PSV Eindhoven begin their Europa League campaign on Thursday with the first leg of their third qualifying round tie against St Polten at the Philips Stadion.

  • By Michael Bell
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PSVSTPolPSV qualified for the competition after a late run saw them finish 4th in the Eredivisie last season, and after disappointing in the Europa League last year, Philip Cocu’s side will be looking to get off to a good start against St Polten.

St Polten are a 2nd division side in Austria, and qualified for the competition by finishing as runner up in the Austrian Cup. In the previous round St Polten beat Bulgarian side Botev Plovdiv 3-2 on aggregate, but PSV will begin the match as clear favourites.

The summer transfer window has so far been a disappointment for Cocu, who has only been able to add striker Luuk de Jong, and goalkeeper Remko Pasveer to his squad. Moves for Belgian midfielder Steven Defour, and defender Karim Rekik are ongoing, but have not been completed in time for this tie.

Stars of the World Cup Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum are both not ready to join the PSV squad yet, while Stijn Schaars is out with a long term injury.

Young midfielder Rai Voet is poised to make his first team debut after the 19-year-old impressed during pre-season, while Jetro Willems has returned to full training, and may be available for a place on the bench.

Possible PSV XI: Zoet, Arias, Brenet, Hendrix, Bruma, Vloet, Hiljemark, Maher, Locadia, Narsingh, De Jong

St Polten have started their league campaign with a draw and a win which sees them top the table, and PSV will need to watch out for striker Daniel Segovia, who has scored five goals in four games since joining in the summer.

Possible St Polten XI: Kostner, Wisio, Grasegger, Huber, Stec, Holzmann, Hofbauer, Kerschbaumer, Parada, Segovia, Noel

PSV will expect to comfortably see off St Polten on Thursday and put themselves in a commanding position going into the 2nd leg in Austria next week. However with Groningen already knocked out of the competition in the last round, the Eindhoven club can not underestimate their opponents.

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