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Anderlecht looking to break Croatian duck

RSC Anderlecht are aiming to end a winless run on Croatian soil, while NK Dinamo Zagreb's coach and two senior players will hope to put their knowledge of the Belgian visitors to good use.

Dinamo midfielder Marijo Mandžukić
Dinamo midfielder Marijo Mandžukić ©Getty Images

If RSC Anderlecht are aiming to end a winless run in Croatia on Matchday 1, NK Dinamo Zagreb's coach and two senior players will be hoping to put their knowledge of the Belgian visitors to good use.

Previous meetings

• The two clubs have never met before, but Dinamo have no reason to fear Belgian opposition, having thrashed KSK Beveren 6-1 in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage. Anderlecht, meanwhile, have played four games against Dinamo's compatriot clubs, losing both of their previous ties in Croatia, at HNK Hajduk Split and NK Osijek.

Match background

• Dinamo appeared in the UEFA Cup group stage on three occasions, but never qualified for the round of 32. Their record in 12 group stage games reads W2 D3 L7.

• Anderlecht battled through to the last 16 following their only UEFA Cup group stage appearance in the 2007/08 season.

• Dinamo have been unpredictable at home in Europe in recent years. Their last ten games at the Maksimir Stadium have left them with the record W4 D2 L4.

• Anderlecht kick off in Zagreb on the back of three straight European defeats – a 3-1 reverse at Sivasspor and 5-1 and 3-1 losses against Olympique Lyonnais in this season's UEFA Champions League qualifiers.

• The Belgian side have won only one of their last seven European away games, triumphing 2-1 at FC Bayern München in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16.

Team facts

• Anderlecht are five goals shy of their 500th in UEFA club competition.

• Dinamo coach Krunoslav Jurčić played in Belgium with Beveren in the 1995/96 season, but the midfielder moved on after the club were relegated at the end of the campaign.

• Jurčić also made the last of his 21 appearances for Croatia in Belgium, playing all 90 minutes of a 0-0 draw in September 2000.

• Croatians Ivica Mornar, Josip Weber and Luka Peruzović all enjoyed successful spells at Anderlecht, while the club also had a Croatian coach, Tomislav Ivić, from 1980-83. Ivić later led Dinamo Zagreb in the 1986/87 season.

• Anderlecht boss Ariël Jacobs has no experience of Croatian opposition, but his assistant Besnik Hasi should be able to compensate for that. The Kosovan-born former Albanian international played for Dinamo's neighbours NK Zagreb and nearby NK Samobor before moving to Belgium to join KRC Genk in 1994.

• Dinamo goalkeeper Tomislav Butina played for Anderlecht's Eerste Klasse rivals Club Brugge KV from 2003-06, conceding 22 goals in 33 games as his side took the 2004/05 title.

• Dinamo midfielder Robert Kovač played for Bayern in a 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw at Anderlecht in September 2003.

• Anderlecht will be at home against AFC Ajax on Matchday 2, while Dinamo face a trip to FC Timişoara on the same night, 1 October.