How could Anderlecht line up against Celtic?
Anderlecht played a 5-4-1 formation in their Champions League opener against Bayern Munich (although Sven Kums was sent off after 11 minutes and Anderlecht were beaten 3-0) in Rene Weiler’s final European match in charge.
The temporary management team of Nicolas Frutos, David Sesa and Thomas Binggeli will almost certainly go for a more positive approach against Celtic. A more attacking line-up against Waasland-Beveren at the weekend did result in a victory, but the Brussels outfit had to come from behind with two goals in the final 15 minutes to secure victory.
If Frutos opts for the 4-2-3-1 formation often preferred by Weiler, he is likely to select Matz Sels in goal, after the on-loan Newcastle United ‘keeper was rested against Waasland-Beveren, with a four-man defence of Dennis Appiah at right back, Uroš Spajić and veteran Olivier Deschacht in central defence, with Ivan Obradović in the left full back role.
Former Standard Liege and Nantes midfielder Adrien Trebel will likely partner Leander Dendoncker in defensive midfield, with Senegal international Kara Mbodji expected to miss the game with a knee injury and Sven Kums suspended.
Frutos has a number of options in the attacking midfield three. Honduran winger Andy Najar is out with a torn hamstring but Frutos has Massimo Bruno, Sofiane Hanni, Romanian duo Alexandru Chipciu and Nicolae Stanciu to choose from.
One-time Celtic target Henry Onyekuru has played on the left of the three, although there is a chance he could be asked to play the lone striker role if Polish forward Łukasz Teodorczyk, who missed the win over Beveren with a thigh injury, fails to shake off his injury in time to face Celtic.
Another option in the lone striker role is Tunisian centre forward Hamdi Harbaoui. The 32-year-old has played in Anderlecht’s last six matches and while he can be deployed as a number 10, Frutos could opt to start him up top.
Despite bringing in Slovenian striker Robert Beric on loan from St Etienne, the forward has played just 16 minutes for Anderlecht and is unlikely to start against Celtic.
If Frutos does go with the 4-2-3-1 formation, his likely picks in attacking midfield will be Onyekuru, Hanni and Stanciu, with Harbaoui as the lone striker assuming Teodorczyk doesn’t make it.
That would give the Belgians a fairly strong bench along the lines of sub ‘keeper Frank Boeckx, defenders Josué Sá and Emmanuel Sowah Adjei, midfielders Chipciu, Bruno and Pieter Gerkens, and Beric.