PSV’s Champions League advance hinges on beating Bayern – Cocu
Manager says self-belief key to getting good result against five-time winning German side
Bayern Munich’s head coach Carlo Ancelotti attends a training session at the stadium in Eindhoven on the eve of the side’s Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven. Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images
PSV Eindhoven’s hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stages hinge on beating mighty Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, said coach Phillip Cocu as he called on his team to believe success was possible.
“If we want to go on to the knockout round . . . we must get a good result,” he told a news conference.
PSV, who reached the quarter-finals last season, have one point from three matches in Group D and were soundly beaten 4-1 at Bayern in their previous outing on October 19th.
“We must keep believing we can get a good result,” said Cocu. “In Munich there were moments in the second half when we did really well.”
Five-time winners Bayern are second in the group, three points behind Atletico Madrid and five ahead of PSV. “I expect PSV to push offensively,” coach Carlo Ancelotti said yesterday. “They have a good striker [Luuk de Jong] . . . we are expecting a different game to the one we won at home.”
Bayern will qualify for February’s knockout stages if they win and Atletico beat Russian club Rostov who, like PSV, have one point from three games. Ancelotti said even though his side faced a tough schedule next month with clashes against in-form Hoffenheim, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, he was not tempted to rotate his side for the match in Eindhoven.
“We will be fielding our strongest team,” he explained. “We want to win the game, ensure that we qualify and strengthen our chances of finishing top of the group.”
Paris St Germain’s Edinson Cavani, meanwhile, has wasted countless chances this season but has also converted more than any striker in Europe and they will again rely on his marksmanship in the Group A tie against FC Basel.
With 10 Ligue 1 goals in as many games and four goals from three Champions League matches, the Uruguayan is the highest scorer in the five big European leagues despite an unfortunate reputation for not being the most clinical finisher.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic having left PSG to join Manchester United, Cavani took over the central striking role at the Paris club and only AS Roma’s Edin Dzeko has scored as many league goals this term. Yet Cavani started the season being jeered for a wasteful performance against Metz and although he scored against Arsenal in the Champions League in September, was widely blamed – and blamed himself – for missing a hatful of chances in a 1-1 draw.
PSG, second in Group A with seven points from three games, will reach the last 16 if they beat Basel at St Jakob’s Park.