Anderlecht v Zenit background

Two former UEFA Cup winners meet in the round of 32 as Anderlecht look to keep the goals flowing at home against Mircea Lucescu's prolific Zenit.

Zenit winger Vladimir Bystrov (left) and Anderlecht's Behrang Safari vie for possession during the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage
Zenit winger Vladimir Bystrov (left) and Anderlecht's Behrang Safari vie for possession during the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage ©Getty Images

Anderlecht have scored plenty of goals at home in this season's UEFA Europa League but they are up against another prolific side as they welcome Mircea Lucescu's Zenit in the round of 32.

Previous meetings
• The clubs are meeting for a fifth time, Zenit having had the better of their first four encounters (W3 L1).

• Luciano Spalletti's Zenit defeated Ariel Jacobs' Anderlecht 3-1 home and away in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Aleksandr Kerzhakov in action against Anderlecht in 2010
Aleksandr Kerzhakov in action against Anderlecht in 2010©Getty Images

• The teams for their Brussels encounter on 16 September 2010 – in which Aleksandr Kerzhakov scored a hat-trick for the visitors – were:
Anderlecht: Proto, Deschacht*, Biglia, Polák, Suárez, Boussoufa, Lukaku, Juhász, Bernárdez, Gillet, Rnić (Legear 46).
Zenit: Zhevnov, Bruno Alves, Lombaerts*, Lazović, Danny* (Križanac 90), Kerzhakov* (Ionov 79), Shirokov (Fayzulin 36), Zyryanov, Luković, Semak, Denisov.

• Kerzhakov scored again in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage as Spalletti's Zenit beat John van den Brom's Anderlecht 1-0 at home, but they lost by the same scoreline in Brussels.

• The teams for that game on 6 November 2012 were:
Anderlecht: Proto, Biglia, Jovanović, Nuytinck*, Kouyaté, Kljestan, Safari, Mbokani, Praet (Kanu 79), Gillet, Bruno* (Yakovenko 72).
Zenit: Malafeev, Anyukov*, Criscito*, Lombaerts* (Bruno Alves 69), Kerzhakov*, Hubočan, Shirokov, Semak (Danny* 46), Denisov, Witsel, Bystrov (Kanunnikov 77).

* registered to play for the club in this season's competition

• Anderlecht's 16 matches against Russian sides have ended W5 D3 L8 (W4 D1 L3 in Brussels – W1 D2 L5 in Russia and the Soviet Union).

• Zenit's 12 fixtures against Belgian clubs have ended W8 D1 L3 (W2 D1 L3 in Belgium). They have won all six of their home games against Belgian opponents.

Previous meetings: Anderlecht v Zenit
Previous meetings: Anderlecht v Zenit

Form guide
• Anderlecht have scored 14 goals in their five European home matches this season (W3 L2).

• A 3-2 defeat by AZ Alkmaar on matchday six ended Zenit's 100% record in this season's group stage. They scored at least twice in all of their Group D fixtures.

• Since winning the UEFA Cup in 1983 – and losing in the 1984 final – Anderlecht have not made it beyond the last eight of the competition.

• Zenit reached the UEFA Champions League round of 16 last term.

Links and trivia
• The journey from St Petersburg to Brussels is around 1,900km.

• Anderlecht's Olivier Deschacht (36) and Diego Capel (29) celebrate birthdays on the day of the first leg against Zenit.

Olivier Deschacht celebrates his birthday against Zenit
Olivier Deschacht celebrates his birthday against Zenit©AFP/Getty Images

• Zenit's Giuliano and Athletic Club forward Aritz Aduriz are the top scorers in this season's competition with six goals each. Giuliano has also laid on four assists, giving him a hand in ten goals overall.

• Zenit boast Belgian talent in the form of centre-back Nicolas Lombaerts, who started his career at Club Brugge then moved to Russia in 2007 after three years with Gent. Anderlecht's Deschacht, Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker have played alongside Lombaerts for Belgium.

• Zenit's other Belgian star, midfielder Axel Witsel, moved to Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian at the beginning of January.

• Anderlecht (1983) and Zenit (2008) are among seven former UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 32, along with Tottenham Hotspur (1972, 1984), Borussia Mönchengladbach (1975 & 1979), Ajax (1992), Schalke (1997) and Shakhtar Donetsk (2009).

Suspended: none.
Misses next match if booked: Sofiane Hanni, Bram Nuytinck, Emmanuel Sowah, Łukasz Teodorczyk (Anderlecht); Luís Neto (Zenit).

The coaches
• Capped once by Switzerland, René Weiler is in his first season as Anderlecht coach having spent his first two years abroad with Nürnberg in Germany from 2014–16. The one-time defender established his coaching reputation in his home country with Schaffhausen and Aarau.

• Lucescu arrived at Zenit this summer, the Romanian ending a 12-year stay with Shakhtar in which he picked up eight Ukrainian titles and the 2008/09 UEFA Cup. He previously won Turkish championships with Beşiktaş and Galatasaray.

• Lucescu is the most experienced coach in the 2016/17 competition; this will be his 222nd UEFA club competition fixture.

UEFA makes new donation of €100,000 to ICRC
UEFA will mark a decade of helping Afghan landmine victims on Wednesday, when Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos presents a cheque for €100,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"I would like to pay tribute to the ICRC, who have been working relentlessly to help landmine victims, many of whom are children. Their programme in Afghanistan, which has been in place for several years, shows that football can offer real hope in challenging times," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.

"I am glad that UEFA can help this cause, and that the sport we love can have a positive impact on the rehabilitation process of so many people in this troubled region," he added.

The donation supports the ICRC's physical rehabilitation programme for landmine victims and other people with disabilities in Afghanistan – providing artificial limbs, physiotherapy, vocational training and access to the rehabilitation centre's football team. About a third of patients are children.

Sergio Ramos will present the donation before his side's UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match against Napoli at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid on 15 February.

"The people benefiting from the ICRC programme in Afghanistan are an inspiration to us, as they set an example of how to approach life in a positive manner despite the problems that they face," the Real Madrid captain said.

Sergio Ramos was chosen to hand over the cheque after receiving the most votes in UEFA.com's Team of the Year, which was published in January, and added that it is "a privilege" to be "a source of motivation" to so many people.

"They don't stop dreaming, and they fight to make their dreams come true. As key figures in this sport, it's a true privilege for us footballers to be a source of motivation in their day-to-day lives, and to help them out," he said.

Over the course of a partnership lasting almost 20 years, UEFA has donated in excess of €3.5m to the ICRC to help disadvantaged people around the globe. Meanwhile, over 7 million votes were cast in selecting the UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2016. More information on the award is available online at en.toty.uefa.com.