We’re only at (and cue shouty Brian Blessed voice…) Gameday Three! of the Up-Its-Own-Arse League and already two sides in Group B are playing ‘must win’ (copyright every website previewing this game) games this Wednesday evening. One of them is PSV and the other is unfortunately, us.
Both we and the Dutch champions have lost their first two encounters in this mini league, to dominant Barcelona and spawny Inter. Why oh why could we not hold on in the San Siro? Exhibit A, m’lud, was between the sticks at The London Stadium (tee hee) on Saturday afternoon.
Oh well. It is what it is, we are where we are and the only way is up, baby.
PSV have been trouncing all and sundry in their domestic league, nine games played, nine games won. Thirty-six goals scored, three conceded, the last one on Sept 1st. Yikes. It is though, the Eredivisie so…., well so what? That’s still pretty impressive.
Their style is mostly bomb forward under Marc van Bommel. Mexican speedster Hirving Lozano and Luuk de Jong have snaffled most goals but if you’re banging in four a game, they are mainly going to be shared around.
The P in PSV stands for Philips, as in the budget end electronics firm. Not a lot of people know that.
A team selection similar to that which played against West Ham is likely though it’s the sort of game where Poch likes to spring a surprise. I believe Dele, Aurier, Rose, Wanyama and Vertonghen are still crocked but Dembélé and Eriksen may be available.
Let’s guess at Hugo, Davies, Trippier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Dier, Winks, Dembélé, Lucas, Lamela, Harry.
That leaves Son and Eriksen to provide a bit of variety from the bench if needed, as well as assist king Sissoko of course.
Lamela must start surely? He’s been our best player by miles over the past few weeks. He’s playing like he’s determined to make up for lost time and it’s working a treat. If he carries on like this he is going to be the cover for Eriksen we’ve been waiting for.
It’s going to be a tough old evening. They’re bound to come at us and our former Ajax centre-backs are going to under the cosh from the kick-off. They’ll need a lot of composure and a tight and compact midfield ahead of them. All of our big players are going to need to stand up and be counted. Hugo, Toby, Dier, Harry, Dembélé will all need to have good games.
The match officials are from Slovenia.
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