After losing by a narrow 1-0 scoreline last week courtesy of a wonderful goal from Granit Xhaka, PSV meet Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League (UEL) for the second time in eight days in a clash that will settle matters for at least one of these sides with a game to spare.
Ruud van Nistelrooy’s men have already secured UEFA Europa Conference League knockout football, but victory here will ensure that they remain in this competition.
PSV have scored 19 times across their last six games (W4, L2), including a 5-0 Group A triumph over Zürich in their last UEL home game. If they can keep up those kinds of scoring averages (3.17), they’ll be in with a puncher’s chance against the Premier League (PL) leaders, and with a perfectly split record across 18 home encounters with PL opponents, PSV have an opportunity to tip the scales in their favour (W6, D6, L6).
Arsenal’s lead at the top of the PL was cut to two points after slipping to a 1-1 draw against Southampton, raising questions over their credentials as PL title contenders with Manchester City continuing to pile on the pressure. Boss Mikel Arteta can put that “disappointing” result behind him though as his side just need to avoid defeat here to secure progression to the round of 16.
That draw was only the second blemish on an otherwise perfect away record for Arsenal this term (W6, D1, L1), which includes a pair of single-goal margin UEL victories.
Confidence should be high of securing top-spot with a game to spare, not least as the Gunners are unbeaten in all but one of their UEL away group games (W11, D2), but they’re also unbeaten in six of their eight away games in the Netherlands (W3, D3, L2).