Anderlecht and Benfica, the two teams who rely on Serbian players, square off against each other in the Champions League reversed fixture at Stade Constant Vanden Stock. Benfica face a must-win situation, but this match will be anything but a walk in the park for the Portuguese side.
Anderlecht chiefs have reinforced the squad during the summer transfer window, but the Belgian champions have been playing below expectations this term. Following a shocking 2-1 defeat to Sporting Charleroi dropped to fifth position in the national championship and Les Mauves et Blancs are already out of the Champions League as they are sitting at the rock bottom of Group C, with two games to go. However the team’s goal at the moment is to book their place in the Europa League last 32 round, but in order to turn their dream into reality, the Belgians need to defeat Benfica at their Stade Constant Vanden Stock on Wednesday night. Newly-signed Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored six goals and it seems as if he is getting better and better week by week, but Anderlecht face difficulties up front in the Champions League as they have scored just one goal in the group stage, when they played out a shocking 1-1 draw with Paris Saint Germain at Parc des Princes and, taking everything into account, I am not tempted to back the out-of-form hosts this time out.
Benfica management has made a number of changes to the squad in the new season. The Eagles have decided to rely on Serbian players in the new campaign, with the likes of Markovic, Sulejmani, Djuricic, Mitrovic and Fejsa joining their compatriot Nemanja Matic at Estadio da Luz. The Serbian midfielder is the team’s key player this term and the former Chelsea man scored the only goal in Benfica’s hard-fought 1-0 victory over Braga at the weekend. The Eagles are still in the race for Primeira Liga title with Porto, but the things do not look bright for Jorge Jesus’ man in the Champions League. Ahead of their trip to Brussels, Benfica occupy third position in Group C and they are three points behind second-placed Olympiakos. The visitors face do or die situation at Stade Constant Vanden Stock and I believe that they are capable of recording a vital away victory, which should help them return to the right track.