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Anderlecht hope for better against Zenit

Time is running out for RSC Anderlecht as they seek a first UEFA Champions League home win since 2003 when they welcome FC Zenit St Petersburg to Brussels.

Anderlecht are hoping to give their home fans something to sing about
Anderlecht are hoping to give their home fans something to sing about ©Getty Images

RSC Anderlecht continue their search for an elusive UEFA Champions League home win when they take on FC Zenit St Petersburg on matchday four.

• The Belgian champions have work to do having gone down 1-0 in Russia on matchday three, Aleksandr Kerzhakov's late penalty separating the sides. Zenit therefore moved above Anderlecht into third position in Group C with three points, two more than their opponents and one behind second-placed AC Milan.

Past meetings
• Luciano Spalletti's Zenit won 3-1 home and away when the clubs met in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Kerzhakov hit a first-half hat-trick (8, 33, 44) in Brussels on 16 September 2010, with Roland Juhász pulling a goal back (66). The return fixture took place on 1 December and Zenit prevailed through Aleksei Ionov (12), Aleksandr Bukharov (65) and substitute Szabolcs Huszti (88). Kanu (87) scored for Ariël Jacobs' Anderlecht.

• The lineups for that previous encounter in Brussels were:
Anderlecht: Proto, Rnić (Legear 46), Bernárdez, Juhász, Deschacht, Biglia, Polák, Gillet, Boussoufa, Lukaku, Suárez.
Zenit: Zhevnov, Semak, Lombaerts, Alves, Luković, Shirokov (Fayzulin 36), Denisov, Lazović, Zyryanov, Danny (Križanac 90), Kerzakhov (Ionov 79).

• Zenit finished top of the group with six straight wins, while Anderlecht ended second.

Match background
• Beaten 3-0 at home by Málaga CF on matchday two, John van den Brom's Anderlecht are seeking a first UEFA Champions League victory in nine years at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. They have lost eight and drawn two of ten group stage fixtures in the competition since a 1-0 win against Olympique Lyonnais in November 2003.

• Anderlecht won their most recent home fixture against Russian visitors, beating FC Lokomotiv Moskva 5-3 last December to complete a 100% record in the UEFA Europa League group stage. Sacha Kljestan, Fernando Canesin, Marcin Wasilewski, Matías Suárez and Guillaume Gillet scored.

• Anderlecht's five home encounters with Russian clubs have generated 28 goals at an average of 5.6 per game. Their home record against Russian opposition is W3 D0 L2 F15 A13.

• Zenit's first Group C away assignment ended in a 3-0 defeat at Málaga and they have only ever won once on their travels in the UEFA Champions League – at FC BATE Borisov in both sides' 2008/09 debut campaign.

• Zenit's triumphant 2007/08 UEFA Cup run featured a 4-1 aggregate win against R. Standard de Liège in the first round. Aleksandr Anyukov, Igor Denisov, Nicolas Lombaerts and Konstantin Zyryanov were in a Zenit team that drew the second leg 1-1 in Belgium against a Standard side including Dieudonné Mbokani and Axel Witsel, now a Zenit player.

• Zenit beat Club Brugge KV 2-0 in the 1987/88 UEFA Cup first round, but went down 5-0 in the second leg.

Team ties
• Including Zenit's 2010 victories against Anderlecht, Spalletti has won all nine previous encounters with Belgian clubs in his coaching career. In only his second European tie as a coach, Spalletti's UC Sampdoria team beat KRC Zuid-West-Vlaanderen 4-0 on aggregate in the 1998 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• With AS Roma, Spalletti oversaw 2-1 home and away victories over Club Brugge in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup round of 32. His Roma side overwhelmed KAA Gent 10-2 on aggregate, winning 7-1 in Belgium, in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.

• Wasilewski was in the Poland side that drew 1-1 with the Russia of Vyacheslav Malafeev, Anyukov, Denisov, Zyryanov, Roman Shirokov and Kerzhakov in the UEFA EURO 2012 group stage.

• Mbokani and Milan Jovanović won two Belgian championships with Witsel at Standard in 2008 and 2009.

• Lombaerts began his career with Gent and played alongside Gillet in 2006/07. The pair were together in the most recent Belgium national squad along with Witsel.

• Jovanović spent two seasons at FC Lokomotiv Moskva in 2004 and 2005, making just four appearances.

• Hulk's only hat-trick in European competition came in FC Porto's 4-2 home win against KRC Genk in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League play-offs.

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