After earning an away victory in Turkey last week, all PSV have to do is stop Trabzonspor from scoring midweek before they proceed to the next phase of the Europa League as Paddy Power make the Dutch side heavy odds on favourites to progress at the Phillips Stadium tonight.
The Dutch outfit hit their Turkish opposition early last week and were leading 2-0 before the clock had hit 12 minutes in the Hüseyin Avni Aker.
Trabzonspor did manage to pull a goal back on the 33rd minute through an Olcan Adin finish but a fairly unexciting second half meant the full time scoreline was the same as it was on halftime.
PSV Eindhoven have done well to juggle the demands of a European competition with their duties in the Eredivisie, which they lead closely followed by AZ Alkmaar.
The Dutch top flight is far from won however and while winning the title will undoubtedly be a priority for Fred Rutten’s side, Europa League progress is a tantalizing distraction and one they are likely to pay attention to.
PSV have lost only two matches in their last ten outings but go into this week’s match after a 3-0 loss against FC Groningen, and will bring in youth team players Mephis Depay, Menno Koch and Imad Najah into the squad for tonight’s game.
Rutten’s side have moved into the knockout rounds with ease, finishing top of Europa League Group C and dropping only two points in the process.
Trabzonspor, on the other hand, haven’t recorded a win for almost two weeks and face a difficult task in overturning their Dutch opposition on Thursday, especially when taking PSV’s two away goals into account.
The side arrive in the competition having finished third in Champions League Group B behind Inter Milan and CSKA Moscow, and coach Senol Gunes knows they face an uphill battle.
The Turkish outfit will need to play an almost perfect game if they hope to progress to the European competition’s Round of 16 but having toppled the likes of CSKA Moscow and Inter in recent seasons, an underdog win is a possibility.
A match against either Valencia or Stoke will await the winners.