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Wolfsburg v PSV: Dante not underestimating Dutch champions

Dante has rejected suggestions PSV are the weakest team in Group B of the Champions League as Wolfsburg prepare to host the Eredivisie side at the Volkswagen Arena on Wednesday.

Every team in the group has three points after two games played, having each drawn once and lost once. 

Wolfsburg beat CSKA Moscow 1-0 before losing 2-1 to Manchester United.

PSV meanwhile defeated the Premier League heavyweights 2-1 prior to a 3-2 defeat to the Russian side.

Phillip Cocu’s men are top of the group but are considered by many to be the underdogs of the quartet due to the Dutch side’s lack of financial muscle.

Indeed, PSV lost two key players from their Eredivisie title-winning campaign last season as forward Memphis Depay joined United and captain Georginio Wijnaldum moved to another Premier League side, Newcastle United.

Despite those departures, Dante told Voetbal International: “Wolfsburg is in one of the toughest pools. Everyone has an equal chance to advance to the knock-out phase. 

“We started well with a 1-0 victory over CSKA Moscow. Unfortunately, we could not continue that form against Manchester United.

“PSV is the champion of Netherlands and spoke for themselves in the game against Manchester United, this result made an impression.

“They will also compete for the top two spots. Wolfsburg now plays twice against PSV, those matches will be decisive for both teams.

“I have great respect for PSV. With Phillip Cocu, they have a coach who was very successful as a footballer. Wolfsburg will have to perform twice.”

German football has not been kind to PSV in Europe. The Eindhoven club have not won any of their last 14 games away to German opposition, a run that dates back to 1977.

And Cocu’s men will have to cope without some important personnel as PSV seek to deal Wolfsburg their first home loss of the season from seven matches in all competitions.

In addition to the suspended Santiago Arias, PSV are also set to be without defender Jetro Willems because of a knee issue, while Menno Koch and Florian Jozefzoon (both knee) are also unavailable.

Forward Maxime Lestienne will not feature for the visitors due to personal reasons. For Wolfsburg, defender Robin Knoche remains on the sidelines because of an ankle complaint.

But, after ending a four-match losing streak by claiming a 4-2 win over Hoffenheim thanks to a Max Kruse hat-trick on Saturday, the hosts should be confident of extending PSV’s miserable record on German soil.

Mon 19 Oct, 2015
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