PSV Eindhoven’s Europa League group stage campaign begins on Thursday with Sporting club de Portugal the opponents. Kick-off at the Philips Stadion is at 17.55pm (BST).

PSV Eindhoven were aiming to feature in the Champions League group stages this season but after their exit to Basel, they are forced to settle for the Europa League. Mark van Bommel’s side overcame Haugesund and Apollon Limassol to book their place in the group stages and are now aiming for the knockout round.

Standing in their way are LASK Linz, Rosenborg and Thursday’s opponent’s Sporting club de Portugal.

PSV head into the game in good form having hammered Vitesse Arnhem 5-0 at the weekend thanks to 5-0 goals from young star Donyell Malen.

Van Bommel believes his side are getting better as each game goes by, “The selection is fixed, the window is closed, we develop every day and every match. It is getting better and better, our attacking way of playing is also developing. “

Sporting have had a difficult start to the season and recently sacked Dutch coach Marcel Keizer and replaced him with Leonel Pontes. The Portuguese giants currently sit fifth in the league after a 1-1 draw at Boavista on Sunday.

Team News

Erick Gutíerrez and Gastón Pereiro are out of the clash on Thursday along with long-term absentees Sam Lammers and Ryan Thomas.

Van Bommel may decide to stick with the same eleven that hammered Vitesse at the weekend.

Possible PSV line-up: Zoet, Dumfries, Boscagli, Baumgartl, Viergever, Hendrix, Rosario, Bergwijn, Ihattaren, Bruma, Malen

Bas Dost is no longer with Sporting having joined Eintracht Frankfurt before the window closed. However, star-man Bruno Fernandes remained despite interest from several clubs.

Jese Rodriguez is out of the game along with Jeremy Mathieu.

Possible Sporting line-up: Ribiero, Rosier, Borja, Neto, Coates, Fernandes, Wendel, Plata, Doumbia, Bolasia, Vietto

Odds

PSV 17/20 Draw 29/10 Sporting 29/10

Can PSV get an important victory?

PSV may have one eye on Sunday’s huge Eredivisie clash with Ajax but if they intend to top their Europa League group, Sporting are their biggest challengers.

Van Bommel’s side have found their attacking rhythm recently and will be full of confidence heading into the game. Donyell Malen has been a revelation up front and he will no doubt cause Sporting countless issues.

However, PSV cannot underestimate Sporting, who have some excellent players despite their difficult start to the campaign.

PSV go into the game as favourites but will be a close game in the Philips Stadion.




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