PSV and Tottenham face each other in a crunch Champions League tie, where the losers will likely lose any hopes of qualifying for the knockout phase.
Tottenham visit PSV Eindhoven at the back of two defeats in their opening two group stage games to Inter Milan first, then at home to Barcelona. That leaves Spurs lingering in third place only on goal difference with the other two sides placed higher above them with six points each.
It all leaves Spurs with a must-win game at Eindhoven, as a defeat or a draw will leave them hanging for a place in the knockout stages. Despite a strong start to their domestic campaign, Spurs need a boost to improve their chances in this season’s Champions League.
Their form is in contrast to last season when they topped their group which also consisted of Borussia Dortmund and eventual winners, Real Madrid. However, a win in this double-header against PSV could boost their chances before Inter Milan visit them and a trip to Camp Nou to face Barcelona.
PSV, much like Spurs are in a precarious situation in their group. They might not fancy their chances anymore against Barcelona or Inter Milan, but considering Tottenham’s form in their group, they could dream of a result against Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
However, a defeat against Tottenham will all but end their chances of a knock out stage entry, and a place in the Europa League considering the quality of the other three teams in the group.
Domestically, PSV are in a rich vein of form, winning nine successive games and topping Eredivisie. They need to bring this form into the game against Tottenham to stand any chance of progression, which as is the case, already bleak. It will be interesting to watch Mark van Bommel’s men take on Pochettino’s Tottenham side, which is a must-win encounter for both sides.
Team News & Tactics
Mark Van Bommel should be able to name his strongest possible lineup to face Tottenham, with the exception of Ryan Thomas, who is sidelined with a serious knee injury. Van Bommel will be relying on his players to come good in the Champions League after a disappointing start to their campaign, hence could name his league starting lineup to face Tottenham at home.
Among the players he will rely upon would be goalkeeper Zoet, who will be backed by a customary four-man defence of Dumfries, Schwaab, Viergever and Angelino. In midfield, Vaan Bommel will opt to go with a three-man unit, with Rosario, Hendrix and Pereiro set to be the trio.
Van Bommel’s attacking front three will include, Barcelona target, Hirving Lozano, Bergwijn and De Jong. Overall, this side has been in a rich vein of attacking form domestically, and the Tottenham game will be a test of character for Van Bommel’s men.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Zoet; Dumfries, Schwaab, Viergever, Angelino; Rosario, Hendrix, Pereiro; Lozano, Bergwijn, De Jong
Tottenham’s injury problems are easing steadily as a key period of the season approaches. After Christian Eriksen came off the bench against West Ham over the weekend, Dele Alli is the next in line to make a comeback. Alli has been out with a thigh injury for quite some time now and his return will definitely boost Tottenham’s attacking ranks, which has seen a shortage of goals than their usual standards.
Danny Rose and Victor Wanyama are also closing in on their respective returns, although they could only find a place on the bench, as playing from the start would be a tactical risk for Pochettino. Serge Aurier is pencilled for a start against PSV, thus giving the overworked Kieran Trippier a slight breather. On the other hand Son Heung-min could take his place in the starting lineup in place of Lucas Moura, as the Korean was an unused substitute against West Ham at the weekend.
Pochettino will name a strong lineup, as the manager would not be taking things for granted at this crucial stage when his team desperately need to win their upcoming games to stay in the competition.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Lamela, Eriksen, Son; Kane
- The sides have only met twice before during the last 16 round of the UEFA Cup back in 2007-08.
- PSV have won only two of their last 15 Champions League games against English sides.
- Tottenham, have five wins out of eight against Dutch opponents in European competition.
- PSV are on their worst run in the competition after being winless in their last 10 games.
- Tottenham are on a three-game losing streak in the Champions League and have never recorded four in a row before.
Player To Watch
Tottenham’s premier playmaker’s absence was felt when he was out injured. That period also saw Spurs scoring the low amount of goals than their usual standard with the likes of the Danish star, Dele Alli and Harry Kane taking apart defences. Now that the playmaker is back in action and a mooted to play from the start, he could become Spurs’ key man in the competition.
If Tottenham are to have any chance of progression, it would heavily depend on the Danish stars’ form and performances, starting with their trip to PSV. He is also essential to realising the full potential of other stars such as Harry Kane, who in his absence seems to be playing with more responsibility and pressure, something that would ease with Dane’s return.
PSV 1-3 Tottenham
Tottenham will be raring to get into top gear and bring about their natural game against PSV. The idea for Pochettino after two losses in the group would be to win the doubleheader with the Dutch Champions. It is necessary for Spurs to take all six points from here on considering as they face Barcelona and Inter Milan after these encounters.
To keep themselves a hope to qualify for the next round, they would hope Inter lose both their games against Barcelona and hence when the time comes, it could become a key clash for Spurs to win against Inter when they play next. Against PSV, Spurs have the required quality to outshine the Dutch side and collect three points from this away trip to Eindhoven.