Champions League preview – PSV v Arsenal | World Soccer

Champions League is back and all eyes will be on Barcelona and Liverpool as the past two winners of this tournament lock horns at the Nou Camp. Click here for match odds!

First knockout round

PSV entertain Arsenal on Tuesday and the main worry for the Dutch champions is an injury sustained by Jefferson Farfán during Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Heracles Almelo.

The Peruvian striker, who scored the opener to take his season’s tally to 15 from 21 games, would be a big loss.

“He is a major doubt,” confirmed coach Ronald Koeman. “He took a heavy knock to the foot and it is still swollen. He didn’t train today [Monday].”

If Farfán misses out, his place is likely to be taken by Diego Tardelli, the Brazilian forward.

“He is a talented player who is developing a better understanding of what we expect from him all the time,” said Koeman.

Ibrahim Afellay has ankle ligament damage and will not play, but Manuel Da Costa is fit again and could return to the back four.

PSV’s trainer acknowledges that his defence is not as strong as it was earlier in the competition when they dominated Group C alongside Liverpool – but he feels confident his players can rise to the occasion.

“Matches like this can actually be easy to play in, because they act as a kind of liberation,” added Koeman. “Arsenal are a great footballing side, maybe more difficult than other English teams to play against. But they are not unbeatable, as their league position shows. We know we can raise our game.”

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger is well aware of what to expect in Holland.

“You always come up against intelligent opposition in the Netherlands, and PSV have been dominating their domestic scene for years,” he said.

“They will give us a tough time.”

“Since December, things have taken off for us. We are playing well and developing a good understanding. The team spirit is very high.”

With Justin Hoyte and Emmanuel Eboué injured, the right-back position could be filled by either William Gallas or Johan Djourou.

“We have Eboue out and Hoyte is out with a hamstring problem, but he should be back for [the Carling Cup Final on] Sunday.

“Gallas has responded well to the weekend game [against Blackburn] and he is in the squad. It will be Johan Djourou or Gallas at right back.”

“We were in the same situation this time last year when we went to Spain to play Real Madrid, and that made our season. So it’s just down to how we perform.”

Probable teams?
PSV: Heurelho Gomes; Jan Kromkamp, Alex, Manuel Da Costa, Carlos Salcido; Edison Mendez, Timmy Simons, Phillip Cocu, Jason Culina; Diego Tardelli, Arouna Kone.

Arsenal:? Jens Lehmann; William Gallas, Philippe Senderos, Kolo Toure, Gael Clichy; Tomas Rosicky, Cesc Fabregas, Gilberto, Fredrik Ljungberg, Aleksandr Hleb; Thierry Henry.

Champions League is back and all eyes will be on Barcelona and Liverpool as the past two winners of this tournament lock horns at the Nou Camp. Click here for match odds!

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