Champions League Group B: PSV pursue progression with CSKA win
Lee Gormley | December 7, 2015
PSV Eindhoven v CSKA Moscow
- Champions League Group B
- Tuesday, December 8th
- Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
- Philips Stadium, Eindhoven
- Live on BT Sport Extra 1
PSV pursuing Man Utd’s second spot
Phillip Cocu’s Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven are aiming to leapfrog Manchester United into second place in their Champions League Group B standings, as they target a victory which would see them reach the European knockout stage.
A win for the Dutch hosts over travelling Russian challengers CSKA would see PSV qualify for the last 16 of the competition, as they enter this clash with their fate in their own hands.
With that in mind, and against a side who cannot progress, PSV are 23/10 to win and both teams to score at the Philips Stadium, while Moscow are 7/2 to secure a travelling triumph. A draw, which is 14/5 to occur, would be enough for the home side to progress if the Red Devils should lose to Wolfsburg too.
Louis van Gaal’s men go to Germany needing a victory over group leaders Die Wolfe to qualify, but PSV won’t be concerned as they target a win which would see them through, despite currently sitting in third position.
Cocu confident of progression
PSV may need a home triumph to qualify for the next round of Europe’s elite club competition, but their recent poor form against Russian opposition suggest they may find it difficult.
CSKA toppled Cocu’s men 3-2 in Moscow earlier in the Group B campaign and the Dutch side lost home and away to both Dinamo Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg last season, but their boss is using his playing experience to help claim success.
“What you learned as a player, you certainly take into your coaching. That experience will help in the planning of how we approach this game, how we deal with the pressure and in figuring out what scenarios we might face,” stated the former Netherlands international.
Europa League spot for Moscow?
CSKA’s Champions League hopes are already over, but a victory on Dutch turf would see them steal a Europa League place, though their coach Leonid Slutsky admitted they were in a crisis, after suffering three defeats in their last four domestic games, with their last win coming at the end of October.
“Our run of poor form is continuing, I would say we are in a crisis,” declared Slutsky.
The Russians will be without a number of key performers for their trip, with Vasili Berezutski, Georgi Shchennikov and Roman Eremenko staying in Moscow, while Cocu will be without Luciano Narsingh, who picked up an injury in PSV’s last Champions League fixture, but Florian Jozefzoon is close to a return.
PSV forwards to capitalise on Akinfeev record
CSKA stopper Igor Akinfeev is looking to avoid an unwanted run of 36 Champions League matches without a clean sheet, with his last shutout amazingly coming against Arsenal back in November 2006.
Home forward Luuk de Jong will look to take advantage of such a poor defensive record, and he is 7/2 to open proceedings, while Maxime Lestienne is 10/1 for a brace or more after his double in the reverse encounter in Russia.
Meanwhile, Seydou Doumbia will look to add to his double in that match-up too, and is 7/4 to strike anytime, while former Man Utd winger Zoran Tosic is 7/2 for a goal of his own in the Netherlands.
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