Thursday 13 Apr

Anderlecht vs Manchester United Match Preview

12 Apr 2017 Stuart S. INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage

RSC Anderlecht

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D


19:05 GMT
13 April 2017

Manchester United

  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

19:05 GMT 13 April 2017

As Jose Mourinho and Manchester United look to add a Europa League winners medal to their respective trophy cabinets, they’ll have to get past some top teams in the process. This starts with Anderlecht, as the Red Devils travel to Belgium in this quarter-final first-leg hoping to set up a comfortable second-leg at Old Trafford next Thursday. With their unconvincing performances in the competition so far, many pundits are predicting Man United to slip up and lose.


  • Anderlecht’s only loss in the Europa League this season came in the round of 32 where they were beaten 3-1 away at Zenit but they have been solid in their other games. They knocked out APOEL in the last round as they picked up two 1-0 wins, meaning a 2-0 aggregate score sent them through.
  • Man United have lost twice in the Europa League this season with losses against Feyenoord and Fenerbahce in the group stage. They haven’t been great and this was summed up with a narrow 2-1 aggregate win over FC Rostov in the last 16. They’ll need to improve if they want to win the competition.
  • Lukasz Teodorczyk has been Anderlecht’s main man in the Europa League so far this season and his 5 goals make him their top goal scorer in Europe.
  • Another player who has 5 Europa League goals is Man United’s top scorer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His goals have got his side out of several sticky situations but he has also missed a bagful of great chances.


The last European meeting between the two sides came back in 2000 as they were both drawn in the same Champions League group. Anderlecht won one and United won one. The more recent of the games was won by Anderlecht 2-1. Both teams scored in both games (5-1 and 2-1).


It’s vital that Anderlecht take a win into the second-leg at Old Trafford as United are yet to lose at the Theatre of Dreams in the Europa League this season. The Belgian league leaders will definitely have the chance to beat Man United and need to make sure they keep a clean sheet. They’ll be without Andy Najar for the game, which shouldn’t pose too much of an issue heading into the game, leaving them with a great chance of victory.

Latest matches in UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage: RSC Anderlecht

16.03.2017 UEFA RSC Anderlecht Apoel Nicosia FC 1:0 W
09.03.2017 UEFA Apoel Nicosia FC RSC Anderlecht 0:1 W
23.02.2017 UEFA Zenit St Petersburg RSC Anderlecht 3:1 L
16.02.2017 UEFA RSC Anderlecht Zenit St Petersburg 2:0 W
17.03.2016 UEFA RSC Anderlecht FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0:1 L


Man United will hope to take a solid result and an away goal back to Old Trafford for next week’s game and these would give them a good chance of reaching the semi-final. Antonio Valencia should return to the team while David De Gea will be rested. Paul Pogba, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata all missed the match against Sunderland at the weekend and probably won’t feature against Anderlecht.

Latest matches in UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage: Manchester United

16.03.2017 UEFA Manchester United FC Rostov 1:0 W
09.03.2017 UEFA FC Rostov Manchester United 1:1 D
22.02.2017 UEFA AS Saint Etienne Manchester United 0:1 W
16.02.2017 UEFA Manchester United AS Saint Etienne 3:0 W
17.03.2016 UEFA Manchester United Liverpool FC 1:1 D


There’s no doubt that the visitors are the favourites but their form has been so hit-and-miss this season, especially when playing away in the Europa League so Anderlecht will be confident of taking a win into the second-leg. Mourinho’s team must guard against complacency and should take a decent result back to the home leg but I expect Anderlecht to score at least 1 goal, which could force Man United to crumble as they so often have this season.

About the author - Stuart S.

An English freelance sports writer, Stuart has written the Arsenal blog A Cultured Left Foot since 2006, as well as numerous betting previews and articles.

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