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Milan plan unhappy return for Anderlecht

AC Milan will want to underline their status as Group C's top seeds with an opening home win against an RSC Anderlecht side returning to the group stage after a six-year absence.

Anderlecht coach John van den Brom came to San Siro with Ajax but never played
Anderlecht coach John van den Brom came to San Siro with Ajax but never played ©Getty Images

Seven-time winners AC Milan begin their fourth consecutive UEFA Champions League campaign – and 16th overall – with a home fixture against Belgian champions RSC Anderlecht.

• Group C's top seeds, Milan face opponents who have never won in Italy although Anderlecht have finally made it back to the group stage after four recent qualifying failures. Milan, meanwhile, have gone on to win the trophy on both previous occasions they have met Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League.

Past meetings
• The clubs first met in the 1993/94 group stage, trading two goalless draws. Fabio Capello's Milan finished top of their group, while Jan Boskamp's Anderlecht were bottom.

• Milan won both contests in the 2006/07 group stage. Kaká earned Carlo Ancelotti's team a 1-0 win in Brussels and he then hit a hat-trick in a 4-1 home victory for the Rossoneri. Roland Juhász pulled a goal back for Frank Vercauteren's visitors before Alberto Gilardino added Milan's fourth.

• The lineups for that fixture at San Siro on 1 November 2006 were:
Milan: Dida, Šimić, Nesta (Cafu 19), Maldini, Jankulovski, Gourcuff (Gattuso 66), Brocchi, Seedorf, Kaká, Gilardino, Oliveira (Pirlo 73).
Anderlecht: Zítka, Vanden Borre (Legear 85), De Man, Juhász, Deschacht, Hassan, Vanderhaeghe (Akın Serhat 39), Biglia, Goor, Boussoufa (Mpenza 80), Tchité.

Match background
• UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists in 2011/12, Milan are competing in the group stage for the tenth time in 11 seasons and have not fallen at this hurdle since 1999/2000.

• This is Anderlecht's first UEFA Champions League group stage participation since 2006/07 and their ninth overall. They have not reached the last 16 since 2000/01.

• Milan's home record against Belgian opposition is W5 D3 L2. The last visitors from Belgium to beat them were Club Brugge KV, 1-0 winners in the 2003/04 group stage.

• Anderlecht won four of five away matches as they reached last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32. In qualifying for this term's group stage they won 6-0 at FK Ekranas but then lost 2-1 at AEL Limassol FC in the play-offs, a defeat they overturned with a 2-0 second-leg success.

• Anderlecht first played in Italy in 1964, against Bologna FC in the European Champion Clubs' Cup, but have still not won. Their record is W0 D5 L9.

• The Brussels club lost 2-0 to UC Sampdoria in the 1990 European Cup Winners' Cup final.

Team ties
• As a player Massimiliano Allegri helped Cagliari Calcio beat KV Mechelen in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup third round, scoring in their 2-0 second-leg home victory. It was his only goal in European competition.

• John van den Brom made his final European appearance as a player at San Siro, coming on as an 89th-minute substitute in Vitesse's 0-0 first-leg draw with FC Internazionale Milano in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup second round.

• Van den Brom's only other appearance against Italian opponents was in AFC Ajax's 2-0 second-leg defeat at Parma FC in the 1993/94 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals. He was an unused substitute when Ajax beat Milan home and away in the 1994/95 group stage but did not feature when they overcame the Rossoneri again in that season's final.

• Urby Emanuelson faced Anderlecht with Ajax in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage, playing in a 1-1 away draw and scoring the consolation goal in their 3-1 home defeat.

• Kevin-Prince Boateng was an unused substitute when Tottenham Hotspur FC drew 0-0 at Anderlecht in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage.

• Guillaume Gillet was in the Belgium team that beat Nigel de Jong's Netherlands 4-2 in a Brussels friendly last month.

• Sacha Kljestan was a substitute in United States' 1-0 friendly win against Italy in February. Antonio Nocerino started for Italy while Ignazio Abate, Riccardo Montolivo and Giampaolo Pazzini appeared off the bench.

• Ronald Vargas scored when Venezuela earned their first ever win over a Brazil team including Pato and Robinho – a 2-0 success in a June 2008 friendly in Foxborough, United States.

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