Anderlecht v Arsenal background

With the memory still fresh of a 3-0 defeat in their last home game, RSC Anderlecht will be keen to improve their Group D fortunes against second-placed Arsenal FC.

The Anderlecht stadium witnessed a heavy defeat for the home side on matchday two
The Anderlecht stadium witnessed a heavy defeat for the home side on matchday two ©Getty Images

RSC Anderlecht welcome Arsenal FC to Constant Vanden Stock Stadium keen to erase the memory of their last home game, when Borussia Dortmund beat them 3-0.

Match background

Anderlecht
• The Belgian champions opened Group D with a 1-1 draw at Galatasaray AŞ on matchday one before the Dortmund defeat.

• Anderlecht drew their last encounter with English opponents – 1-1 at home against Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage – to end a run of six successive defeats.

• Anderlecht have played 28 times against English sides (W6 D4 L18). At home their record is W5 D3 L6 (not including the 1976 European Cup Winners' Cup final versus West Ham United FC).

• Anderlecht are in the group stage for a third successive year – the first time in eight years that they have achieved that feat – and the 11th time in all.

• Last year they finished fourth in their group with just a single point, drawing away against Paris Saint-Germain. They lost all three home matches, conceding 11 goals and scoring just twice.

• The Belgian champions have finished bottom of the group in all seven group stage campaigns since they reached the last 16 (qualifying for the second group stage) in 2000/01.

• In those six seasons, Anderlecht have won just four fixtures and when they beat FC Zenit 1-0 on matchday four in 2012/13 it was their first home success in the UEFA Champions League proper in nine years.

Arsenal
• The Gunners are in the group stage for the 17th successive season. Last year they departed in the round of 16 for the fourth consecutive time, FC Bayern München ending their hopes for the second year in a row. Arsenal lost 2-0 at home and 3-1 on aggregate.

• Four of their previous six fixtures against Belgian sides have involved R. Standard de Liège, Arsenal beating them away (3-2) and home (2-0) in the 2009/10 group stage. Cyriac appeared as a second-half substitute for Standard at Arsenal Stadium on 24 November 2009.

• In the 1993/94 European Cup Winners' Cup second round, the Gunners inflicted Standard's worst result in UEFA club competition, a 7-0 home defeat featuring six different scorers that completed a 10-0 aggregate loss. It was, and remains, Arsenal's biggest away win in UEFA competition.

• Their other games were against KFC Winterslag in the 1981/82 UEFA Cup second round, the London side going out on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

• They began this season with a 2-0 defeat at Dortmund before a 4-1 home victory over Galatasaray, Danny Welbeck scoring a hat-trick, his first in senior football.

Coach and player links 
• Cyriac was at Charlton Athletic FC from 2007 until January 2009, when he moved to Standard.

• Anthony Vanden Borre played for Portsmouth FC in 2009/10 and appeared as a second-half substitute in both Premier League games against Arsenal, the Gunners winning 4-1 each time. 

Match facts

Anderlecht
• Four days after losing to Dortmund, Anderlecht failed to score again, drawing 0-0 at home with KRC Genk.

• They were held once more on Saturday, 1-1 at KV Mechelen, Steven Defour equalising after 62 minutes.

• The Dortmund reverse is Besnik Hasi's side's only defeat in 15 matches this term.

• Fabrice N'Sakala suffered a knee ligament injury in training on 3 September and is expected to be out until November at the earliest.

• Vanden Borre, who has not featured this season due to a torn calf muscle sustained at the FIFA World Cup, played 59 minutes for Anderlecht's Under-21 side in a 3-0 win against Royal Mouscron Péruwelz on 9 October.

Arsenal
• Wojciech Szczęsny is suspended after his red card on matchday two.

• Arsenal have won just two of their eight league games this season, four fewer than at the same stage last term.

• Alexis Sánchez opened the scoring and set up the added-time equaliser for Welbeck in Arsenal's 2-2 home draw against Hull City on Saturday.

• Héctor Bellerín, who started in Dortmund on matchday one, began a league match for Arsenal for the first time.

• Jack Wilshere went off in the second half on Saturday with a leg injury. Aaron Ramsey, out since 27 September, made his comeback from a hamstring complaint.

• Theo Walcott (out since 4 January, left knee) and Serge Gnabry (April, knee) made their returns from injury on Friday, playing 45 and 59 minutes respectively for the club's Under-21 side in a 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers FC.

• Arsenal suffered their first league defeat of the season when they lost 2-0 at Chelsea FC on 5 October.

• Mesut Özil played 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge but three days later, having joined the Germany squad preparing for their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers, was ruled out for an estimated three months by the German Football Association (DFB) following a scan on his left knee. Arsène Wenger later said Özil will be missing for "at least six weeks".

• Laurent Koscielny developed an Achilles problem while on international duty and missed the Hull game.

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