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If either Anderlecht or Malaga manages to take all three points on Wednesday, they'll establish themselves as surprising group favorites.
Malaga and Anderlecht are both coming off of brilliant results in Matchday 1, and both have a chance to establish themselves as favorites to get out of the group on Wednesday, especially if Zenit St. Petersburg and AC Milan draw before they take the pitch. Anderlecht were excellent in a draw at the San Siro, while Malaga laid a beating on Zenit.
Anderlecht achieved that result without a couple of key contributors, but they're fully fit for this match. They also impressed at the weekend, keeping a clean sheet in their league match. Malaga are playing well domestically as well, and look like favorites to finish in the top four of La Liga again. They decimated Real Betis 4-0 this weekend and have not lost in the league. Their surprisingly adept defense has also conceded just twice in the league and Champions League, over seven matches.
Both teams are strong in the middle, and Anderlecht might be ask Sacha Kljestan to perform a repeat of his duties against AC Milan, when he shadowed Urby Emmanuelson for the entire match. He'll have a much tougher task in keeping Isco contained on Wednesday. The young Spanish star appears to have taken a massive step up this season, now that Santi Cazorla is gone and he's the focal point of the side.
Anderlecht injuries and suspensions
Malaga injuries and suspensions
Out: Jérémy Toulalan, Diego Buonanotte, Júlio Baptista
All of Malaga's injured players have returned to training and will be back soon, but they're not fit for Wednesday night's match. Anderlecht, who has been dealing with various injuries and suspensions all year, finally has their full team available.
Match Date/Time: 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Soccer Channel (U.S.), Sky Sports 2 (U.K.), Sportsnet One (Canada), NTV+ Football (Russia)
Online: FOX Soccer 2 Go (U.S.)