Besnik Hasi FC Dynamo Moscow

Europa League Preview: Anderlecht vs Dynamo Moscow

6:07 PMAleks Vee

by Aleks V | @aleksvee

The 2014-15 UEFA Europa League knockout round begins on Thursday, February 19th, and so far, it looks like it'll be a thriller. Most of the teams in the first leg of the Round of 32 will be meeting their opponents for the first time. Belgian Pro League champions RSC Anderlecht will host the group stage stars FC Dynamo Moscow at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. Kick-off is at 21:05 CT (3:05pm EST).

Anderlecht

The Belgian club comes out of an unlucky Champions League group, where they faced the likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, and Galatasaray. With that in mind, they still managed to draw in one leg against each opponent. Anderlecht have been shaky at home in European competition, losing six games in a row before their 2-0 win against Galatasaray. Their domestic record tells a different story. They recently made the final of the Belgian Cup and are set to face Brugge in March. Their last Cup win was in the 2007-08 season.

Key Players

Mitrovic, Vanden Borre, and Mmemba, who all scored two goals in the UCL group stage, will be instrumental in the attack. Steven Defour will bring his experience in UEFA competition, and will likely make his 50th appearance in a UEFA club competition.

Record vs Clubs From Opponent's Country

Anderlecht last faced a Russian club in Europe in 2012, when they beat Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 in the 2nd leg of the Champions League group stage. They are 5-1-6 in Europe against Russian sides with 21 goals for and against, so a game against Dynamo can either make or break their hopes for the next round.

Dynamo Moscow

Dynamo are unbeaten in their last 15 games in all competitions, and recently took home The Atlantic Cup, ending a trophy drought of nearly 20 years. The blue-and-whites are also unbeaten in this season's Europa League from the third qualifying round onward.

Key Players

Mathieu Valbuena never ceases to amaze; he's a universal player who can be instrumental anywhere on the pitch. Be on the lookout for his set piece deliveries. Alex Buttner has stepped up his game, contributing both in the defense and attack. William Vainqueur played alongside Anderlecht's Defour and Cyriac while at R. Standard de Liege.

Record vs Clubs From Opponent's Country

Dynamo haven't played a Belgian club in an official match since 1997, when they won 3-2 against KRC Genk in the group stage of the UEFA Intertoto Cup. They've lost three of their seven games in Europe against Belgian sides, with a goal difference of 8-10.

The Managers

Neither Besnik Hasi or Stanislav Cherchesov have won a European cup as a player or manager.

In his first ever season as head coach, Hasi won the Belgian Pro League and Super Cup while leading Anderlecht to their first UEFA knockout stage in 3 seasons.

Cherchesov led Dynamo to the UEL group stage and knockout round for the first time in the club's history. In the Russian Premier League, he established Dynamo as a top 4 contender.

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