Manchester United will look to book their spot in the semi-finals of the Europa League when they welcome Anderlecht to Old Trafford on Thursday night.
A 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last-eight clash last week was a result that favoured Man United, although the tie is still open as the Belgian giants prepare to visit the 20-time English champions.
This season is actually Man United's first appearance in the quarter-finals of this particular European competition since 1985, when Ron Atkinson's side lost on penalties to Videoton.
The Europa League is the only UEFA trophy that has thus far eluded Man United, and it might well be their best passage into next season's Champions League. That said, Sunday's 2-0 victory over Chelsea in the Premier League has left them just four points off the top four with a game in hand.
The Red Devils arguably put in their finest performance of the season against Chelsea at the weekend, with goals from Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera ensuring that Jose Mourinho had some revenge against his former club.
In terms of this competition, Man United booked their spot in the first knockout round after finishing second behind Fenerbahce in Group A. They actually lost two of their six group fixtures, but ultimately ended the section five points clear of third-placed Feyenoord to make the next round.
Saint-Etienne were comfortably dispatched in the round of 32, with Man United winning 3-0 at home and 1-0 away to advance into the round of 16. Another favourable draw arrived as they were paired with Rostov, and a 1-1 draw in the first leg set them up to finish the job at Old Trafford. It was not exactly comfortable in the return, but a 1-0 success was enough to see Mourinho's side advance.
There have been too many draws for Man United this season – especially at Old Trafford – but they have actually only lost two times in 2017. The first of those came in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final against Hull City – when they still advanced – while they lost 1-0 at Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in March. Their last defeat in the league, meanwhile, was back in October.
Man United have actually won all five of their Old Trafford games in Europe this season – conceding just once in the process. They are also unbeaten in 16 UEFA home games since a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the 2012-13 Champions League, and will be looking to continue that impressive run of form this week.
Recent form: WDDWDW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWDWD
Anderlecht are competing in the quarter-finals of a European competition for the first time since the 1996-97 UEFA Cup, when they lost to Italian giants Inter Milan.
Progressing to this stage of the Europa League has been an impressive achievement, although they will be focused on shocking Man United this week.
Rene Weiler's side booked their spot in the knockout round of this season's competition after finishing second behind Saint-Etienne in Group C. They won three, drew two and lost one of their six fixtures, but their sole defeat came at home to Saint-Etienne, who Man United comfortably overcame in the first knockout round of the competition.
Anderlecht recorded a 2-0 victory at home to Zenit St Petersburg in the first leg of their last-32 clash, and booked their spot in the round of 16 on away goals despite suffering a 3-1 defeat in Russia.
It was more comfortable for the Belgian side in the last round, however, as they beat APOEL 1-0 home and away to ensure that they would advance into the final eight, setting up a quarter-final with Man United.
Impressively, Anderlecht have only lost once in seven European away games this season – scoring at least once in all of those matches. There is no question that they are the underdogs entering Thursday's clash at Old Trafford, but they have given themselves a chance after avoiding defeat last week.
The Belgian giants, who have won their domestic league on 33 occasions, lost 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur on the last occasion that they travelled to England, with that fixture occurring in the group stage of the 2015-16 Europa League.
Recent form: LWLWWD
Recent form (all competitions): WWWDDW
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both started Sunday's Premier League win over Chelsea on the bench, but the attacking pair are expected to return to Mourinho's XI this week.
Matteo Darmian's impressive display against Chelsea could see the Italian keep his spot in a back three, while Luke Shaw is pushing for a recall after missing the last couple of matches.
Sergio Romero will return between the sticks for the 20-time English champions, and Herrera is also expected to start after sitting out the first leg in Brussels. Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, could make the bench.
As for Anderlecht, leading scorer Lukasz Teodorczyk was only fit enough for the bench last week, but the 25-year-old should start for the visitors in place of Isaac Kiese Thelin, who struggled in the first leg.
Sofiane Hanni, meanwhile, impressed off the bench last week and could be handed a spot in the XI alongside Frank Acheampong.
Man United possible starting lineup:
Romero; Bailly, Rojo, Darmian; Valencia, Pogba, Herrera, Shaw; Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic, Rashford
Anderlecht possible starting lineup:
Ruben; Obradovic, Nuytinck, Mbodji, Appiah; Dendoncker, Tielemans; Acheampong, Stancui, Hanni; Teodorczyk
Head To Head
Thursday will be the eighth meeting between these two teams in European competition, and it is Man United that lead the head-to-head three victories to Anderlecht's two.
Their last two fixtures – before the first leg - came in the first group stage of the 2000-01 Champions League, with Man United recording a 5-1 victory on home soil, but losing 2-1 in Brussels one month later.
Before 2000, they had actually not met in European competition since the 1968 European Champions Clubs' Cup, with Man United emerging from their round two affair.
Nowgoal Prediction: Man United 2-0 Anderlecht
(Disclaimer：Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Nowgoal. We disclaim any responsibility and accepts no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising from any inaccuracies.)