Champions League 2015/16 profiles: PSV Eindhoven
Having rallied to their first domestic league title since 2008 last season, Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven enter a challenging Champions League Group B, which features CSKA Moscow, Manchester United and Wolfsburg.
The Lightbulbs are 3/1 with Coral to emerge from this unpredictable group and progress to the next round, after missing out on the group stages last term through a play-off exit.
Domestic league: Eredivisie
How they qualified: Storming to their 22nd Dutch league crown, earning automatic qualification, having ended the campaign with a dominant 17-point lead over rivals Ajax.
Best Champions League era performance: Semi-finalists in 2004/05, PSV previously lifted the European Cup back in 1988, during a sensational season which saw them clinch a famous treble under the guidance of Guus Hiddink.
Coach: The club’s current boss Phillip Cocu has worked wonders with the team he played for during two four-year spells on either side of a six-year stint with Barcelona.
Cocu is a Dutch legend, having enjoyed over 100 caps for the Netherlands during a decade-long international career, and will look to emulate his playing success during his managerial role after taking charge in 2013.
Ins and outs: The highest profile departure was that of Memphis Depay, who joined Group B opponents Man United, linking up with his former national boss Louis van Gaal, while former skipper Georginio Wijnaldum left for Newcastle United.
PSV’s biggest expenditure this summer was on Gaston Pereiro from Nacional, with the Uruguay Under-20 international attacking midfielder arriving for a reported £4.90m.
Mexico winger Andres Guardado also made his previous season-long loan switch permanent this season, while his fellow countryman Hector Moreno was brought in from Espanyol.
Familiar faces: Newcastle fans will remember, or want to forget, frontman Luuk de Jong, after the 25-year-old’s woeful six-month loan spell last year when he failed to score in any of his 12 Toon outings.
Former Chelsea defender Jeffrey Bruma, who also spent time with Leicester City, is another recognisable face within Cocu’s set-up.
Key player: Netherlands international attacker Luciano Narsingh has begun the current campaign impressively, following up his key role in the title triumph last term, and should give PSV that cutting edge in Europe.
One to watch: Like Narsingh, Adam Maher is a dangerous asset to have on the wing, with his pace and direct approach potentially set to cause problems for PSV’s Group B rivals and give them hope of progressing.
Emerging talent: New arrival Pereiro, only 20 years of age, will provide the Dutch champions with a new dimension going forward with his talented creative abilities.
The youngster could make an impact in Champions League clashes off the bench when defences are becoming weary.
CL group and fixtures:
v Manchester United (home), September 15th
v CSKA Moscow (away), September 30th
v Wolfsburg (away), October 21st
v Wolfsburg (home), November 3rd
v Manchester United (away), November 25th
v CSKA Moscow (home), December 8th