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Coach: Union have to play 'extraterrestrially' to beat Leverkusen

Union Berlin coach Nenad Bjelica gives an interview prior to the start of the German Bundesliga soccer match between 1. FC Union Berlin and VfL Wolfsburg at An der Alten Foersterei. Andreas Gora/dpa

Union Berlin coach Nenad Bjelica has said it will take an "extraterrestrial" effort to hand runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen a first defeat all season on Saturday.

Union's shirt sponsors are streaming service Paramount+, and the team will be playing in special shirts advertising the final episodes of the Star Trek science fiction series.

Bjelica referred to this when he looked ahead at the match against Leverkusen whose unbeaten run across all competitions is 40 matches.

"Maybe we have to play extraterrestrially to beat Leverkusen. Like the Star Trek actors. I'm confident that my team can do it," he said.

"We have had good performances and great games at home. We hope that Leverkusen will feel this."

Bjlica said it was very tempting to hand Leverkusen a first season defeat but added: "What is most tempting is getting the three points."

Union have recovered from a disastrous start to rank 12th. They are nine points clear of the danger zone but not yet mathematically safe with seven games left.

Union have beaten Leverkusen only once in their previous nine top flight duels, at home in 2021.

Leverkusen are 13 points clear at the top and closing in on a maiden league title. If they avoid defeat on Saturday they will equal Bayern Munich's Bundesliga record of going unbeaten in the first 28 games of a season.