PSV Eindhoven make the trip to Norway to take on Bodo/Glimt on Thursday evening knowing that they require a victory to retain hope of winning Group A.
At a time when PSV have already earned a spot in the Europa League knockout stages, their hosts need a win to guarantee third place and Europa Conference League football after Christmas.
Ahead of last week’s fixtures, PSV found themselves in a position where defeat to Arsenal and a Bodo/Glimt victory over winless FC Zurich would leave both clubs on seven points heading into their showdown on Thursday night.
However, the outsiders in both fixtures pulled off shock results, most notably FC Zurich overcoming Bodo/Glimt, but PSV were rightfully left delighted with their own performance and triumph.
Against opponents who top the Premier League, the Dutch giants were the better side, prevailing by a 2-0 scoreline courtesy of goals from Joey Veerman and Luuk de Jong.
While PSV are still clear underdogs to top Group A courtesy of Arsenal hosting Zurich on Thursday, Ruud van Nistelrooy‘s team have at least made sure of second spot with one match to spare.
PSV needed a response after losing first place in the Eredivisie, but they warmed up for this contest with a routine 3-0 success over NEC Nijmegen at the weekend.
Although Bodo/Glimt have endured an inconsistent few months, they made the trip to Switzerland on the back of scoring 11 goals without reply across two matches on the domestic scene.
Nevertheless, Kjetil Knutsen‘s side were left stunned as Zurich came from behind to win 2-1, the decisive goal coming in the fourth minute of added-on time.
With Bodo/Glimt also losing in similar circumstances to Rosenborg at the weekend, Knutsen will appreciate that he has work to do in order to lift his players ahead of one of the biggest matches of their season.
At a time when they need to win their remaining two Norwegian top-flight fixtures to guarantee second position, the Yellow Horde must defeat their higher-profile opponents on Thursday to guarantee European football in February.
On a positive note, Bodo/Glimt earned a share of the spoils in the reverse fixture, only being denied maximum points by a second-half equaliser.
Van Nistelrooy may opt to drop Anwar El Ghazi, moving Xavi Simons to the right flank to allow for Luuk de Jong to feature down the middle of the PSV attack.
However, Noni Madueke has also proven his fitness in recent games and may also be considered for a start in a wide area.
Jarrad Branthwaite and Ibrahim Sangare could also be recalled to the side in defence and midfield respectively.
Barring any unforeseen injury issues, Bodo/Glimt could line up with a similar side to the one which started against Zurich.
Nevertheless, midfielder Patrick Berg is back in contention after completing the 90 minutes versus Rosenborg and could replace Albert Gronbaek.
Bodo/Glimt possible starting lineup:
Haikin; Sampsted, Moe, Hoibraten, Wembangomo; Vetlesen, Saltnes, Gronbaek; Solbakken, Espejord, Pellegrino
PSV Eindhoven possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Mwene, Ramalho, Branthwaite, Max; Sangare, Gutierrez; Simons, Veerman, Gakpo; De Jong
Having already held PSV to a draw in this tournament, Bodo/Glimt will believe that they can replicate that effort in front of their own supporters. Nevertheless, with PSV needing to push hard for all three points, we expect the visitors to claim an hard-earned win.
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