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The Russian club’s head coach and the Belgian side’s trainer - John van der Brom - both agree that the visitors’ star Axel Witsel could be a key player on Tuesday night

Zenit St Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti is expecting Anderlecht and his own team to play attacking football in their Champions League clash on Tuesday night.

The two play their fourth game in Group C with qualification still a possibility for both.

Zenit won 1-0 at Stadion Petrovski against the Belgian club, but the Italian head coach of the Russian side believes their opponents could be an altogether more attacking proposition on home turf.

“Both sides have to win,” he said to reporters on Monday evening. “We will see how the game starts and develops, and each team will have to adapt to what happens.

“Both teams play an attacking game, and I think both will play that way because they need the points.
“Anderlecht are a very strong team with a good coach and players and they are going through a good spell, which makes it even harder for us.

“Sometimes a match can go one way or the other because of an individual moment of brilliance or a mistake, but if Zenit are at our best we will win."

Spalletti added: “Axel Witsel is a versatile player so he can play everywhere. Of course when a player arrives at a club he needs some time to adapt to the gameplan, but the more he plays the better he feels.”

Anderlecht are bottom of Group C with one point, two points behind Zenit, three behind AC Milan and eight behind Malaga.

Their head coach John van der Brom told reporters: “The result at Zenit means there is more pressure on this match. If we still want to do something in Europe then we will have to win.

“Zenit are in a good situation but they also need to win here to stay in the Champions League after the winter.

“In the past week we have scored nine league goals, all from open play - no set pieces - so the fact that we have not scored in the Champions League this season should not be an issue.

“We know we need to score goals, so we will have to take care of that. We have taken confidence from those league results and also the way we played at Zenit.

“We will have to be patient as we do not need to win this match in the first ten minutes."

The coach also admitted that the injury-induced absence of Hulk is unfortunate for Anderlecht fans who could have seen the Brazil international in action.

“It is a shame that Hulk will not be playing,” Brom continued. “It is a shame for our fans that they will not be able to enjoy watching a player like that.

“We managed to control him in the previous match. Axel Witsel we also know is a quality player, and we will see what position he plays in.”

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