Alexander Hleb says he will "punch" Cesc Fabregas when BATE Borisov meet Chelsea in the Europa League on Thursday!
The two were at Arsenal together between 2005 and 2008, though they failed to win a trophy in north London, losing in Champions League and League Cup finals.
The pair have endured remarkably different careers since then, with Fabregas playing for Barcelona and Chelsea, winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the FIFA Club World Cup, as well as two Premier League titles and the FA Cup.
Hleb has featured for Barca too, also winning La Liga, but he has since gone on something of a nomadic career path, signing for BATE on four different occasions, as well as the likes of Birmingham City, Konyaspor and Krylia Sovetov Samara.
And he is looking forward to meeting up with his former team-mate when the two go head-to-head.
“It will be nice to see Cesc again,” Hleb told the Daily Telegraph . “We’ve been messaging each other. When I see him, I will ... [makes a mock punching gesture] no, I’m joking.”
Of course, Hleb was coy when asked which player is better, but he believes Fabregas knows the real truth.
“Ask Cesc, he knows!”
Under Unai Emery, the replacement to Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have enjoyed a solid start to the season, and are on a 10-match unbeaten run.
They have scored eight goals in their last two games, and Hleb believes they are genuine Premier League title contenders.
“Of course," he said, when asked if they can lift the trophy.
"They start not good, but now like a rocket they go up.”