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Old 20-04-2017, 09:11 AM   #6
Andi Istiabudi
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Default Re: [UEL] Manchester United vs Anderlecht


Manchester United's opponents Anderlecht say they're acutely aware of the task that faces them in the Europa League quarter-final second leg at Old Trafford on Thursday night, after witnessing the Reds' impressive weekend win over Chelsea.

The visitors' mission is made slightly more complicated by a crucial Sunday home match of their own that lies ahead, a six-pointer in their domestic title race against reigning champions Club Brugge. But after answering some questions on the quandaries of selecting teams for two huge games in quick succession, the coach of Belgium's current league leaders, Rene Weiler, turned his attention to United's qualities.

"Well of course we have to believe and we do believe [we can win] but at the same time we have to be realistic," said Weiler, when speaking at his pre-match press conference inside Old Trafford's Europa Suite on Wednesday evening.

"We know we're playing against a very high-level team in Manchester United. You only have to look at their performance last Sunday at home to Chelsea, I think they limited Chelsea to hardly any shots on target at all. They've had only three defeats in the entire season and in the last 22 games in the league they are unbeaten. They are very strong at the back and they've got some great individuals as well.

"We saw in the first leg what they could do and we know it's going to be very hard. We know that pretty much everyone in our team will have to put in a perfect performance. But we do believe we can go through and we will be doing our utmost best to try to make that happen."

Anderlecht enter the game at Old Trafford with United ahead on away goals following last week's 1-1 draw in Brussels and Weiler acknowledged: "We need a goal tomorrow and we need to be prudent as well.

"We like to think we'll be in a position to dictate proceedings at least for part of the game and we're not going to be defending all the time. It's not just a case of sitting back.

"We're playing here against Manchester United and they're the home side so quite often in situations like this it will be they who try to dictate the game initially. I've got to plan my tactics and know the right moment to strike and not just sit back."

One of the Anderlecht defenders who faced United in the first leg, Dennis Appiah, was naturally pleased when his effective marking of Marcus Rashford was praised by a journalist. Sitting alongside his coach Weiler at the media briefing, the young centre-back responded: "I watched some of the highlights of the game and I realise it was a decent job defending against him.

"He's a player who's very, very quick, he's a young player obviously and full of energy. But it's not just him, we've got to defend against other players too. He's not the only threat coming from United."

Another threat Appiah knows only too well is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a striker he came up against in the French league during games between their respective previous clubs Caen and Paris Saint-Germain.

Anderlecht's talented no.12 warned: "You can mark Zlatan for the whole game and he might look for 80 minutes like he's not having his best day but if you give him even half a chance, half an opportunity, a tiny bit of space, he can convert that into a goalscoring opportunity for himself or for someone else.

"Really what we have got to try to do is be aware of that, you can't leave him alone for a single second and we can't give him too much space in which to operate because he's a great player who can make the difference."
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