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Anderlecht v Manchester United background

Anderlecht have won five of their last six European home games and will feel they can hold their own as they welcome Manchester United in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

Anderlecht v Manchester United background
Anderlecht v Manchester United background ©Getty Images

Anderlecht suffered their worst European defeat in a previous encounter with Manchester United and, in their first quarter-final for 20 years, may not be looking forward to facing Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Previous meetings
• The clubs are meeting for the seventh time; Anderlecht won two of the previous six match-ups (W2 L1 at home – L3 in Manchester).

• The first of those fixtures – a 10-0 European Cup win for United at Manchester City's former home, Maine Road, on 26 September 1956 – remains Anderlecht's heaviest loss, and United's biggest win, in UEFA competition.

Highlights: Anderlecht 1-0 APOEL
Highlights: Anderlecht 1-0 APOEL

• Anderlecht's 32 UEFA games against English sides have ended W7 D5 L20 (W7 D3 L7 in Brussels). They have yet to win in 15 trips to England (D2 L13). They last played English opposition in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage, losing 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur having won by the same scoreline at home.

• Anderlecht's past meetings with English teams include two finals: a 4-2 success against West Ham in the 1976 European Cup Winners' Cup decider, played in Brussels, and the two-legged 1984 UEFA Cup final against Tottenham, which they lost 4-3 on penalties after two 1-1 draws.

• Aside from their six matches versus Anderlecht, United's only other experience of Belgian opponents is a 7-1 aggregate victory over Club Brugge in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League play-offs. They triumphed 4-0 in the second leg on what is their most recent visit to Belgium.

Form guide
• Anderlecht have won five of their last six European home games, the only aberration a 3-2 group stage loss to St-Étienne – the side United eliminated in this season's round of 32.

Highlights: Manchester United 1-0 Rostov
Highlights: Manchester United 1-0 Rostov

• United are six European matches unbeaten (W5 D1).

• Anderlecht's last European quarter-final was in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup, where they lost to Internazionale Milano. They were eliminated by another Serie A side – Roma – at the same stage in 1990/91.

• United are striving for the only UEFA club trophy that has thus far eluded them. Their only previous quarter-final in this competition came in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup when Ron Atkinson's side lost on penalties to Videoton.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Manchester to Brussels is around 550km.

Ibrahimović scored four goals at Anderlecht in a 5-0 UEFA Champions League group stage win for Paris Saint-Germain in October 2013. He struck again in the return fixture, a 1-1 draw.

• With five goals since the start of the group stage, Ibrahimović and Anderlecht's Łukasz Teodorczyk are the top scorers left in this season's competition. Both are three shy of Zenit's Giuliano and Roma's Edin Džeko at the top of the leaderboard.

See what happened when United and Anderlecht last met
See what happened when United and Anderlecht last met

• Ibrahimović and Anderlecht's Isaac Kiese Thelin are two of three Swedes left in the competition, all of whom are aiming to play in the UEFA Europa League final in their nation's capital. Celta Vigo's John Guidetti is the other.

• United's Belgian international Marouane Fellaini took on Anderlecht four times as a Standard Liège player with the record W1 D2 L1.

• The first leg is taking place the day after United defender Eric Bailly's 23rd birthday.

• United have played fewer UEFA games than Anderlecht (336 to the Belgian side's 388) but have recorded more wins: 178-173.

• As in the round of 16, Belgium is the best represented nation in the quarter-finals with two teams: Genk and Anderlecht. In the previous seven UEFA Europa League seasons, only two Belgian clubs got this far: Standard in 2009/10 and Club Brugge in 2014/15.

• Anderlecht have lost more UEFA games (134) than any other team and only Real Madrid (549) have conceded more goals than the Purples (503) in Europe.

Anderlecht coach René Weiler
Anderlecht coach René Weiler©AFP/Getty Images

The coaches
• Capped once by Switzerland, René Weiler is in his debut season as Anderlecht coach having spent his first two years of coaching with Nürnberg from 2014–16. The one-time defender established his reputation in his home country with Schaffhausen and Aarau.

• José Mourinho took over as United boss last summer. Having made his name winning the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League with Porto, he landed Europe's top club prize again with Internazionale Milano as well as three Premier League titles during two stints at Chelsea.

• In Mourinho's last foray in this competition, he guided Porto to the 2003 UEFA Cup final, where they edged Celtic 3-2 in Seville.

• Mourinho faced Anderlecht twice with Chelsea in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League group stage, his side winning 1-0 at home and 2-0 away.