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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 30, 2008

Pellegrini: Celtic game will not decide the group

Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini insists nothing will be decided in their Champions League Group E clash with Celtic at El Madrigal tonight.

While the Spanish club were boosted by their draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the opening game a fortnight ago, Celtic's hopes of qualifying for the last-16 for the third season in succession were dealt an early blow when they failed to beat Danish club Aalborg at Parkhead.

Pellegrini, however, refused to buy in to the idea that a win for his side would leave them in pole position in the group and at the same time end the Scottish champions' hopes of reaching the knockout stages.

He said: "The draw was all well and good against United but we don't know what the scores will be in the games that follow it. The mathematics of this competition are always complicated.

"We need to get 10 points but whatever happens after the game against Celtic, they will still have a fighting chance of qualifying.''

Villarreal have not been beaten at home since December and Pellegrini is confident his side can come away with a victory.

And the Chilean coach admits he could not care less about Celtic's dismal away form in the competition.

The Scottish champions have only picked up one point from a possible 45 in this stage of the competition.

Pellegrini, though, has no interest in the plight of the Parkhead side.

He said: "This is a problem for Gordon Strachan to overcome, it is not my concern.

"My concern is what we do in the game tonight. We know we will have to play well to beat Celtic but we are confident we can do that.''

Villarreal's exciting midfielder Santi Cazorla, who is almost certain to face the Hoops, is expecting an exciting tussle in front of a 25,000 sell-out crowd.

The Spain international said: "I'm looking forward to a great atmosphere in El Madrigal tonight.

"It's always good to play in the stadium but with all the Celtic fans there and the special relationship the two clubs have with each other then there will be an extra-special atmosphere inside the stadium.''

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