Bayern Munich's Mario Goetze has said he has no fear of returning to his former club Borussia Dortmund for Saturday's Bundesliga showdown, but expects a negative reaction from home fans.
The 21-year-old actioned a buy-out clause in his contract, announcing in April that he would join Bayern Munich for 37 million euros (US$50m) for this season and Saturday will be his first return to Dortmund's Westfalenstadion in the Bayern shirt.
"I am not scared of going back there," Goetze told magazine Sport Bild.
"However, I understand the fans who would rather see me in the Dortmund shirt.
"For me, it is just confirmation of what I achieved with the club.
"We have won titles together and even reached the Champions League final.
"When I now come back, I have to accept that not every reaction in the stadium will be positive, but that's part of football.
"I grew up in Dortmund, when to school there and took my first steps in football, playing many games for Borussia.
"There are positive memories, Dortmund is a big part of my past and I am looking forward to going back."
Bayern travel to Dortmund four-points clear in the league, while hosts Borussia have been decimated by injuries with their entire back four on the walking wounded list.
Bayern's France star Franck Ribery, who is out of the game with a fractured rib, has said Saturday's match will be "decisive in the title race", but Goetze says it is too early in the season to make such statements.
"It will be a big step (in deciding the title), but I wouldn't call it 'decisive', there's a lot that can still happen in the second part of the season," said Goetze.
Having set a new Bundesliga record of 37 games without defeat, Bayern can extend it to 38 against Dortmund, who last lost to Munich in the league back in February 2010 and are unbeaten in their last six league games against the Bavarians.
Dortmund beat Bayern 4-2 in July's German Super Cup final, avenging their 2-1 Champions League final defeat in May.