PSV have history in their sights when they travel to take on CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The Eredivisie champions, who shocked Manchester United on matchday one, have never before won their opening two group games in the competition, though they have fond memories of facing the Russian Premier League leaders.
PSV won home and away at this stage of the 2007-08 tournament against CSKA and got back to winning ways in the domestic top flight with a 2-1 victory at home to NEC on Saturday, leaving coach Phillip Cocu proud of his team’s character.
“We could not create enough chances because we slowed down the tempo of the game,” he said after the match. “Then we responded well and managed to move up a gear.
“But at the end of the day we should be glad to have bagged the three points. We fought well and showed character to earn a hard-fought victory.”
CSKA remain unbeaten at the top of the Premier League table but were disappointed not to extend their advantage over Lokomotiv Moscow at the weekend, with Igor Cherevchenko’s side holding on for a 1-1 draw despite going a man down.
Leonid Slutskiy’s charges were edged out 1-0 by Wolfsburg last time out and the coach admits a failure to convert opportunities is a growing concern.
“Today we lacked inventiveness in attack and managed to battle through a well-organised Lokomotiv defence only once,” he said on Saturday.
“Of course a draw against the second-placed side isn’t the worst possible result but we had chances to win. Unfortunately we failed to convert them.”
CSKA’s cause is not helped by a raft of injuries. Young midfielder Aleksandr Golovin (thigh) and defender Georgi Schennikov (ankle) are out, while Slutskiy is not confident on the fitness of Vasiliy Berezutskiy and Roman Eremenko (both abdominal) Aleksandrs Cauna (foot) remains a doubt, though Igor Akinfeev (knee) hopes to be fit.
PSV, however, will likely be without leading goalscorer Luuk de Jong after he damaged his ankle against NEC, while Andres Guardado is still sidelined with the same problem following the win over United.
If Akinfeev does play, he will be looking to keep his first clean sheet in the competition since November 2006 against Arsenal. He was, however, part of the last CSKA side to beat Dutch opposition in Europe – a 3-1 win at Feyenoord in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup.
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