Huub Stevens ranks Club Atletico Madrid alongside Liverpool as the sides most likely to reach the knockout stages, but having guided PSV Eindhoven to two wins from two games at the start of the Eredivisie season he believes PSV have a chance to make it out of Group D.
“When the draw was made I thought Liverpool were clear favourites, but after watching Atlético a couple of times I now rate them just as highly,” said the PSV coach. “They have a depth of quality and can change their playing style from counterattack to a more pressing game.”
“Every team in the group is capable of taking points off the others.”
The coach is looking for a more expansive approach from his side but he refuses to throw caution to the wind.
“I want to win playing attractive football, but first and foremost I want a good result,” he said.
Summer signing Nordin Amrabat could replace Stefan Nijland in attack, while Edison Méndez is also back in contention after being rested at the weekend.
Atlético coach Javier Aguirre will be without suspended pair Maxi Rodríguez and Mariano Pernia, while Pablo Ibanez picked up an injury in training on Sunday and did not travel. There is also concern about Dutch international John Heitinga who has been struggling with a knee problem, although the player expects to be fit.
“As a former Ajax man, you can only imagine how happy I would be to help my team beat PSV here in Eindhoven,” he said.
It will not be easy though, according to Aguirre.
“It will be very difficult to leave the Philips Stadion with the points,” said the 49-year-old Mexican. “PSV are a team with lots of experience at this level. Once you give them the ball it’s hard to get it back.”