Anderlecht - Malaga Preview: Belgians look to end wait for home victory against high-flying Spaniards
The hosts have not won a group-stage game in Brussels since 2003, and face an onerous task in trying to end that ignominious run against one of the form sides in La Liga
By Mark Doyle
Gillet, Wasilewski, Nuytinck, Deschacht
Biglia, Kouyate, Kljestan
Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Monreal
Portillo, Camacho, Eliseu
Anderlecht are buoyed by the availability of Milan Jovanovic for Wednesday night's Champions League Group C clash with Malaga.
The former Liverpool forward missed the opening-round draw with AC Milan at San Siro through suspension but he is expected to start in attack at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium alongside Dieumerci Mbokani, with teenage striker Massimo Bruno set to drop to the bench.
Jovanovic's recall aside, it should be a case of as you were for John van den Brom's side, as they look to end a run of nine home games without a win in the group stages of the Champions League.
In-form Malaga, meanwhile, have arrived in Brussels without attacker Julio Baptista and midfield duo Diego Buonanotte and Jeremy Toulalan due to injury, but 16-year-old striker Fabrice, who recently became La Liga's youngest ever goalscorer, has been omitted from the travelling party.
However, coach Manuel Pellegrini, who led Villarreal to the semi-finals of the 2005-06 Champions League, has no fresh injury concerns and is therefore likely to once again start with Javier Saviola up front, with Isco and Joaquin in support, with the trio having run riot in Malaga's sensational 3-0 win over Zenit last time out.
|DID YOU KNOW?
- Anderlecht have not won a home game in the group stages of the Champions League since edging out Lyon 1-0 all the way back in November 2003.
- On the plus side, the Belgians have won eight of their previous 11 European clashes with Spanish sides in Brussels.
- However, the 1983 Uefa Cup winners have lost three of their last four home games against Primera Division outfits.
- Malaga encountered Belgian opposition during their only previous European campaign, the Spaniards defeating Gent 4-1 on aggregate in their Intertoto Cup third-round clash during the summer of 2002.
- Former Bayern Munich defender Martin Demichelis made his first appearance on the European stage for the Bavarians in a 1-1 draw with Anderlecht during the group stages of the 2003-04 Champions League.
- Javier Saviola has lined out against Belgium opposition once before, during his Barcelona days. The Argentine striker was on target in a 3-2 group-stage win over Club Brugge in 2002.
|Sign up today with Ladbrokes and get a $20 welcome bonus!|
Top 3 Predictions
Anderlecht 0-2 Malaga
- 18.1 %
Anderlecht 1-2 Malaga
- 17.2 %
Anderlecht 1-3 Malaga
- 10.41 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Dec 4, 2012||Malaga 2 - Anderlecht 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 3, 2012||Anderlecht 0 - Malaga 3|
|Dec 15, 2013||KAA Gent 1 - Anderlecht 2||BEL1|
|Dec 10, 2013||Olympiakos Piraeus 3 - Anderlecht 1||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Anderlecht 2 - Waasland-Beveren 0||BEL1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Anderlecht 2 - Cercle Brugge 1||BEL1|
|Nov 27, 2013||Anderlecht 2 - Benfica 3||UCL|
|21||Tom de Sutter||Striker|
|21||Sebastián Fernández Miglierina||Striker|
|9||Roque Santa Cruz||Striker|