaut Courtois. Ancelotti might opt to rest Bellingham, considering his recent injury concerns.
Nacho, Kepa Arrizabalaga, and Dani Ceballos might feature in the starting XI, providing some rotation.
Union Berlin: (4-5-1)
Juranovic, Knoche, Leite, Roussillon;
Volland, Tousart, Khedira, Laidouni, Gosens;
Real Madrid: (4-3-1-2)
Vazquez, Rudiger, Nacho, Mendy;
Valverde, Ceballos, Modric;
Prediction: Union Berlin 1-2 Real Madrid
Union Berlin, buoyed by recent results, might pose a challenge, especially considering Real Madrid’s injury-hit squad. However, Real Madrid’s depth and quality could secure them a narrow victory and maintain their perfect group stage record.