Match Time：1/14/2021 03:45 Thursday (GMT+8)
Holstein Kiel entertain Bayern Munich in DFB-Pokal on Wednesday, with the two sides meeting for the first time in history.
Holstein Kiel have never competed in the Bundesliga, so it is an almighty occasion for them to take on the reigning European and German champions.
Holstein Kiel did come close to gaining promotion to Germany's top flight in the 2017-18 campaign, though, after finishing third in the 2.Bundesliga. However, they lost 4-1 on aggregate to Wolfsburg in the relegation playoff.
The Storks do have some fairly recent pedigree in this competition, too, having reached the quarter-final of DFB-Pokal in the 2011-12 campaign, beating Energie Cottbus, Duisburg and Mainz 05 along the way. However, they were perhaps unfortunate to be drawn against Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund side, losing 4-0 in a predictably one-sided affair as Klopp's Dortmund went on to win the domestic double.
Ole Werner's side are currently third in Germany's second tier, sitting just one point behind league leaders Hamburger SV. The 32-year-old made some shrewd moves in the most recent transfer market, bringing in players with Bundesliga experience in the shape of Fin Bartels and Joshua Mees, who have both hit the ground running at their new club.
It is a massively tall order for Holstein Kiel to compete against the Bavarians, but they will take solace from the way their forthcoming opponents are defending at the moment.
Indeed, having taken a 2-0 lead at Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday evening via Robert Lewandowski's penalty and Leon Goretzka's tidy finish, Hansi Flick's side looked like extending their lead at the top of the Bundesliga.
However, Jonas Hofmann's brace ensured the two sides headed into the half-time interval level, with Florian Neuhaus sealing a huge victory for the hosts with a superb strike after the break.
Indeed, Flick will be concerned with the amount of goals and chances his defence is conceding, with Bayern failing to keep a domestic clean sheet since thrashing Eintracht Frankfurt on 24 October.
The Bavarians should have far too much offensive quality for their forthcoming second tier opponents regardless, but if they are to have a serious chance of replicating last season's incredible treble, they must iron out their defensive issues.
Holstein Kiel DFB-Pokal form: W
Holstein Kiel form (all competitions): WWWWLD
Bayern Munich DFB-Pokal form: W
Bayern Munich form (all competitions): WDWWWL
Holstein Kiel will be without Noah Awuku due to an Achilles tendon injury, but otherwise Werner appears to have a full squad to choose from.
The likes of Bartels, Mees and Lee Jae-sung have been in excellent form recently, and will be chomping at the bit to prove their quality against the most formidable of opponents.
Bayern, meanwhile, are missing Serge Gnabry due to a knee injury, with youngsters Joshua Zirkzee and Tanguy Nianzou also unavailable.
Flick is likely to rotate his side, with the likes of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bouna Sarr and Marc Roca handed opportunities to impress.
Holstein Kiel possible starting lineup:
Gelios; Dehm, Wahl, Thesker, Van den Bergh; Mees, Bieler, Meffert, Lee, Bartels; Serra
Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Sarr, Boateng, Alaba, Hernandez; Roca, Tolisso; Coman, Musiala, Coman; Choupo-Moting
Holstein Kiel 1-4 Bayern Munich