DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sacha Kljestan could once again earn the starting nod for Anderlecht on Wednesday evening when they try to keep their slim Champions League hopes alive against visiting Galatasaray.
The American earned his third straight start for Anderlecht over the weekend, playing the first hours in their 3-1 loss at the hands of Charleroi.
The once forgotten American international seems to be back in favor of head coach Besnik Hasi, as the long-time player and assistant-turned-head coach had also turned to Kljestan for their final two games before the break.
While the Türkish powerhouse Galatasaray is out of the running for advancement into the knockout round by way of their dismal showing throughout the group stage, the Belgian champions have a hair of a chance to reach the final 16 should all the pieces fall in the perfect place.
They are currently five points behind second-place Arsenal, meaning that a win on Wednesday, followed by the highly unlikely result of beating Dortmund away combined with Galatasaray simultaneously taking down Arsenal would see them through.
While few would dare to bet even a grain of sand on the Belgians, a win would still guarantee at least a place in the Europa League knockout round, meaning that they will be pushing hard for the victory.
Galatasaray, in their first season under the leadership of former Italian national team coach Cesare Prandelli, have had a fairly strong fall in league play, but have been awful in taking just a single point from their first four games in Champions League play.
They will be looking for redemption in Belgium, knowing that a victory will in all likelihood push them through to the Europa League knockout round.
Anderlecht have a number of absences, with Fabrice N'Sakala out with a knee problem, Steven Defour out with calf problem, Mathias Suarez likely out with an ongoing knee issue, and Bram Nuytinck questionable with a toe problem./
For the visitors, Defender Semih Kaya is a question mark as he nears return from injury, but Blerim Dzemaili will be forced to miss the trip due to suspension.