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Paris look to push on as Anderlecht seek first points

Paris Saint-Germain have been in unstoppable form so far and could wrap up a round of 16 place against Anderlecht, who are still looking for a first Group B goal and point.

Paris players enjoy their win at Anderlecht
Paris players enjoy their win at Anderlecht ©AFP/Getty Images

Three wins out of three have made Paris Saint-Germain the frontrunners in Group B, and another victory against RSC Anderlecht could take the French side into the last 16 with two games to spare.

• Having won 4-0 in Brussels last time out, Paris have now scored 12 goals and conceded none in winning all three fixtures so far. The Ligue 1 team will secure a top-two finish if they win and Celtic FC fail to beat second-placed FC Bayern München, or if Paris draw and Celtic lose.

• Anderlecht are still seeking their first point and goal in Group B, and will be unable to finish in the top two if they lose again and Bayern avoid defeat at Celtic. Should Anderlecht draw, they would still be out if Bayern win in Scotland.

Previous meetings
• The clubs' last fixture in Brussels brought Anderlecht's joint-biggest European home defeat and Paris's joint-biggest away victory. Zlatan Ibrahimović scored four times in Paris's 5-0 victory, with Edinson Cavani getting the other.

• Ibrahimović also hit the Paris goal in a 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes on 5 November 2013; Demy De Zeeuw had given Anderlecht the lead, the visitors ending with ten men after Sacha Kljestan collected a second yellow card in the 82nd minute.

• The teams at the Parc des Princes on 5 November 2013 were:
Paris: Sirigu, Van der Wiel, Marquinhos (Thiago Silva 62), Alex, Maxwell, Motta, Matuidi, Verratti (Ménez 76), Lucas, Lavezzi (Pastore 75), Ibrahimović.
Anderlecht: Kaminski, Kljestan, Mbemba, N'Sakala, Praet (Acheampong 79), Deschacht, Milivojević, Kouyaté, De Zeeuw (Nuytinck 90+1), Vanden Borre, Mitrović (Tielemans 87).

• That 2013 game in Belgium was the first meeting between the teams for 21 years. They played out two draws when facing each other in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup third round, 0-0 in Paris and 1-1 in Brussels – which took Paris through on away goals.

Match background

• Having won 5-0 at Celtic on matchday one, Paris were then 3-0 victors against Bayern in their first home fixture.

• Paris have lost just one of their last 44 European home games since crashing 4-2 to Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage (W28 D15) – going down 3-1 to FC Barcelona in the 2014/15 quarter-finals.

• They picked up five points at home in last season's group stage (W1 D2).

• Paris have lost only one of their nine matches against Belgian opposition, 3-0 at KSV Waterschei in their 1982/83 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final second leg (2-3 aggregate).

• Paris earned their biggest-ever European win against Belgian opponents, thrashing KAA Gent 7-1 at home in the 2001 Intertoto Cup semi-final having drawn 0-0 away.

• Anderlecht aside, Paris have therefore won their other two games at home to Belgian visitors.

• Quarter-finalists in four successive seasons between 2013 and 2016, Paris were on the wrong end of the biggest comeback in UEFA Champions League history in last term's round of 16. Having won 4-0 at home to Barcelona, the French outfit succumbed 6-1 in the away leg to bow out – with Neymar, now of Paris, providing two Barça goals and an assist.

• The Belgian champions lost their first two Group B matches 3-0, away to Bayern München on matchday one and then against Celtic in Brussels in their second fixture.

• Anderlecht drew 1-1 at AS Saint-Étienne in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage, yet lost 3-2 at home to the French club.

• Overall their record against French teams is W7 D10 L6; away it is W3 D6 L2.

• Anderlecht have not won an away game in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, since a 1-0 victory at Real Betis Balompié on 6 December 2005. Their away record since then reads D8 L5.

• In 2016/17, Anderlecht fell to FC Rostov in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. Moving into the UEFA Europa League, they went all the way to the last eight – their first European quarter-final since losing to FC Internazionale Milano in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup – eventually bowing out to Manchester United FC (1-1 home, 1-2 away aet).

• Anderlecht are appearing in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 12th time in total. They qualified automatically after landing a 34th Belgian title last term.

Coach and player links
• Paris's Belgian international defender Thomas Meunier was born in Sainte-Ode and played for third-division side R.E. Virton before joining Club Brugge KV in 2011. Meunier made 149 league appearances for the club, scoring 15 goals and winning the 2015 Belgian Cup – with a 2-1 final win against Anderlecht – and the league the following season before signing for Paris.

• Anderlecht captain Sofiane Hanni was born in Ivry-sur-Seine, about six kilometres from the centre of Paris. Dennis Appiah (Toulouse) and Adrien Trebel (Dreux) were also born in France.

• Have played together:
Layvin Kurzawa & Dennis Appiah (AS Monaco FC, 2011–13)

• Have played in France:
Uroš Spajić (Toulouse FC, 2013–16)
Dennis Appiah (AS Monaco FC, 2011–13; SM Caen, 2013–16)
Sofiane Hanni (FC Nantes, 2009–11)
Adrien Trebel (FC Nantes, 2011–14)
Robert Berić (Saint-Etienne 2015–17)

• International team-mates:
Thomas Meunier & Leander Dendoncker (Belgium)

Match facts

• Paris failed to win in Ligue 1 for only the second time this season as they were held 2-2 at Olympique de Marseille on 22 October. Neymar scored their opener and was later sent off before Cavani's last-gasp free-kick earned a point.

• Cavani struck twice as Paris beat OGC Nice 3-0 on Friday night. The Uruguayan's third-minute opener was the club's 2,500th goal in Ligue 1.

• Cavani has registered 15 goals in 14 club outings this term. Neymar has ten in 11 for Paris.

• Cavani, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé have all been on the scoresheet in four games this term, including two matches in the UEFA Champions League.

• Paris have scored five goals or more in a game on four occasions this season, most recently beating FC Girondins de Bordeaux 6-2 on 30 September.

• Neymar came third in the voting for the Best FIFA Men's Player 2017 award, announced on 23 October.

• Cavani, Mbappé and Neymar are on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or. The winner will be announced on 6 December.

• Dani Alves missed the game at Marseille with a thigh injury but returned to the starting XI against Nice.

• Anderlecht suffered a 1-0 defeat against KRC Genk on 22 October. In five home league matches this term they have lost twice, the same number of reverses as in all 20 games last season.

• Anderlecht returned to winning ways at home by beating SV Zulte Waregem 2-0 on 25 October. Goalkeeper Matz Sels saved a penalty from Onur Kaya when the game was still goalless.

• It was the first home victory under coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck following defeats against Paris and Genk.

• Anderlecht made it four away wins in a row (and five unbeaten) on Saturday, 3-2 at KAS Eupen.

• Pieter Gerkens has scored two goals in his last four league matches, with his opening strike against KV Mechelen on 13 October being his first official goal for Anderlecht.