Arsenal’s first foray in the Champions League since 2016/17 begins on Wednesday as they play host to Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven at Emirates Stadium.
- Arsenal are undefeated to start the season and have dropped points in just one league match
- Opponents PSV have been in excellent form too and are have won every single league match so far this term
- PSV defeated the Gunners 2-0 when they last met in the Europa League last October
A second-place finish for Mikel Arteta’s side last term ensured they would appear in the Champions League this season for the first time in six years. Visitors PSV are making a return to the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2018/19.
A penalty shootout win against last season’s treble winners Manchester City in the Community Shield was a good way to start the new season. The Gunners are yet to be beaten so far this term, drawing just one of their five league games.
Arsenal kicked off the season with a 2-1 win at home to Nottingham Forest before grinding out a 1-0 victory away to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. They would disappointingly drop points in a 2-2 draw at home to ten-man Fulham in the game after but have responded since with victories over Manchester United and Everton.
PSV Eindhoven Form
PSV may prove to be difficult opponents when they head to the Emirates on Wednesday night. Peter Bosz’s side have not suffered a single defeat all season, opening with a 1-0 win in the Super Cup against Dutch champions Feyenoord. PSV also had to progress past Sturm Graz and Rangers in Champions League qualifiers to reach the group stage.
They have won all four Eredivisie matches played this season too, picking up victories over Utrecht, Vitesse, Waalwijk and Nijmegen. PSV’s strong run of form could make life difficult for favourites Arsenal and they will be full of confidence heading into this one.
Arsenal and PSV were drawn together in Group A of last season’s Europa League and the Gunners secured a 1-0 home win. However, PSV responded with a 2-0 victory at Philips Stadion. The last time the two sides met in the Champions League was back in 2007 when the Dutch side knocked Arsenal out at the round of 16.
The hosts will continue to be without Jurrien Timber, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey as they continue to recover from long-term injury. Gabriel Martinelli was forced off in the first half against Everton on Sunday so he is in doubt.
As for visitors PSV, Noa Lang may be forced to miss out after being replaced against Nijmegen at the weekend due to injury. Hirving Lozano could come in to replace him. Frederik Oppegard, Armando Obispo, Mauro Junior, Koen Jansen and Jamal Gonzaga will all remain out.
Declan Rice is proving to be worth the large transfer fee and has settled into life at the heart of the Arsenal midfield superbly. He will be key in the middle of the park but Arteta may opt to rotate his side for this one. Gabriel Jesus will be pushing for a start ahead of Eddie Nketiah up top and the Gunners could lean on the Brazilian’s Champions League experience.
PSV forward Luuk de Jong has been superb to start the new campaign and already has 14 goal contributions across all competitions in just nine appearances. He has been providing both goals and assists for the Dutch side and will be the star man up top. The 33-year-old has scored in his last six successive matches.
The Gunners have a far superior squad than PSV and so they will be expected to get all three points. Arsenal will want to give their fans a good return back amongst Europe’s elite but it may be tough against an in-form PSV side.