Union Saint-Gilloise to meet Union Berlin again in Europa League round of 16

Union Saint-Gilloise to meet Union Berlin again in Europa League round of 16
Credit: Bruno Fahy/Belga.

Union Saint-Gilloise will face Union Berlin in the Europa League's round of 16, for a second time this season. The Brussels side already faced the German team in the competition's group stage, with both clubs registering a victory against the other.

At Friday's draw for the Europa League's knockout round, many of Union Saint-Gilloise's faithful fanbase would have been looking forward to a trip to Rome, Seville or even Manchester to face some of European football's biggest names. Instead, it will be a second trip to Germany for the Saint-Gilles faithful after being drawn against Union Berlin.

The German club are currently flying high at the top of the Bundesliga – and are currently level on points with longstanding leaders Bayern Munich. In Europe, they finished behind Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League group stages, who qualified top of the group.

It is unusual for teams to play each other directly after the group stages, but the Europa League has a play-off round where those who finish second have a play-off against the teams that finished third in the Champions League. As Union Berlin finished in second place, they had to beat Ajax to reach the round of 16, before being drawn once again against Union Saint-Gilloise, who qualified directly. Union Berlin beat Dutch champions Ajax  3-1 victory on Thursday.

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The first leg of the tie will take place in Berlin on 9 March, with the return leg to be played at Union's local rivals Anderlecht's home stadium a week later on 16 March. Union Saint-Gilloise have taken the controversial decision to play at Anderlecht's stadium due to their own Joseph Marien Stadium not meeting European regulations with regard to size and capacity, after having played the initial stages in Leuven.

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