Anderlecht vs. Arsenal
Anderlecht will host Arsenal at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels Wednesday, Oct. 22, as the club hopes to stay in contention in Group D of the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Anderlecht fell to 0-1-1 in group play when they were hammered at home 3-0 by Dortmund on Matchday 2. Arsenal earned its first win in group play with a 4-1 victory at home over Galatasaray. The Gunners previously fell to Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in their first match of this year's group stage.
Anderlecht will be without defender Fabrice N’Sakala, who has a knee injury. Defender Bram Nuytinck is doubtful with a toe injury.
Arsenal has been dealing with a slew of injuries this season. Out for the match for sure are defenders Mathieu Debuchy (ankle) and Laurent Koscielny (calf), goalkeeper David Ospina (hip), midfielder Mesut Ozil (knee) and forward Yaya Sanogo (thigh). Midfielder Aaron Ramsey is doubtful with a hamstring injury, while fellow midfielder Jack Wilshere is also a doubt with a knee injury, though the young English international could be available. Forward Theo Walcott is not likely to play because of knee problems. Walcott has been out since January after he injured his knee in an FA Cup tie with Tottenham.
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who drew a red card on Matchday 2, will also sit out for Arsenal. Third-choice keeper Emiliano Martinez will start for Arsenal.
Dennis Praet has Anderlecht’s only goal through two Champions League matches. Danny Welbeck has three goals for Arsenal after recording a hat trick against Galatasaray.
This is the first meeting between the sides in UEFA Champions League play.
How to watch
Match time: 2:45 p.m. (ET)
Live stream: You can watch the match online here.
TV coverage: Fox Sports 2
Arsenal was runner-up in the Champions League in 2006, losing to Barcelona 2-1 in the final.
The Gunners have advanced through group play in the Champions League each of the last 11 years, but were eliminated in the round of 16 the last four years. This is their 17th straight year in the group stage.
Arsenal was founded in 1886 and has won 11 English titles, most recently in 2004.
The Gunners are struggling in the English Premier League, currently tied for seventh on the table after eight fixtures in which the team has only tallied 11 points.
Arsenal’s last match was a 2-2 draw with Hull City at Emirates Stadium.
Nicknamed Paars-wit in Dutch and Les Mauve et Blanc in French (Purple and Whites), Anderlecht is the defending champions of the Belgian First League, which it has won 33 times.
Founded in 1908, Anderlecht is in the group stage for the third consecutive year.
The Purple and Whites reached the quarterfinals in both 1987 and 1988 and were semifinalists in 1986.
Anderlecht currently sits atop the Belgian First League table with 23 points in 11 fixtures.
The Purple and Whites played domestic opponent Mechelen to a 1-1 draw in their last match.