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Weiler backs Anderlecht to make history at Old Trafford and sink Manchester United


By Simon Peach

Anderlecht are fighting against the odds and the record books at Manchester United, but manager Rene Weiler believes his players can land a knockout blow in their Europa League quarter-final.

The most successful team in Belgian football are competing in their first continental quarter-final in 20 years and arrive at Old Trafford with the score locked at 1-1 after Leander Dendoncker's late header.

However, Henrikh Mkhitaryan's away goal in Brussels last week could yet prove crucial as United look to progress to the semi-finals, which bookmakers have them as short as 1-12 to reach.

Jose Mourinho's side have conceded just one Europa League goal at Old Trafford this season and have won all five matches, extending their unbeaten European home record to 16 games.

Sir Alex Ferguson was at the helm when United last lost a continental match on home soil and Anderlecht have never won any of their 17 previous visits to English clubs, highlighting what a big ask lies in wait.

"Of course we have to believe," manager Weiler said. "We do believe, but at the same time we have to be realistic.

"We know we are playing a very high level team in Manchester United. You only have to look at the performance of this squad last Sunday, they limited Chelsea to hardly any shots.

"I think they have had three defeats in the entire season and in the last 22 matches they are unbeaten. They are very strong at the back and they have some great individuals as well.

"We saw in the first leg what they can do and we know it is going to be very hard, and we know that pretty much everyone in our team is going to have to put in a perfect performance.

"But we do believe and we will be trying our absolute best.

"We do need a goal tomorrow but we need to be prudent as well."

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