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Celtic and Anderlecht chase Europa League consolation

Celtic and Anderlecht have both found the competition too hot to handle in Group B, although consolation will come for one in the form of a UEFA Europa League place.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers ©Getty Images

Celtic FC and RSC Anderlecht have both found the going tough in Group B, although one club will have the consolation of a place in the UEFA Europa League in the spring, with Celtic holding the advantage ahead of matchday six.

• The Scottish club were 3-0 winners in Belgium on matchday two and, with both clubs losing all their other games, hold a three-point cushion in third place as a result. Anderlecht must therefore win by a three-goal margin in Glasgow to overtake their opponents; if they win 3-0, the Belgian outfit finish third on overall goal difference.

Previous meetings
• The clubs' only past contests before this season came in the 2003/04 group stage, when each won their home game although neither side was able to progress from Group A.

• The first match in Belgium finished 1-0 to Anderlecht, Aruna Dindane scoring 18 minutes from time for Les Mauves, who played 64 minutes with ten men after captain Glen De Boeck collected a second yellow card in the 26th minute. That is Anderlecht's only win against Scottish opponents from 11 attempts (D4 L6).

• Dindane was on target again at Celtic Park, striking in the 77th minute after Ivica Mornar had missed a penalty, but by then the hosts led 3-0 through goals from Henrik Larsson (12), Liam Miller (17) and Chris Sutton (29). That 3-1 victory proved crucial as Celtic edged out Anderlecht for third place in the section on head-to-head record after the duo ended level on seven points.

• The line-ups at Celtic Park on 21 October 2003 were:
Celtic: Hedman, Agathe, Baldé, Varga, McNamara, Lennon, Petrov, Miller (Gray 76), Larsson, Sutton, Hartson (Maloney 83; Sylla 90+1).
Anderlecht: Zítka, Deschacht, Kompany, Żewłakow, Baseggio, Hendrikx (Kolář 63), Hasi, Wilhelmsson, Tihinen, Mornar, Dindane.

• Olivier Deschacht played in both games and is still in the Anderlecht squad.

Match background

• Celtic have lost both home games in Group B, going down 5-0 against Paris Saint-Germain in their opening fixture – the Hoops' heaviest home defeat in Europe – before a 2-1 reverse at the hands of FC Bayern München on matchday four.

• Celtic halted a ten-game (D3 L7), four-year winless run in the UEFA Champions League group stage by overcoming Anderlecht on matchday two, their biggest away victory in the UEFA Champions League. Their previous win had been a 2-1 home success over AFC Ajax on 22 October 2013.

• The Anderlecht win is the Hoops' only victory in 19 European group stage fixtures in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League (D7 L11).

• Celtic have won just two of their last eight European home matches (D2 L4).

• Celtic have won only one of their last nine home games in the UEFA Champions League proper (D1 L7).

• In 2016/17 the Glasgow club came fourth in their section, collecting three points from six games. They drew at home to Manchester City FC (1-1) and lost 2-0 to both VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach and FC Barcelona.

• Celtic started this season in the second qualifying round, beating Linfield FC (2-0 away, 4-0 home) and then Rosenborg BK in the third qualifying round (0-0 home, 1-0 away). They posted a fifth straight clean sheet with a 5-0 win against FC Astana in the home first leg of their play-off, advancing despite a 4-3 loss in Kazakhstan.

• The Scottish champions have won all three European games against Belgian visitors. In addition to that 2003 defeat of Anderlecht, they got the better of KAA Gent in the 1984/85 European Cup Winners' Cup first (3-0) and K. Beerschot AC at the same stage of the 1991/92 UEFA Cup (2-0), winning both ties 3-1 on aggregate.

• Anderlecht have never won in Scotland, where their record is D2 L3.

• Before this season, 19 teams had lost all six games in a UEFA Champions League group stage. Having done so in 2004/05, Anderlecht would join GNK Dinamo Zagreb as the only clubs to suffer that fate twice should they lose in Glasgow.

• Anderlecht have not faced Scottish opposition other than Celtic in 25 years, beating Hibernian FC on away goals in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round (2-2 away, 1-1 home).

• The Belgian club 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 L6; this season they have lost 3-0 at Bayern and 5-0 at Paris.

• 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).

Coach and player links
• Derdryck Boyata grew up in Brussels and was at FC Brussels from the age of 13 to 16 before joining Manchester City in 2006.

• Matz Sels, Leander Dendoncker and Boyata are international team-mates with Belgium.

• Andy Najar's Honduras earned a 1-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw against a Costa Rica side including Cristian Gamboa on 28 March 2017.

Match facts

• Jozo Šimunović is a booking away from a ban.

• Celtic are 67 domestic matches unbeaten, eclipsing their own British record of 62 set by Willie Maley's team between 1915 and 1917. The Hoops came within two minutes of surrendering their unbeaten run at Motherwell FC on 29 November before Scott Sinclair equalised from the penalty spot; they beat the same opponents 5-1 on Saturday.

• Celtic have now scored in 72 successive domestic matches dating back to 5 April 2016.

• The Hoops have won just three of their last eight home games in all competitions.

• Patrick Roberts suffered a hamstring injury against Motherwell on 29 November and has been ruled out for three months.

• Celtic lifted the first domestic silverware of the season on 26 November beating Motherwell 2-0 in the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden Park thanks to second-half goals from James Forrest and a Moussa Dembélé penalty.

• With the League Cup triumph, Brendan Rodgers became the first Hoops manager since Jock Stein to win four consecutive domestic trophies.

• Kieran Tierney, 20, became the youngest Celtic player to captain his country when he led Scotland out in their 1-0 friendly defeat by the Netherlands on 9 November.

• Anderlecht have failed to score in five of their last 11 games in all competitions.

• Massimo Bruno laid on three assists as Anderlecht beat KV Kortrijk 4-0 on 26 November.

• Anderlecht have lost nine of their last 22 matches in all competitions.

• Anderlecht were knocked out of the Belgium Cup on 29 November, going down 1-0 at home to R. Standard de Liège in the round of 16.