‘The Sporting clash is a crucial game’

‘The Sporting clash is a crucial game’

PSV meet Sporting CP in the Estádio José Alvalade on Thursday night. The clash with Sporting in Lisbon is crucial for Mark van Bommel’s side. PSV will take a major step towards qualifying for the knock-out stages if they claim a win. PSV’s head coach looked ahead to Thursday’s game at a press conference on Wednesday night. “The Sporting clash is a crucial game. We want to qualify for the next stage and then you need a result to boost your hopes.”

Sporting (nine points), LASK and PSV (both seven points) are all in contention to progress to the next round. All three teams could end up with eleven points from their six Group D fixtures and then the results between the teams are decisive, but Van Bommel is quite clear: “We are not in for mathematics but play two games that we want to win.”

‘Try to be stable and mature’
PSV ended a six-match winless streak in all competitions by beating sc Heerenveen 2-1 in the Philips Stadion last Sunday. Van Bommel was happy with the win and he was still in a good mood when he woke up on Monday morning. “I was proud of the players. They put on a fine first-half display but our second-half performance was less convincing. At times, you just suddenly lose control and cannot dominate the game anymore. But we held on for a win and that’s all that mattered. Of course we try to be stable and mature and we work hard but only a win will dramatically improve self-confidence.”

‘Bruma told me one or two things’
In the first ever competitive meeting between the two clubs, on Matchday 1, PSV claimed a 3-2 victory over Sporting in Eindhoven, thanks to goals from Donyell Malen, Coates (own goal) and Timo Baumgartl. Former Sporting player Bruma was included in the PSV starting line-up. Van Bommel did not reveal if Bruma would start on Thursday. “Bruma has some specific qualities and I am happy to have him in the squad.” Van Bommel told the media he had had a conversation with Bruma about Sporting’s playing style. “They master a few systems and it is hard to predict what kind of style they will play tomorrow night, but Bruma has told me one or two things, so I think we are well prepared”, concluded Van Bommel