Barcelona – PSV SOCCER PICKS
DAfter a year of absence, PSV is back in the Champions League. The people from Eindhoven do not like it, because in a very heavy group they can visit Lionel Messi’s FC Barcelona and associates directly. Can the unbeaten Dutch champion stunt in the Camp Nou?
FC Barcelona last season for the 25th time in club history seized the Spanish national title and this year has also started energetically again. The Blaugrana won the Spanish Supercopa and are still without point loss after four rounds in La Liga.
In the Champions League, too, FC Barcelona has a reputation for opposing you. In the last eleven seasons, the Catalans were always winning as a team winner and in the last five years they managed to win all their home games in the group stage. Also last season, the team of trainer Ernesto Valverde seemed to be on the way to European glory. In the quarterfinals of the European champions ball it went completely wrong, when the Catalans in the return on visit to AS Roma with a 3-0 defeat gave a 4-1 lead from the first leg out of their hands.
FC Barcelona will not let that happen again. The Catalans are even stronger this year than last year. Philippe Coutinho was last season on behalf of Barça not eligible to play in the Champions League, but this year Valverde may of course again appeal to the Brazilian. In addition, Ousmane Dembele has now found his way in the Camp Nou with three goals in four matches. Together with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the Frenchman forms a deadly vanguard.
We have almost forgotten about it, but with the departure of both trainer Phillip Cocu and technical director Marcel Brands, PSV has had a turbulent summer behind it. The Eindhoven team managed to solve these vacancies internally by appointing former players Mark van Bommel and John de Jong. That was a big guess, because both actually had hardly any experience. Nevertheless, we can conclude that their appointments have turned out to be golden moves. Van Bommel let PSV play football fresh, witness the 0-7 monster victory of last weekend at a staggeringly weak ADO Den Haag. De Jong has also done an excellent job by, among other things, hitting Erick Gutierrez and retaining Hirving Lozano for the club. We already knew that Lozano could kick a nice ball, but the debut of Gutierrez from last weekend was nothing short of phenomenal. With his first ball contact for the Eindhoven team, he put his bosom friend Lozano only for the keeper, who then finished well. A few minutes later, Gutierrez himself drew the ball from a distance into the snag. ¡Viva México!
Anyway, a visit to the Camp Nou in Barcelona is a bit different than, with all due respect, the Cars Jeans Stadium in The Hague. Of course, there is a big chance that PSV will be backed to the wall on Tuesday-evening. Under Cocu PSV played regularly in the Champions League with an extra defender, but it is still unclear whether Van Bommel will do the same. Should he decide to do so, Luuk de Jong could sometimes become the child of the bill. After all, in the conversion you have more to the speed of Lozano and Steven Bergwijn. On the other hand, De Jong is the captain and with his height and head strength he is a weapon in dead game situations.