Hertha Berlin striker Davie Selke has vowed that he will celebrate if he finds the net against his former club, RB Leipzig, when the sides meet at the Red Bull Arena on Sunday evening (kick-off: 18:00 CET/17:00 GMT).
Selke joined the Bundesliga’s Old Lady from Leipzig this summer after two seasons in the former East. The 22-year-old, who was part of Germany’s 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship-winning squad, helped Leipzig to promotion in 2015/16 and then to second place in the Bundesliga last term.
“I’ll definitely celebrate [if I score this weekend],” Selke told Bild. “Only Werder Bremen [where Selke made his professional debut in 2013] have earned the privilege of me not celebrating a goal against them.”
Watch: Selke scored his first Bundesliga goal for Hertha against Wolfsburg on Matchday 11
While it might seem presumptuous to be discussing scoring prior to a game, Selke has hit the ground running in the capital in recent weeks, netting six goals in his last 13 games after overcoming an ankle injury that kept him out of action until October.
“It’s important to feel the coach has confidence in you,” said Selke of his current good run. “If you want to keep developing as a footballer, then you have to be playing. I’m just desperate to repay the faith Pal Dardai and his coaching staff have placed in me by scoring and setting up goals.”
Even with Selke in a purple patch in front of goal and his side on a four-game unbeaten run away from home, Leipzig present as stiff a test as any in the league for Hertha: the Berliners have lost every Bundesliga game against their local rivals (only 90 miles separate the sides).
One of those Leipzig victories was inspired by Selke last season, the striker scoring twice in a 4-1 win at Hertha’s Olympiastadion on Matchday 32, a result that secured RB a place in this term's UEFA Champions League.
Watch: Selke was on target for Leipzig against Hertha on Matchday 32 last season!
Indeed, the striker admitted that he remains in touch with several Leipzig players and has been following his former colleagues’ domestic and European progress closely this term.
“I’m still in touch with Dominik Kaiser, Yussuf Poulsen, Diego Demme and Fabio Coltorti,” Selke said. “We used to spend a lot of time together in the evenings. Yussi [Poulsen] in particular is a good friend. We shared a room and still get on really well.
“I’ve followed a few of their European games on television, most recently Monaco and Besiktas. Leipzig made a good impression, considering it was their first year [at that level].
“At home they’ve hardly dropped any points all season. As a unit, they constantly put you under huge pressure. We know it’ll be a tough game.”