By Jan Willem Spaans
Belgian football writer, Raf Willems believes Celtic will come out on top when they travel to face Belgian champions Anderlecht for Wednesday’s Champions League tie.
Both sides come into this game on the back of heavy defeats to Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain respectively. With the two powerhouses overwhelming favourites to occupy the two top spots in Group B, the showdown in Brussels looks vital in deciding who will finish third and qualify for the Europa League.
Willems, a leading Belgian sports author, backs the Scottish side to win.
Anderlecht clinched the Belgian league title in May. Yet, Willems insists that this is a side in crisis.
“Manager Rene Weiler has left the club last week. His brand of football did not appeal to the Anderlecht faithful. On top of that, results have been poor this season. Star man Youri Tielemans left for AS Monaco and his replacement Sven Kums has not settled in well. His midfield colleague Leander Dendoncker suffered from a ‘transfer virus’, which has affected his performances massively.” He said.
With Weiler gone, unexperienced Nicolas Frutos has taken the hot seat as caretaker. Anderlecht won the first two games under his guidance, yet Willems describes Saturday’s 2-1 win away to Waasland-Beveren as “possibly the worst game in Anderlecht’s history.”
A vital talking point for the home side is whether or not striker Lukasz Teodorczyk will be available after an injury kept him out last weekend. Reports from Flemish press suggest that the Polish marksman will start.
Irrespective of Teodorczyk’s possible absence, Willems reckons an away win is on the cards.
He said: “Brendan Rodgers has reinstalled Celtic’s attacking football identity. Obviously a lot can happen in European games, but under normal circumstances I would back Celtic to win this one.”