PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal
PSV coach Guus Hiddink knows that after a goalless draw against Lyon in France last week, three wins are required to reach the next round.
“It’s clear that we have to win our home matches, but for matches against opponents like Arsenal you always have to consider your tactics,” he said.
“When you choose a defensive style like Arsenal are doing abroad there is always the chance that it all will go wrong,’ he added. ‘That’s why we will try to play our game and just aim for the three points. But we have to be aware that we keep a defensive balance in the team, otherwise it will be absolute suicide.”
Yet Hiddink will not sacrifice defenders to man-mark Arsenal strikers Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.
Arsenal’s biggest concern is their away form in Europe. Their last victory on their travels was against Lyon in February 2001 and since then they have been beaten seven times and drawn once. Contrast that with their imperious domestic form away from Highburywhere last season they went the entire campaign without losing a match.
Wenger has actually changed their Champions League routine this season in the hope of improving their dismal awayy record. Gone are the morning flights and evening training sessions and in come the afternoon flight and an evening meal as Wenger seeks to overcome Arsenal’s travails.
‘Maybe we don’t play with the same confidence or self-belief we had at home,’ said Wenger in trying to explain their away form.
PSV may welcome back goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus for this match after he missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, while Mark van Bommel will return after a one-match ban, assuming he passes a late fitness test. Danish veteran Jan Heintze is doubtful, while Lindsay Wilson and Marquinho have been ruled out.
Arsenal are expected to replace Saturday’s matchwinner against Bolton, Nwankwo Kanu, with Dennis Bergkamp; the non-flying Dutchman having driven to his homeland for a rare Champions Leaue appearance away from Highbury. Robert Pires is still some weeks away from playing, but Wenger has plenty of midfield options, especially since the return of Freddie Ljungberg from injury.
PSV Eindhoven: Ten Rouweller; Bogelund, Ooijer, Hofland, Bouma; Rommedahl, van Bommel/Lucius, Vogel, Leandro; Bruggink, Kezman.
Arsenal: Seaman; Cole, Campbell, Keown, Lauren; Ljungberg, Gilberto, Vieira, Wiltord; Henry, Bergkamp.
Borussia Dortmund v Auxerre
Matthias Sammer believes that Borussia Dortmund’s hopes are dependent upon the outcome of their match with Auxerre tonight.
Sammer feels that only a win is good enough to keep his side in with a chance of progressing after last week’s 2-0 defeat against Arsenal.
“No doubt, when you lose the first game, as we did in London, that you simply have to win the next one to stay in the competition,” he said.
To that end, the the German champions will be boosted by the return of their influential Czech Republic midfield player, Tomas Rosicky, totraining and of their Brazilian striker Marcio Amoroso. Lars Ricken will also be in the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Billy Reina, who impressed in the 1-0 win over Hansa Rostock at the weekend, is expected to retain his place in attack alongside Ewerthon and Jan Koller which would leave Marcio Amoroso on the bench
Auxerre currently lie second to Nice on goal difference in France, and take on Dortmund high on confidence.
“I’m very happy with the performance of some players who have not been playing regularly in the first team,” said coachGuy Roux.
“Everybody is surprised that we are joint leaders in the first division while playing the Champions League.”
Apart fromÿthe probable absence of the injured French international striker Djibril Cisse, Auxerre willÿbe at full strength against a Dortmund.