Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka has warned Man City to underestimate the German side at their peril on Wednesday night.
The Bundesliga outfit – in apparent disarray less than a fortnight ago – have shown signs of life with back-to-back wins ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League Group D clash with City at Borussia-Park.
Monchengladbach had lost their previous six matches in all competitions, a dismal sequence which prompted coach Lucien Favre to quit.
Their new positive feeling has come since under-23s coach Andre Schubert took temporary charge. Monchengladbach remain outsiders in a group featuring the expensively-assembled City, Serie A champions
Juventus and Europa League winners Sevilla, but Xhaka is confident of making an impression.
The Switzerland international said: “It is always good to win games, of course. It gives you confidence.
“We are ready for this match. Manchester City have great potential and are probably the strongest team we will be playing against, but we are confident and we will give our best.
“We can’t be afraid. We have got to play, put pressure on them. I doubt if Manchester City even know all our players but I am sure once the game is over they will know plenty of us.”
Both sides are looking to get off the mark after defeats in their opening fixtures. Monchengladbach were thrashed 3-0 by Sevilla in Favre’s penultimate match, while City were beaten 2-1 by Juventus and have since gone off the boil. Prior to facing the Italians, City had won five in succession without conceding, but they now head to Germany having lost three in four in all competitions.
They also have injury concerns with key players Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Yaya Toure among a large group to have struggled prior to the game.
Interim boss Schubert said: “City want to concentrate on the Champions League because they know how important it is. All the previous games are not really relevant.
“It’s the same for us – we lost five in a row then we won against Augsburg. This is a different situation so you have to go into it with a different way of thinking.
“Manchester City are a very good team. They have good players, of course, but they are not unbeatable.
“We qualified through a great season and we have our own qualities. We know what our strengths are, and we know what their weaknesses are and we will try to stifle them wherever possible. We will also play to our strengths.”
Monchengladbach, beaten by Liverpool in the 1977 final, finished third in the Bundesliga last season and are returning to Europe’s elite competition for the first time in 37 years.
Schubert said: “It is a celebration day for us as Borussia play in the Champions League again. We’ll play for 90 minutes and give everything we can.”