Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor believes RB Leipzig mean business in the Europa League after investing £50million in their squad this summer.
The Bundesliga side have big ambitions and proved it by splashing out a reported 57.5 million euros on seven new recruits.
Their most expensive purchase saw Kevin Kampl join from rivals Bayer Leverkusen for a 20 million euro fee, while France Under-21 striker Jean-Kevin Augustin was lured to the Red Bull Arena as part of a 13 million euro deal.
And with those kind of numbers involved, McGregor thinks Leipzig will be expecting to profit with a run to the latter stages.
Ahead of Thursday’s Group B showdown, he told the Celtic View: “We know again that it’ll be a tough ask. We have a difficult group and a tough start as well, and we know Leipzig are a good side.
“They’ve spent a bit of money as well so they’ll be fancying themselves to go far in the competition. For us, we’ll go there fully prepared and try to get something from the game in terms of both points and performance.
“The competition speaks for itself and there are a lot of good teams in the Europa League. When you come into a competition like that everybody’s got to be taken seriously, regardless of whether they’re first or third seed.
“You obviously show the team the respect they deserve but you get after them as well and hopefully try to implement our game-plan.”
Celtic opened their group-stage campaign with a narrow home win over Rosenborg but were tamed by Red Bull Salzburg in Austria three weeks ago.
Victory in eastern Germany would ensure an easier path to the knock-out rounds but McGregor admits the task will not be any easier than last time out.
He said: “We’ve played a few German sides now and its clear German football is very tactical in terms of how the teams are set up.
“They seem to play a certain way, which is very structured, and they have guys up the top of the pitch who can do something a bit different.
“The build-up play is usually two or three touches then move the ball up field, and when it gets to that forward line they tend to have some real quality going forward. German sides have always been good in Europe but it’s important for us to go there and be full of confidence as well.
“We know we can play at this level, we’re a good side as well and we need to try and get something from the game.”