Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini will not let his side take it easy in their final Champions League group game despite the club already having won Group C, and the boss expects his side to remain unbeaten by avoiding defeat to tonight’s opponents Anderlecht.
Even though Pellegrini knows that his side’s impressive performances in the competition have earned them a place in the next round and taken all the pressure off the final fixture against their Belgian group opponents, he feels that every football team should always put in maximum effort when they play football, no matter what match it is.
“Whenever any team goes out on the pitch, they’re determined to play the best football they can,” said Pellegrini on Malaga’s official website.
“From a sporting point of view it’s important to win, no sportsman ever wants to lose. We’ll be concentrating on performing at a high level and maintain our undefeated streak in the group stage, which is also important from an economic point of view.
“We certainly won’t be relaxed out on the pitch and will be in search of three points from the start of the match.”
Malaga beat Anderlecht 3-0 in Brussels in October, but tonight’s match is expected to be a tougher proposition for the La Liga side due to the fact that the Belgian champions are battling for a place in the Europa League with Zenit St Petersburg.
Pellegrini may be tempted to field some younger players to give them some invaluable Champions League experience, and the match also provides the 59-year-old manager with the chance to rest some of his key players as they already look ahead to the round of 16.
Anderlecht do not have any injury concerns ahead of the game in which they could still secure a place in the Europa League by bettering Zenit’s result against AC Milan, but Bram Nuytinck is suspend following his sending off against Milan.