Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka has insisted his side will go on the front foot in their mouth-watering tie at home to FC Bayern München on Matchday 15.
Gladbach were 3-1 down at one point against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim last weekend, but fought back to earn a point with a powerful second-half display. The Foals are now undefeated in nine Bundesliga outings since Andre Schubert took charge of first team affairs, winning seven and drawing two in a streak that has lifted them to
Indeed, it is a sign of the confidence now coursing through the squad that Xhaka was unflinching when asked about the prospect of facing the Bundesliga leaders.
"Of course it'll be a different kind of match," said the 23-year-old. "But we'll get our chances in that game as well. We certainly won't be as open as we were against Hoffenheim but we're not going to play with ten men defending on the edge of the penalty area either. We're on a great run right now, as are Bayern themselves. It'll be a top-class game and we want to remain unbeaten next week, too."
'We want to win'
As a gritty defensive midfielder, Xhaka will play a crucial role in Gladbach's endeavours to do so, having successfully avoided earning a fifth yellow card of the season against Hoffenheim that would have ruled him out of the encounter. Boasting a pass completion rate of 85 per cent as well as a 56 per cent success rate in the tackle, his abilities will be needed more than ever at BORUSSIA-PARK on Saturday afternoon.
Yet despite Bayern's fearsome reputation – they are unbeaten in the Bundesliga in 2015/16 and have only conceded twice away from home – the fixture holds no fear for Xhaka: "We know Bayern have a lot of quality, there's no denying that. But we've got quality too. We've got no reason to be scared of them; we respect them but we'll look to get forward against Bayern too. We'll try to take our chances and we want to win."
Tellingly, when asked whether he expects the game to be as goal-filled as the meeting with Hoffenheim, Xhaka responded with a grin: "I wouldn't mind that… as long as we win 4-3 in the end!"