Pre-Match Report

Preview: Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven

Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven

The top two in Europa League Group A go head-to-head in a 6pm kick-off on Thursday evening, as we aim to secure the win that will seal a spot in the knockout stages.

A fourth victory from our opening four games will guarantee us a top-two finish, and put us one step closer to avoiding February’s play-off round by winning the group.

However PSV will also have their eye on that prize, having remained unbeaten in their opening three Europa League matches, and only Feyenoord have scored more goals than their 11 so far, despite our opponents playing a game less than their Eredivise rivals.

PSV’s pedigree

PSV celebrate winning the European Cup in 1988

One of the Netherlands’ biggest clubs, PSV have won 24 league titles as well as both the European Cup (1987/88) and UEFA Cup (1977/78). They have appeared in Europe in every season since 1975/76, meaning this will be their 49th straight campaign doing so.

Last season saw them achieve a second-place finish behind Ajax, as well as reach the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League where they fell to Leicester City, but they did win the Dutch Cup after coming from behind to beat Ajax 2-1.

Their season so far

PSV Eindhoven celebrate scoring

Following the summer departure of Roger Schmidt to Benfica, Ruud van Nistelrooy took up the reins having previously coached the club’s youth teams. He has guided his side to second in the Eredivisie table with eight wins from their opening 10 games, one point behind Ajax.

They beat the Amsterdam club 5-3 to claim the Johan Cruyff Shield in pre-season, with Guus Til netting a hat-trick, but after beating Monaco in the Champions League qualifiers, they were eliminated at the final hurdle by Rangers 2-1 on aggregate.

That saw them drop into the Europa League, and after drawing 1-1 at home to Bodo/Glimt, they thumped Zurich 5-1 in Switzerland before recording a 5-0 win in Eindhoven last week. A 6-1 success against Utrecht last Sunday means they netted 17 times in their last four games.

Scouting report

Cody Gakpo of PSV Eindhoven

Michael Cox, writing in the matchday programmeVan Nistelrooy has used both 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 systems so far, and in either PSV play with great width and put lots of crosses into the box. The star of the show is left-winger Cody Gakpo, who has netted 13 times in 18 appearances in 2022/23. On his day, he feels unstoppable when charging inside to finish with his right foot. 

In midfield, the holding role is likely to be played by Ibrahim Sangare, an all-action player capable of aggressive ball-winning and careful passes into attack. Expect PSV’s midfield to remain cautious with their positioning.

Defensively, Armando Obispo is an aerially dominant centre-back and dangerous at attacking set-pieces, with Jordan Teze able to play alongside him - although at times he’s played at right-back, offering great crossing ability. At times, Van Nistelrooy’s backline has seemed particularly leaky, conceding three to both Feyenoord and Cambuur.

How it stands

    P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 3 3 0 0 6 1 5 9
2 PSV 3 2 1 0 11 2 9 7
3 Bodo/Glimt 4 1 1 2 3 6 -3 4
4 FC Zurich 4 0 0 4 3 14 -11



What the managers say

Ruud van Nistelrooy

Arteta on PSV: "I think it’s a really good team. I think what Ruud has done with his team, the way they play, you just see the amount of goals they are scoring in their domestic league, the way they are performing in the Europa League as well, they are a really dangerous team." - read every word of Mikel's press conference

Van Nistelrooy on us: "This is a big challenge for us as Arsenal are in great momentum after beating Liverpool recently. Arsenal's style of play under Arteta is also something amazing. It is completely different from Arsenal before. We also have quality players to try to block their progress and we are ready.

"The opponent is completely separate from those matches [between us and his Manchester United side] from 20 years ago. We would like to show what we are worth against perhaps the best team in Europe."

Team news

Oleksandr Zinchenko

Arteta admitted that he will assess Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Martinelli after the pair missed Wednesday's open training session - more on the duo

Aside from those two, he has a virtually fully-fit squad to select from with only long-term absentees Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny definitely out.

The visitors are struggling with a number of injuries, with winger Ismael Saibari and striker Yorbe Vertessen limping off against Heerenveen a couple of weeks ago and look set to be out until the World Cup break.

However, veteran striker Luuk de Jong, former Tottenham youngster Noni Madueke and Mauro Junior have all travelled to London after recovering from ailments, but former Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel (hamstring) and Olivier Boscagli (knee) are sidelined for the foreseeable future.

Facts and stats

Highlights vs Bodo/Glimt

We have won each of their first three group-stage games in all five of our appearances in the Europa League. However, only in 2020/21 have we won four in a row, when we went on to win all six.

PSV have won just one of their last 11 away matches against English sides (D4 L6), beating Tottenham Hotspur in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup in 2007/08.

PSV beat Zurich 5-1 in their last Europa League away game – they haven’t won consecutively on the road in the competition since October 2013.

Van Nistelrooy scored two goals in 12 games against us for Manchester United, his lowest goals/game rate (0.2) against a side he faced more than five times for the Red Devils.

Match officials

Alejandro Hernandez

A team of Spanish officials will oversee this match, fronted by Alejandro Hernandez. In his nine appointments this term, he is yet to show a red card but has dished out an average of five yellows per game.

FIFA-affiliated since 2014, he has never refereed an English club team, although did take charge of the Three Lions’ World Cup qualifier against Hungary at Wembley in October 2021. 

  • Referee: Alejandro Hernandez
  • Assistant referee 1: Jose Naranjo
  • Assistant referee 2: Diego Sanchez Rojo
  • Fourth official: Alejandro Muniz Ruiz
  • VAR: Juan MartInez Munuera
  • Assistant VAR: Ricardo de Burgos

Previous meetings with PSV

All six previous meetings between us and PSV came in the Champions League between 2002 and 2007, and we are winless in the last three.

The first meeting in 2002/03 saw goals from Gilberto Silva, Freddie Ljungberg and a Thierry Henry brace secure a 4-0 win in Eindhoven, before a 0-0 draw at Highbury in the group stages; the same stage that we faced each other in 2004/05 when an own goal secured us a home win before a 1-1 draw in Holland, when Lauren and Patrick Vieira both received red cards.

Our most recent meetings came in 2006/07 when we were drawn together in the round of 16. PSV won the first leg 1-0 at home, before securing a 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium after Alex scored at both ends to eliminate us from the competition.

Breakdown Live

Breakdown Live

Nick Bright and Jeremie Aliadiere will be joined pitchside at 5pm by Sharky from Beta Squad before the guys head upstairs to bring you all the pre-match analysis you need from our win against Leeds, the Europa League campaign so far and tonight’s opposition.

You won’t miss a kick of the action, either, with live radio commentary from Max Jones and club legend Perry Groves, so tune in from 5pm on or the official app for the best pre-match build-up for any Gooner!

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