The Bundesliga campaigners and the Premier League newbies will lock horns in what is the unofficial farewell game for the celebrated Nigeria international
Super Eagles striker Taiwo Awoniyi will be the star of the show when Nottingham Forest trade tackles with Union Berlin in a preseason friendly at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in Berlin on Saturday.
That stadium is the traditional home of Union Berlin, and until July 1, it was the playground of former Liverpool man, Awoniyi.
Awoniyi left Anfield last summer to join Union Berlin for a club-record fee and soon became the darling of many Berliners.
The 2013 FIFA under-17 World Cup winner scored 15 Bundesliga goals to power the Iron Ones to qualify for the Europa League.
Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest had seen enough of the former Mouscron loanee to be convinced he is the man to lead their survival challenge next season.
And the Reds wasted little time breaking their €20.50 million transfer record to get Awoniyi and commit him to a five-year contract.
Agreed in that deal is this unofficial farewell game that will take Awoniyi back to the stadium where he finally made his European breakthrough.
The encounter will also serve as a rehearsal for Union Berlin’s DFB Cup clash at Chemnitzer FC on the first of August.
Man of the moment
Awoniyi has spent the last three weeks in England, and Union Berlin fans, players, and officials cannot wait to reunite with the Nigerian forward.
“I’m curious what Taiwo has learned in Nottingham in the few weeks. Nottingham has invested well in the transfer market,” German centre-back Robin Knoche said, as per N-TV.
“And I’m also pleased about the personal touch that we can fight another duel with Taiwo Awoniyi. We want to get a good feeling for the cup game in Chemnitz.”
Union Berlin manager Urs Fischer guided Awoniyi to score 25 goals in 65 competitive games for the Irons over the past two years.
And the 56-year-old Swiss tactician has nice words to say about the Super Eagles star.
“I’m always happy to see Taiwo. He was extremely important for our game,” said Fischer.
Awoniyi was on parade as Nottingham Forest defeated Union’s city rivals Hertha BSC 3-1 on Wednesday.
And the 24-year-old will look to show his former teammates what he has learnt in England since his departure.