clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Match Preview: Manchester United vs. PSV Eindhoven

Manchester United will qualify for the Champions League knockouts if they beat PSV on Wednesday.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester United will guarantee their safe passage into the Champions League knockout stages with a win over PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, though that isn't to say they can afford to rest up and take things easy. They're currently sat top of Group B, but only a point above both the Dutch champions and Wolfsburg. With United still having to play both, things could go very wrong, very quickly.

United suffered their only defeat of their European campaign to date away at PSV on the opening matchday, and will be out for revenge at Old Trafford (especially you, Héctor Moreno). However, we've already seen that Phillip Cocu's side is a very capable one despite the loss of Memphis to United over the summer, and they're sure to be very stubborn opponents once more.

Team news

Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial both look likely to miss out after they were sidelined in the win over Watford on the weekend. If they are unavailable, they'll join Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw -- who suffered a broken leg in the reverse fixture -- in the stands.

Young attacker Florian Jozefzoon, who played alongside Daley Blind at Ajax, hasn't played since January courtesy of a serious knee injury. Young full-back Jetro Willems and midfielder Menno Koch are also likely to miss out, while talented forward Maxime Lestienne, who hasn't played since matchday two, may skip the game while he deals with personal problems.


PSV were impressively proactive in the game's first leg, both on and off the ball. When attacking, both full-backs Santiago Arias and Joshua Brenet advanced to support their wingers, while Andrés Guardado and Davy Pröpper scuttled industriously beside the holding midfielder Jorrit Hendrix.

Unlike many teams', PSV's wide forwards don't invariably cut inside, meaning United's full-backs will have to try and stop them whipping crosses into the middle for big striker Luuk de Jong. That isn't to say they don't come central at all, but with de Jong to aim at in the middle, they've got the option of playing deep crosses as well as working things into the box with a little more intricacy.

Off the ball they pressed reasonably high in the first leg, and tried to disrupt the slow passing game that Louis van Gaal has instilled at United. Cocu played under van Gaal at Barcelona, and so probably knows his old boss's gameplan inside out. It'll be interesting to see whether he attempts to press United into submission again at Old Trafford, or plays a rather more conservative defensive game on the road.

Predicted lineups

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young; Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Jesse Lingard, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata; Memphis.

PSV Eindhoven (4-3-3): Jeroen Zoet; Joshua Brenet, Héctor Moreno, Jeffrey Bruma, Santiago Arias; Andrés Guardado, Jorrit Hendrix, Davy Pröpper; Jürgen Locadia, Luuk de Jong, Luciano Narsingh.