Manchester United have won all four of their home games against Belgian sides, while Anderlecht have yet to win in England, but Leander Dendoncker’s late goal in a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final means the visitors come to Old Trafford with some hope.
• The clubs are meeting for the eighth time; Anderlecht won two of the previous seven matchups, United four, including all three of the sides’ meetings in Manchester.
• The first of those fixtures – a 10-0 European Cup win for United at Manchester City’s former home, Maine Road, on 26 September 1956 – remains Anderlecht’s heaviest loss in UEFA competition.
• Aside from their seven matches versus Anderlecht, United’s only other experience of Belgian opponents is a 7-1 aggregate victory over Club Brugge in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League play-offs. They triumphed 4-0 in the second leg in what is their most recent visit to Belgium.
• Anderlecht’s 33 UEFA games against English sides have ended W7 D6 L20. They have yet to win in 15 trips to England (D2 L13). They last played English opposition in last season’s UEFA Europa League group stage, losing 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur having won by the same scoreline at home.
• Anderlecht’s past meetings with English teams include two finals: a 4-2 success against West Ham in the 1976 European Cup Winners’ Cup decider, played in Brussels, and the two-legged 1984 UEFA Cup final against Tottenham, which they lost 4-3 on penalties after two 1-1 draws.
• United have won all five of their Old Trafford games in Europe this season, conceding just once; they are unbeaten in 16 UEFA home games (W13 D3) since a 2-1 loss to Real Madrid in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League round of 16.
• Anderlecht have lost only once in six European away games this season (W3 D2 L1) and scored at least once in all of those matches.
• United are striving for the only UEFA club trophy that has thus far eluded them. Their only previous quarter-final in this competition came in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup when Ron Atkinson’s side lost on penalties to Videoton.
• Anderlecht’s last European quarter-final was in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup, where they lost to Internazionale Milano. They were eliminated by another Serie A side – Roma – at the same stage in 1990/91.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Brussels to Manchester is around 550km.
• Misses next match if booked
United: Eric Bailly, Ander Herrera, Henrik Mkhitaryan
Anderlecht: Frank Acheampong, Leander Dendoncker, Sofiane Hanni, Bram Nuytinck, Emmanuel Adjey Sowah, Uroš Spahić, Łukasz Teodorczyk, Isaac Kiese Thelin, Youri Tielemans
• Celta’s Iago Aspas, Anderlecht’s Łukasz Teodorczyk and United’s Zlatan Ibrahimović are the highest-scoring players left in the competition with five goals each. Roma’s Edin Džeko and Zenit’s Giuliano top the rankings with eight.
• Zlatan Ibrahimović scored four goals at Anderlecht in a 5-0 UEFA Champions League group stage win for Paris Saint-Germain in October 2013. He struck again in the return fixture, a 1-1 draw.
• Ibrahimović and Anderlecht’s Isaac Kiese Thelin are two of three Swedes left in the competition, all of whom are aiming to play in the UEFA Europa League final in their nation’s capital. Celta Vigo’s John Guidetti is the other.
• United’s Belgian international Marouane Fellaini took on Anderlecht four times as a Standard Liège player with the record W1 D2 L1.
• United have played fewer UEFA games than Anderlecht (337 to the Belgian side’s 389) but have recorded more wins: 178-173.
• As in the round of 16, Belgium is the best represented nation in the quarter-finals with two teams: Genk and Anderlecht. In the previous seven UEFA Europa League seasons, only two Belgian clubs got this far: Standard in 2009/10 and Club Brugge in 2014/15.
Anderlecht have lost more UEFA games (134) than any other team and only Real Madrid (550) have conceded more goals than the Purples (504) in Europe.
• José Mourinho took over as United boss last summer. Having made his name winning the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League with Porto, he landed Europe’s top club prize again with Internazionale Milano as well as three Premier League titles during two stints at Chelsea.
• In Mourinho’s last foray in this competition, he guided Porto to the 2003 UEFA Cup final, where they edged Celtic 3-2 in Seville.
• Mourinho faced Anderlecht twice with Chelsea in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League group stage, his side winning 1-0 at home and 2-0 away.
• Capped once by Switzerland, René Weiler is in his debut season as Anderlecht coach having spent his first two years of coaching with Nürnberg from 2014–16. The one-time defender established his reputation in his home country with Schaffhausen and Aarau.
• United’s record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
L 5-4 A v Videoton FC (1984/85 UEFA Cup quarter-finals)
L 4-3 A v FC Torpedo Moskva (1992/93 UEFA Cup first round)
W 6-5 N v Chelsea FC (2007/08 UEFA Champions League final)
• Anderlecht have lost all three of their UEFA penalty shoot-outs:
L 4-1 A v FC Barcelona (1978/79 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round)
L 4-3 A v Tottenham Hotspur FC (1983/84 UEFA Cup final)
L 3-2 H v FK Partizan (2010/11 UEFA Champions League play-offs)