3 Key Battles That Could Decide Man Utd's Europa League Quarter-Final Tie With Anderlecht

Manchester United face Belgian opponents Anderlecht in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night. Mourinho's men will travel to Belgium hoping to take back a solid lead to Old Trafford for the second leg in a weeks time, as United have a heavyweight clash with Premier League leaders Chelsea scheduled in between the two legs. However, the two fixtures are not a forgone conclusion as United's competitors currently sit top of their division, whilst the Red Devils have...

Eric Bailly vs Lukasz Teodorczyk

United defender Eric Bailly will have a difficult task in stopping Anderlecht's Lukasz Teodorczyk over the two legs. 


The Poland international is their top goalscorer in the Europa League this term having scored five so far, the same number as Zlatan Ibrahimovic.


The 25-year-old, who is on loan from Dynamo Kyiv, is renown for his hold up play and aerial ability. Bailly has enjoyed a relatively good first season since his arrival from Villarreal in the summer, but he will have to keep close tabs on the Anderlecht forward, especially from set pieces.

Michael Carrick vs Sofiane Hanni

Michael Carrick will be expected to provide the Red Devils' midfield with stability and experience. Typically considered as United's 'fireman' - it will be his job to stifle any attacks that derive from the Anderlecht midfield.


The 36-year-old will lock horns with Anderlecht's Sofiane Hanni and attempt to thwart the Algerian's creativity in the middle of the park.


The tricky playmaker has four assists to his name in this season's Europa League and Carrick will have to continue to roll back the years if he is to keep up with him over the two games.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs Kara Mbodji & Bram Nuytinck

If Anderlecht have any chance of progressing in to the semi-finals they will definitely need to ensure they keep United talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet.


The Swede has been a major success for the Red Devils this season - scoring 28 goals in all competitions and acting as provider for many others.


The men with the unprecedented task of taming United's star player are central-defenders Kara Mbodji and Bram Nuytick. The pair have built up a solid defensive partnership this season and this is highlighted in Anderlecht's impressive record in recent weeks - conceding only one goal in their last five matches.

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