Celtic's Champions League opponents Anderlecht do not have their troubles to seek

Anderlecht's team line-up before the Bayern Munich defeat
Anderlecht's team line up before their opening Group B clash with Bayern Munich

"Anderlecht's game really hurt the eyes," cried Het Laatste on Sunday morning, one of Belgium's most popular newspapers.

Words that will no doubt irk the inner-sanctum of Belgium's football champions.

But words that will encourage Celtic in what is surely the key game of their Champions League campaign.

Assuming both Paris St-Germain and top seeds Bayern Munich fight it out for Group B's last-16 golden tickets, third spot and the Europa League knock-out football that goes with it could be partly decided on Wednesday when Brendan Rodgers's players travel to Brussels on match-day two.

In what is essentially the first leg of a standalone tie, if that is to be believed, Rodgers will have been heartened as Anderlecht collected an undeserved victory at Waasland Beveren on Saturday night.

The match summed up the spluttering start to the season by the Purple and Whites. They are managerless, languishing in seventh place in the Belgian Pro League and nine points behind leaders Club Brugge.

Swiss coach Rene Weiler was axed after an indifferent opening to their title defence in which they won only twice in their first seven league games.

Adrien Trebel and Nicolae Stanciu of Anderlecht
Anderlecht fell to a 3-0 defeat by Bayern Munich in their opening Group B match

And the Beveren players were crestfallen after the 2-1 victory for the visitors.

Rightly so, as a combination of profligate finishing and an inspired goalkeeping performance won the day for the champions.

Recently reinstated Frank Boekx in the Anderlecht goal made countless saves, some top class, to deny the hosts throughout.

Goals from Romania attacking midfielder Nicolae Stanciu and Serbia centre-half Uros Spajic - who was posted missing for Beveren's opener - allowed Belgium's most successful club to scramble a victory from the jaws of defeat.

However, the performance itself will offer hope to Celtic that they can take something home from this week's trip to the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.

That said, and despite the £19m summer departure of star man Youri Tielemans to Monaco, Anderlecht still have threats in their squad.

Nicolae Stanciu

As mentioned previously, Stanciu scored Anderlecht's first with a fine finish that justifies the record transfer fee paid by a Belgian club of about £9m.

Stanciu, brought in from Steaua Bucharest last summer, featured for Romania at Euro 2016 and has Champions League experience from his previous club.

Anderlecht's Nicolae Stanciu (left) in action against Zulte Waregem
Nicolae Stanciu (left) was linked with Chelsea this summer

The 24-year-old was reportedly interesting Chelsea in the summer and has the potential to make the same impact on the national team as iconic figures like Gheorghe Hagi, Dorinel Munteanu and Laszlo Boloni, who incidentally manages in Belgium with Royal Antwerp.

Stanciu scored 10 times as Anderlecht wrapped up their 34th Belgian title last season.

Lukasz Teodorczyk

Lukasz Teodorczyk is struggling to be fit for Celtic's visit and that would be a massive bonus for Celtic.

The Poland striker missed the win over Beveren and is a huge loss to Anderlecht when he doesn't play.

A big focal-point for the Belgians, the 26-year-old was initially on loan from previous club Dynamo Kiev but made the move to Brussels permanent in March.

He used the disappointment of not making Poland's Euro 2016 squad by scoring 22 of Anderlecht's Pro League goals as they wrestled the title back from Club Brugge last term.

Lukasz Teodorczyk of Anderlecht
Anderlecht's Lukasz Teodorczyk could miss the first game against Celtic

Henry Onyekuru

Teodorczyk was denied top-scorer status in Belgium last season thanks to his new team-mate, Henry Onyekuru, who has claimed he rejected a move to Celtic this summer.

The Nigerian 20-year-old also hit 22 league goals, but while his then rival was finding the net for the champions, Onyekuru was doing it for newly promoted Eupen, who spent the season trying to stay up.

His performances convinced Ronald Koeman to part with £7m to bring him to Everton before he was immediately sent back to Belgium on loan to Anderlecht.

And he is already back among the goals, with four to his name so far despite starting the last three games, including at Bayern on match day one, on the bench.

However, he has helped turn their last two matches in Anderlecht's favour and could be let loose against Celtic in the make-or-break tie in Brussels.

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Highlights: Rangers 0-2 Celtic

Anderlecht have had very similar struggles on the road to Celtic.

Now in their 12th Champions League group campaign, they have only won twice in 34 games away from home.

Celtic could take a real stride to post-Christmas European football against a beleaguered side struggling for form on their own patch ahead of December's Glasgow return.

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