Villarreal coach, Manuel Pellegrini, believes the side that controls possession and stays focused will prevail when his side face Celtic at El Madrigal tonight.
Villarreal, second only to Valencia in the league after defeating Sporting Gijon on Saturday, have not lost in the six home Champions League games they have contested and are unbeaten at El Madrigal in all competitions since December.
“It doesn’t concern me that Celtic play so strongly at home and then lose away,” said the Chilean coach. “Every new game turns a page and I’ve emphasised to my squad they must produce a top-quality display to beat Celtic.
“When you play British-style teams it’s often the case that they are used to getting the ball back quickly. One of the keys to playing well against them, and winning, is denying them possession.”
Villarreal are without Nihat Kahveci who has an adductor injury, and Pellegrini will omit Pascal Cygan and Mati Fernández for tactical reasons.
Strachan ismissing full-back Andreas Hinkel and must make a late decision on the fitness of striker Georgios Samaras who played in Saturday’s defeat of Aberdeen.
The Celtic manager believes possession is king when it comes to European football.
“The key to Champions League success is use of the ball,” he argued.
“Winning, retaining and then using the ball with pace and intelligence is the next level for this team, and I hope we are now better equipped for that task than previously.
“Everyone seems to think that 4-5-1 is the best style to defend, but it hasn’t worked for us so I’m going to try a different approach.
“The tactical approach for this game won’t be a total surprise to my players although it needs to differ from how we play in Scotland,” said Strachan. “But, above all, I want a performance we can be proud of and then it can be in the lap of the Gods.”