Preview: PSV Eindhoven vs. Borussia Dortmund – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Champions League clash between PSV Eindhoven and Borussia Dortmund, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Runaway Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven put themselves to the test on Tuesday, as Borussia Dortmund arrive at Philips Stadion for the first leg of their last-16 tie in UEFA’s top club competition.

PSV’s first Champions League knockout game for eight years will see the Dutch side meet opponents that emerged unscathed from this season’s ‘Group of Death’.

Match preview

PSV Eindhoven's Luuk De Jong celebrates scoring their first goal on November 8, 2023© Reuters

Having previously lost on three consecutive occasions in qualifying, PSV finally returned to the big time earlier this season and finished second to Arsenal in a competitive Group B.

Victory against Lens ended the club’s 15-game run without a win in the Champions League group stage, while holding Sevilla and Arsenal to home draws continued an impressive undefeated streak at Philips Stadion – they have won the other six of their last eight European fixtures in Eindhoven.

Now making a fifth appearance in the knockout phase – and only their second in 17 seasons – PSV are trying to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2007.

Fired by captain Luuk de Jong, who has bagged 27 goals in 34 appearances, Peter Bosz presides over a side that are yet to lose in 22 league matches this term, winning no fewer than 20.

After finishing second in the Eredivisie for a third straight year, PSV’s 17-game winning streak to start this season was only ended by January’s 1-1 draw at Utrecht, shortly before they went down 1-0 to Feyenoord in the KNVB Cup. After Friday’s 2-0 defeat of Heracles, they went 13 points clear at the top of the table.

Clearly a force to be reckoned with under ex-Dortmund coach Bosz, the Dutch giants now meet BVB for the first time since the 2002-03 Champions League group stage, and gaining a lead ahead of next month’s return leg will be their main aim.

Borussia Dortmund's Karim Adeyemi celebrates scoring their third goal with Julian Ryerson, Salih Ozcan and Emre Can on November 28, 2023© Reuters

While their domestic season has not panned out anywhere near as well as PSV’s, Borussia Dortmund did finish top of a tightly-contested Group F before Christmas, ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle United.

Die Schwarzgelben started with a 2-0 loss in Paris before being held at home by Milan, but revived their campaign by doing the double over Newcastle and then secured progress with a 3-1 win at San Siro.

By contrast with Tuesday’s hosts, Dortmund have been last-16 regulars over the past decade, appearing at this stage of the Champions League in five of the last six seasons – though three of the last four ultimately ended in elimination.

Coach Edin Terzic currently oversees a side that sit may be out of the Bundesliga title race, having come within a whisker of ending Bayern Munich’s long reign last year, but are unbeaten through their last nine games in all competitions.

Niclas Fullkrug‘s sixth goal in five outings helped Dortmund draw 1-1 with Wolfsburg at the weekend, which keeps them just inside Germany’s top four.

Now, the European champions of 1997 travel to the Netherlands having lost eight of their last nine away games in the Champions League’s knockout rounds – but BVB did beat both Newcastle and Milan in the group phase to boost their recent record on the road.

PSV Eindhoven Champions League form:

PSV Eindhoven form (all competitions):

Borussia Dortmund Champions League form:

Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):

Team News

PSV Eindhoven coach Peter Bosz reacts on November 29, 2023© Reuters

Peter Bosz – who has added Richard Ledezma, Jaden De Guzman and CJ Egan-Riley to his Champions League squad since the group stage – will set PSV up in their familiar hybrid 4-3-3 formation on Tuesday evening, with free-scoring skipper Luuk de Jong leading the line.

Belgian winger Johan Bakayoko features on the hosts’ right flank, having both created the most chances and completed the most dribbles of any PSV player in the Champions League this season (15 each).

Though Armel Bella-Kotchap recently made his return from a shoulder injury, the Southampton loanee is not yet fit to start for the first time since October. Guus Til is also out of contention, so Jerdy Schouten should continue alongside Joey Veerman in midfield.

Meanwhile, Dortmund reinforced their squad by registering English duo Jadon Sancho and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, plus Ian Maatsen – the latter came through PSV’s youth system before joining Chelsea.

All three should feature at some stage in Eindhoven, but Ramy Bensebaini (illness), Karim Adeyemi (muscular) and Felix Nmecha (hip) are unavailable.

Ivorian striker Sebastien Haller suffered an ankle injury while winning the recent Africa Cup of Nations final, so Niclas Fullkrug is certain to feature up front. Though Sancho, Julian Brandt and Marco Reus are set to start in support, Donyell Malen (who scored 55 goals in 116 appearances for PSV) is also vying for selection.

PSV Eindhoven possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Teze, Boscagli, Ramalho, Dest; Saibari, Schouten, Veerman; Bakayoko, De Jong, Lozano

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Ryerson, Sule, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen; Can, Sabitzer; Brandt, Reus, Sancho; Fullkrug

SM words green background

We say: PSV Eindhoven 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

Goals are almost assured at Philips Stadion, where PSV are often relentless and can pummel their opponents into submission. Dortmund’s group-stage showing, however, suggests that they can take the fight to their hosts, staying in the contest ahead of next month’s game in Germany.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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