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Anderlecht aim to spoil AEL party

Published: Friday 17 August 2012, 13.11CET
AEL Limassol FC are hoping to succeed APOEL FC as the giant killers of the UEFA Champions League but RSC Anderlecht have other ideas as they plot a return to the big stage.
Anderlecht aim to spoil AEL party
Anderlecht put 11 goals past Ekranas in the third qualifying round ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Friday 17 August 2012, 13.11CET

Anderlecht aim to spoil AEL party

AEL Limassol FC are hoping to succeed APOEL FC as the giant killers of the UEFA Champions League but RSC Anderlecht have other ideas as they plot a return to the big stage.

AEL Limassol FC's unanticipated Cypriot title success last season was a Cinderella story in itself but they hope to go one better by qualifying for the UEFA Champions League at RSC Anderlecht's expense.

• AEL have yet to concede a goal in four qualifying matches so far but face their toughest test yet against an Anderlecht side who offered an impressive statement of intent with their emphatic 11-0 aggregate win against FK Ekranas in the third qualifying round.

Match background
• Charalampos Christodoulou's AEL are looking to follow the lead of compatriots APOEL FC who sprang a succession of surprises in last term's UEFA Champions League by progressing from the second qualifying round all the way to the quarter-finals.

• AEL have already beaten Linfield FC 3-0 over two legs and posted 1-0 home and away wins against FK Partizan. Their progress is all the more impressive bearing in mind that before this season they had lost all five UEFA competition ties they had contested – starting with a 12-0 aggregate rout by Real Madrid CF in the 1968/69 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round.

• While AEL are looking to make history, Anderlecht's goal is to breathe new life into theirs. The Brussels club have competed in the UEFA Champions League eight times but since their last participation in 2006/07, they recorded four successive failures in qualifying between 2007 and 2010.

• This is AEL's first meeting with Belgian opposition but Anderlecht have played three previous knockout ties against teams from Cyprus, winning them all. In the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round they beat Anorthosis Famagusta FC 4-2 at home with the help of a Jan Koller hat-trick, then drew 0-0 in Cyprus.

• Anderlecht also posted 4-1 aggregate wins against AC Omonia in the 1985/86 European Cup second round and the 1990/91 UEFA Cup second round.

Team ties
• Edwin Ouon played in Belgium between 2002 and 2007 where he made a combined 81 appearances for R. Antwerp FC, KV Oostende and K. Beerschot AC. Ouon played five times against Anderlecht, experiencing four defeats before a 2-1 win with Beerschot in his last appearance against them.

• Gilberto made 33 league appearances for K. Lierse SK between 2010 and 2012 before joining AEL. He faced Anderlecht twice during his time in Belgium – a 1-1 home draw and a 4-0 away defeat.

• During his loan spell at Cercle Brugge KSV during the 2010/11 season, Reynaldo suffered a 3-2 aggregate defeat by AEL's domestic rivals Anorthosis Famagusta FC in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League – appearing as a substitute in the first leg and starting the second leg in Cyprus.

• There are two players who have represented both clubs. Former Romanian international defender Tibor Selymes was with Anderlecht (1996–99), and later played for AEL in 2004/05. Ex-Rwanda defender Hamad Ndikumana was with Anderlecht between 2000 and 2002 and also made 36 appearances for AEL during the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons.

Last updated: 20/08/12 13.00CET

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