Manchester United will try to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League when they host PSV at Old Trafford. The Red Devils, however, know that the Dutch side will not give in easy as they fell defeated when they visited their stadium back in September. Some of the keys to the game that will now be given could end up being decisive tonight.
- Wyne Rooney
Wayne Rooney will be back to the team after missing the agonic 1-2 victory over Watford last weekend in the Premier League. Rooney has scored 30 goals in the Champions League, more than any other English player, and his last goal in the competition gave United all three points in their victory over CSKA Moscow. On the other hand, Luuk De Jong will be the man to watch for the Dutch side after having scored 11 goals in his last 12 games in the Eredivisie, including last weekend’s goal in PSV’s 2-2 draw against Willem II.
2. De Gea
Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea has been the key player for the Red Devils since he started playing after his frustrated transfer to Real Madrid. The Spaniard returned to the top form and with his saves has given his side points and is one of the main reasons why United are performing one of their best seasons in the recent years. However, de Gea has only managed to keep a clean sheet once in the continental competition.
3. Depay against his former team
Since Manchester United signed the Dutch player last summer from PSV, Memphis Depay has had a significant impact both on his team and on the league. In United’s 1-2 victory over Watford he had to play up front, due to Rooney’s and Martial’s injury, and managed to score the opening goal of the game. Depay already managed to find the back of the net in the previous fixture against his former team and will continue to be one of the biggest threats for Cocu’s side tonight.
4. PSV’s poor performance abroad
If PSV wants to get a positive result out of their visit to Old Trafford, they will have to break their negative streak when playing as a visitor in the Champions League. As explained on www.uefa.com the Dutch side’s last away victory in the Continental competition is dated in 2007, in their 1-0 victory over CSKA Moscow. More and more their last victory on English soil was back in the 2006/2007 season. PSV managed to beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane in the UEFA Cup round of 16. Despite two away defeats this season in the Champions League, PSV are second in group B and their hopes of moving on to the next stage of the competition still intact.
5. Injury list
Louis van Gaal has had trouble with the long injury list he is facing at this phase of the season. Last weekend both Ander Herrera, who suffered a hamstring, and Phil Jones, with a foot problem, had to leave the pitch early and will miss tonight’s clash. Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, James Wilson and Michael Carrick complete the long injury list. The positive news for United is that Wayne Rooney, Antony Martial, and Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini have all recovered in time and will be fit for the match. Cocu, on the other hand, won’t be able to count with neither Jetro Willems, Maxime Lestienne, and Menno Koch.