On Saturday, October 30th, Bundesliga minnows Union Berlin take on the most successful German team in history, Bayern Munich, in what promises to be an enthralling encounter.
Having never won the German league title, or the German Cup, or any European title whatsoever, the Berliners are no match for the all-mighty Bayern, the team that has won the most German championships, the most cups, and the most international trophies for Germany.
However, the Iron Ones retain slim hopes of claiming a famous victory over their illustrious foes in their game week ten clash because of their stunning form on home soil and the brilliance of their Nigerian import, Taiwo Awoniyi.
Signed permanently in the summer from Liverpool after an impressive loan spell, Awoniyi has been by some distance Union Berlin’s best player this term.
And the 2013 U17 World Cup winner will likely be crucial to any positive result his side secures in the presence of over 16,000 spectators at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
With his pace and power ever so crucial to the system manager Urs Fischer deploys at Union Berlin, Awoniyi has shipped in seven (more than half) of the 13 goals the Irons have hit in the Bundesliga this season.
Only Bayern Munich’s goal machine Robert Lewandowski (10), Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland (9), and Bayer Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick (8) have scored more than the Nigerian forward.
Awoniyi’s excellent goal return is one of the reasons the minnows are flying high in the fifth position on the league table with a quarter of the campaign gone.
The former Frankfurt loanee has been excellent in other competitions as well, having found the net four times in continental assignments and one in the cup.
The Nigerian’s solitary strike in the cup arrived in midweek when he came off the bench to net Union’s second goal en route a 3-1 win at Waldhof Mannheim after 120 minutes to book their place in the DFB Pokal last 16.
That latest Awoniyi goal was his seventh in six consecutive matches, his career’s best unbroken scoring run, and it could present him with the momentum and confidence to face and outwit any foe.
Still, Bayern are the overwhelming favourites ahead of the encounter, with the reigning German champions winning seven of their nine league matches, including the 4-0 thrashing of Hoffenheim at the Allianz Arena last weekend, even in the absence of manager Julian Nagelsmann.
Besides boasting the best striker in the division and possibly in Europe, Bayern also have the best away record in the Bundesliga.
Union Berlin, though, will prove a tough nut to crack, especially after remaining unbeaten on their home ground in their last 21 games, the league’s best unbeaten home record.
They know Bayern are not perfect, following the champions’ 5-0 thrashing at Borussia Mönchengladbach in the German Cup in midweek.
A positive result against FC Hollywood is what Union Berlin have achieved before, as the Irons were the only side the men from Munich failed to beat last season (two draws).
And with an Awoniyi goal always a shot away, Union can aspire to stun Bayern and claim their first-ever league win over their more illustrious foes.