Manchester United kick off their Champions League group with an away trip to PSV Eindhoven. The squad travelled to the Netherlands yesterday without club captain Wayne Rooney, who misses the tie through injury.
PSV Eindhoven are the current champions of the Dutch Eredivise, which is why they were in pot one for the Champions League draw.
For now though, PSV sit in 4th on 11 points, after 3 wins and 2 draws. They started the season with a 2-0 win in the Dutch Supercup and are coming into the Manchester United game from a 6-0 away win at Cambuur. Cambuur are still without a league win but 6-0 is still very impressive.
Last season, stats by Manchester United Website United Ramble state that Memphis Depay was PSV’s top league goal scorer, netting two more goals that Luuk de Jong. This season, de Jong has continued his scoring with 5 goals in 5 games.
PSV’s biggest danger man this season has been the Dutch-Indian right winger, Luciano Narsingh. The 25 year old has everything needed in winger. He’s got tricky feet, a lot of upper body strength and he’s rapid on the ball. This season he already has 2 goals and 2 assists.
Eindhoven have been lining up in a 4-3-3 formation, fielding (from left to right) Maxime Lestienne, Luuk de Jong and Luciano Narsingh in the striker and winger roles. Their pace and eye for goal could cause United’s back four problems. It’s quite similar to the methods enforced by Swansea when they attack.
The shadow loitering over the Red Devils coming into this fixture is that Manchester United have never won in Eindhoven. In 1984 they drew 0-0 and in 2000 PSV won 3-1. But van Gaal believes that a draw would be acceptable:
“A draw away is always a good result… but I want to win. The first game is very important.”
“PSV are difficult to beat at their home ground.”
Memphis Depay also commented on his upcoming return to his old club:
“I played for PSV for 10 years so it’s a special feeling to see my old team mates.”
The match up will take place at the 35,000 capacity Philips Stadion and kicks off at 19:45.
Despite their Dutch prestige, Manchester United should be looking to win this match. If they play like they did in the second half of the Liverpool game then they should win 2 or 3-0.