Brisbane Roar defender Daniel Bowles has predicted there will be no "anti-football" at Suncorp Stadium when free-scoring Melbourne City come to the Queensland capital this Sunday.
Brisbane will host City in what shapes as the match of the round, with the Roar (21 points) sitting second in the Hyundai A-League table just ahead of John van 't Schip's men (20).
Last time City travelled to Queensland, Brisbane coach John Aloisi was scathing of the visitors' approach, claiming they played "anti-football" in a 1-1 draw.
City made 28 tackles to the Roar's nine, while Van 't Schip's side conceded 15 fouls to 11.
But with City on a four-match winning streak and having scored an average of 4 goals per game in that period, Bowles expects the visitors to attack.
"I think the difference this time will be, you know, they've won a few games since they last played us and they're full of confidence at the moment," the 24-year-old centre-back told Goal Australia on Wednesday.
"So they'll come at us and we'll go at them, so it's going to be an open game and an exciting one for the fans."
With such a critical game coming up, Bowles conceded he'll have to do the right thing on Christmas Day to ensure he's in the right shape to play.
"It's always an interesting time for us footballers and I guess professional sportsmen, is the fact that most of your family and friends are celebrating and enjoying the festive period, and we've got important games throughout the period," he said.
"So we've got to stay concentrated on them and be professional."
Bowles has started every match for the Roar this season and is arguably in his best form ever.
The former Gold Coast United and Adelaide United youngster is relishing the opportunity to play in his preferred position alongside veteran central defender Jade North.
"Jade's an exceptional player and he has so much experience and quality," Bowles said.
"He played overseas, he's played for the Socceroos and that experience he can pass onto myself and all the other younger players is vital.
"It's been huge for myself. I think we've built a strong partnership on the pitch now - every single week we're learning more and more about each other, and that just makes you more settled in the back line."
Bowles also credits Aloisi - in his first campaign as Brisbane's coach - for his good form.
"I'm just playing with confidence and, you know, I get that from the players around me. Especially, John [Aloisi] has been great - he's instilled that confidence in me," Bowles said.