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Spurs Odyssey Champions League Preview - PSV Eindhoven v Spurs, 24.10.18

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Spurs' record in Europe:-
The official crest of Tottenham Hotspur
U.E.F.A Champions League
 P  W   D   L   F - A
28 12   6  10  52 - 39
European Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
8   4   1   3  21 - 13
(Semi-Finalists 1962)
European Cup Winners Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
33  20  5   8  65 - 34
(Winners 1963)
UEFA Cup/Europa League
 P    W   D   L   F - A
140  78  36  26  276-121 
(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)
 The club logo of PSV Eindhoven
P    W   D   L   F - A
209 114 48  47  414-207

Group B Table
 		P  W  D  L  F-A  GD   PTS
1. Barcelona    2  2  0  0  8-2   6    6
2. Inter        2  2  0  0  4-2   2    6
3. Spurs        2  0  0  2  3-6  -3    0  
4. PSV          2  0  0  2  1-6  -5    0

Spurs need a Dutch double!

Hopefully the players who represent Spurs tomorrow will not face the degree of resistance, interrogation and tagging that awaits those dedicated fans making the trip to Eindhoven. The hoops that we fans have to go through before physically obtaining the tickets we have paid 55 for, and the compulsory wearing of a wristband labelling us as travelling fans is enough to put many off. I didn't travel to Eindhoven back in 2008, so I can't speak of the issues that apparently so concern the local police.

PSV Eindhoven are the Eredivisie Champions and in-form leaders this season with 9 wins in 9 games and a goal difference of +33. However, they have a worse record than Spurs in the first two Group B games, primarily because they took a 4-0 beating at The Camp Nou, where Spurs have to go in their final game in December. Before then it is imperative that we beat PSV at home and away and also beat Inter when they come to Wembley in November to realistically qualify for the knock-out phase of this year's tournament.

Unless they win the previous season's Champions League or Europa League, Eredivisie sides do not automatically have access to the Group stage of the Champions League and PSV had to get past BATE Borisov in the play-off round to get this far. They did win at home and away. Incidentally, the last time a Dutch side won the Champions League was AJAX when they beat AC Milan in 1995. The last time a Dutch side won the Europa League/UEFA Cup was Feyenoord in 2002 when they beat Borussia Dortmund. PSV's ground was the venue for the 2006 UEFA Cup Final. PSV can also lay claim to the fact they won the European Championship in 1988 and also the UEFA Cup 10 years earlier. They have won the Eredivisie 24 times, including 9 times since the turn of the 21st Century.

The only competitive meeting between the two clubs was at home and away in March 2008 in the UEFA Cup. We had previously met in a pre-season friendly in 2003. (Spurs 0 PSV 2, August 2003)). PSV were the reigning Dutch Champions then and had had a busier pre-season than Spurs at that stage, including winning the Peace Cup! Ji-Sung Park, who went on to play for Manchester United, scored one of the goals, and a 19 year old Arjen Robben (still banging them in for Bayern Munich!) scored the other. The PSV side included Young-Pyo Lee, who would come to Spurs, and midfielder Mark van Bommell, who finished his playing days with PSV 5 years ago and who has now been appointed as the club manager.

Back in 2003 Van Bommell had been a suggested target for Spurs, but the direction his playing career took was on a higher plane with Barcelona in 2005-06 and 5 seasons with Bayern Munich before 18 months with AC Milan. Van Bommell won 8 national championship titles with PSV(4), Barcelona(1), Bayern (2) and Milan (1), and of course he had an illustrious international career.

Those 2008 UEFA Cup meetings were in the fourth round. The previous year when Spurs had been travelling to Braga we had encountered PSV fans at airports around the country after they beaten Arsenal in the Champions League. As 2007 Champions, PSV had again qualified for the Champions League, but they finished third in a group containing Inter and Fenerbahce.

PSV's side famously included the man christened "The Octopus" Heurelho Gomes, who would come to Spurs in the summer, but not before he had enabled them to win 1-0 at White Hart Lane and then in PSV's home leg made a penalty shoot-out save from Jenas. Spurs had won the match 1-0 with Berbatov's 81st minute goal, but Chimbonda pulled the decisive penalty wide in the shoot-out. (PSV 0 Spurs 1, 12.03.2008)

Another time I remember encountering PSV fans was 4 years ago in Athens. Both teams were involved in Europa League games. Spurs beat Asteras Tripolis 2-1 (with goals by Townsend and Kane), whilst PSV had been beating Panathinaikos 3-2 with goals by Depay, De Jong and Wijnaldum, so both sets of fans were happy and enjoyed each others' company. I hope for more friendly encounters tomorrow (Wednesday), and of course a Spurs win!

Luuk De Jong is still with PSV and has scored 8 league goals already this season. He did have a brief spell on loan with Newcastle in 2014 before being signed by PSV but did not get on the scoresheet. he played in spurs' 4-0 away win in February 2014. Other PSV players to look out for are Hirving Lozano (8), Gaston Pereiro (7), and Steven Bergwijn (4), who have all scored regularly this season. Lozano scored Mexico's winner against Germany in this year's World Cup. Pereiro scored one of Uruguay's four goals against Lozano's national side in a September friendly, and scored twice in Saturday's 6-0 thrashing of Emmen. PSV signed 21 year old Spanish defender Angelino from Man City this summer, and he has been ever-present so far.

I haven't seen any team news as yet, but I assume that Eriksen and Dembele, who appeared in the latter stages of Saturday's West Ham game will be available, together with Son Heung-min who did not leave the bench. Mauricio Pochettino has options to mix his team up more with the pace of Serge Aurier, but even without Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen, I expect our team to give a good account of themselves. A win is required, and I'll go for a 2-1 to Spurs! Please note that I will not be sumbitting a match report before Thursday evening.

Match referee Slavko Vincic and his on-field officials are from Slovenia. Mr. Vincic was in charge of our 3-0 win at Wembley last year against APOEL, and has recently been in charge of Man Utd v Valencia (0-0) and a Nations League game between Slovakia and the Czech Republic (1-2), which must count as a high profile fixture.

"It was Twenty Years ago today!" - on 24th October 1998 George Graham's Spurs beat Newcastle 2-0 at White Hart Lane. Steffen Iversen scored both our goals.

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