Tuesday, 26 July 2016

FC Rostov vs R.S.C. Anderlecht Champions League Match Preview And Prediction - July 27, 2016

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Rostov had an excellent season domestically last year as they achieved their best ever finish in the Russian Premier League. They finished 2nd, just two points behind winners CSKA Moscow and ahead of the likes of Zenit, Krasnodar, and Spartak Moscow.

This saw them qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history, and their only previous involvement in European competition were a pair of Intertoto Cup appearances in 1999 and 2000 and their Europa League debut last season. Rostov’s Europa League debut didn’t go particularly well though, with them entering and exiting the competition at the playoff stage, losing 2-0 to Trabzonspor.

The new Russian Premier League season begins on Saturday as well, so they will be keen to get their competitive season off to a respectable start on Tuesday. Pre-season has seen Rostov win one and draw two of their three games, taking their overall record to an impressive 11 wins, four draws, and just one defeat in their last 16 outings.

Anderlecht will be a tough test for the Russians though. The Belgians are regulars in Europe and often make it to the group stages of the competition. Last season’s 2nd place finish in the Belgian Pro League means they do have to undergo the qualification procedure though, which they wouldn’t have had to do had they beaten Club Brugge to the title.

Last season they participated in the Europa League and made it all the way to the Round of 16, and prior to that they finished 3rd in their Champions League group in 2014/15 to enter the Europa League knockout stages again. They certainly have the pedigree in Europe, but a trip to Russia is never easy.

Anderlecht have the better squad of the two teams, but Rostov are at home and in excellent form at the moment. I’m expecting this to be a very tight match, so my prediction is for a draw at 11/5, and I’m going for 1-1 for my correct score prediction at 5/1.

Tuesday will be the first meeting between Rostov and Anderlecht.

67% of Anderlecht's last nine away games in the Champions League have ended all square.

Rostov are expecting to have a fully fit squad on Tuesday.

Right back Andy Najar and midfielder Stephane Badji are both sidelined with knee injuries.

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