Mowbray plays down home hopes

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The Independent Online

Tony Mowbray denies victory is essential against Arsenal at Parkhead tonight if Celtic are to progress to the group stages of the Champions League.

The Celtic manager saw his side win in Moscow after losing the first leg and points to that as evidence against the traditional theory that sides must win their home games in Europe.

"I saw a quote from Mr Wenger this week saying that they play better away from home than they do at home," Mowbray said. "The game is more expansive away from home, teams come on to them more and leave more space for them to play in. In an ideal world we would like to be in a position where Arsenal have got to try and score a goal at home. But at this level it is a very tactical affair, so we don't need to be in a winning position after the first game. We lost the first game here against a very good Moscow side and managed to win the away game. We are under no illusions. Arsenal have got world-class players but we are looking forward to it and we have confidence and are going to try and win."

Mowbray expects Glen Loovens to be fit to play alongside Gary Caldwell in the centre of defence, although Shaun Maloney will require a fitness test this morning. "It's going to be a night when the Celtic family are going to gather together and be strong."

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