Preview: Anderlecht v Arsenal

Coach Besnik Hasi is looking for "the same belief" RSC Anderlecht showed on matchday one as they meet depleted Arsenal FC on Arsène Wenger's 65th birthday.

Arsenal FC full-back Kieran Gibbs called his side's victory at RSC Anderlecht "a massive win" after his goal sparked a late turnaround in Belgium.

Besnik Hasi asks Anderlecht for a repeat of matchday one showing in Istanbul
Coach warns Anderlecht not to underestimate under-strength Arsenal
"I still feel young enough," says Arsène Wenger, 65 on Wednesday
"We need to reduce the gap between performances and points," he adds
Emiliano, 22, to start in goal for depleted Gunners

Possible lineups

Anderlecht: Proto; Deschacht, Acheampong, Mbemba, Vanden Borre; Praet, Tielemans, Defour, Najar; Mitrović, Conté.
Out: N'Sakala (knee)
Doubtful: Nuytinck (toe), Suárez (unspecified)

Arsenal: Emiliano; Gibbs, Chambers, Mertesacker, Bellerin; Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta, Ramsey, Sánchez; Welbeck.
Out: Arteta (calf), Debuchy (ankle), Giroud (leg), Gnabry (knee), Koscielny (Achilles), Monreal (back), Ospina (knee), Özil (knee), Rosický (calf), Sanogo (hamstring), Szczęsny (suspended), Walcott (knee)

Besnik Hasi, Anderlecht coach
We have to play as we did against Galatasaray in Turkey [where Anderlecht drew 1-1 on matchday one]. We have to find the same belief. We were without a number of players against Dortmund and we were too confident during that game [which Anderlecht lost 3-0 at home on matchday two].

Arsenal are without a lot of players too. They seem to be in less good shape and less intimidating than usual, but Arsenal are still a top team and it will be difficult to beat them. We have to focus on ourselves and be clever when we have the ball.

Arsenal play in the Premier League, while we play in a smaller competition and have a very young team. It is a very good opportunity for us to learn and it will be a mistake to think Arsenal are weaker without a few top players.

Arsène Wenger is an example for me as a coach because he has stayed with the same club for a long time, he has shown his class and developed a lot of talented players.

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager
It is very important to win tomorrow. We know that we play in the Champions League, away from home, and it will be a battle – we need to produce quality in our game.

I am not a celebrator [Wednesday is Wenger's birthday]. It is important for my team to perform well. I put all my energy into my team. We need to reduce the gap between performances and points and I still feel young enough, even more than before. I still have the same envy and motivation to perform and to put my energy into my club and into my team.

I see Anderlecht as a young and dynamic side. They could cause problems to us tomorrow. They are not here by chance and they played a good game against Galatasaray. We lost some enthusiasm but we have lost only one game in the Premier League. We do not have enough points compared to the potential and performances of the players.

Danny Welbeck rescued a point for Arsenal on Saturday
Danny Welbeck rescued a point for Arsenal on Saturday©AFP/Getty Images

Weekend results
KV Mechelen 1-1 Anderlecht (Cordaro 21; Defour 62)
Arsenal 2-2 Hull City (Alexis Sánchez 13, Welbeck 90+1; Diame 17, Hernández 46)

Form guide (all competitions)
Anderlecht: DDLWWD
Arsenal: DLWDLW

Match facts
• Who were Anderlecht's last English opponents in UEFA competition? Find out in our extensive match background.

Top