Augsburg manager Markus Weinzierl has made it clear that his side will have to find a way to cage Nigerian forward Taiwo Awoniyi to stand any chance of getting a positive result in their Bundesliga faceoff this weekend.
Union Berlin, with the in-form Awoniyi in their side, will host struggling Augsburg at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Saturday.
The former Nigerian youth international is why the Iron Ones presently have five points and occupy the eighth position on the Bundesliga table after matchday three.
Union has managed five goals in three league games this term, but Awoniyi has three of those, emerging as the club’s most influential player at this early stage of the season.
Only Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski (five) has scored more than Awoniyi, with the former Liverpool star levelled with highly-rated Borussia Dortmund ace Erling Haaland.
The 24-year-old rested during the international break after he was not included in the Super Eagles squad that claimed victories over Liberia and Cape Verde during the FIFA World Cup qualifying series.
The ex-Liverpool man has struck a brilliant partnership with German star Max Kruse, and manager Urs Fischer is likely to unleash both of them on an Augsburg side with just one point and eight goals conceded in three games this term.
It’s a source of worry for Augsburg boss Weinzierl, who could have a couple of his first-choice defenders unavailable, including one-time NFF interest Felix Uduokhai.
And the 46-year-old manager has confessed he is working on ways to keep the two flying forwards quiet all game for his charges to stand a chance at victory.
“Union is a hot place,” Weinzierl said, as per Augsburger Allgemeine.
“We can expect a great atmosphere and a team that has developed over the years.”
“When you play internationally, that speaks for the quality, and with Taiwo Awoniyi and Max Kruse, you have two very good strikers. They often make the difference; they have to be taken out of the game.”
Awoniyi has found the back of the net in each of Union Berlin’s league matches this season against Bayer Leverkusen, Hoffenheim, and Borussia Moenchengladbach.
The 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup winner has notched two other goals in two UEFA Europa Conference League games.