PSV hope to rekindle Champions League success

It’s all or nothing for PSV Eindhoven who need a home win over CSKA Moscow on Wednesday (AEDT) to book their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase for the first time since Australia ace Jason Culina graced the Philip Stadion.

PSV

PSV will be hoping to advance to to the champions league knockout stage with a win over CSKA Moscow Source: Getty Images



PSV reached the semi-finals in 2004-2005 before signing Socceroos legend Jason Culina, who helped the club to the Champions League quarter final in 2006-2007.

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"When we made it to the quarter final when I was there we had to beat Arsenal, who had the likes of Henry, Fabregas and Adebayor," Culina said.

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The retired Aussie midfielder had a decorated career in the Dutch Eredivise, also playing for Ajax and FC Twente, but his fondest memories came from his four-year spell in Eindhoven.

"The way I was treated by the club during my stay over the four years makes me feel like I never actually played at Ajax, that I was at PSV the whole time," he said.



It has been a campaign to forget for CSKA Moscow, languishing at the bottom of Group B but PSV have it all to play for as they look to progress out of a group featuring Manchester United and Wolfsburg.

"When you get through a tough group in the Champions League it makes it even sweeter, it gives you a real satisfaction that you conquered these teams and made it to the next round," Culina said.

"PSV could finish first in the group or even last, depending on other fixtures, so there's plenty riding on this game."



Phillip Cocu's side go into the match with just seven foreign players in their squad, and Culina believes this commitment to home-grown talent deserves to be vindicated with a win.

"This is a huge game for PSV because this could begin to re-establish PSV as a top club in Europe and reinforce their philosophy of creating top young players, which I'm a big fan of."

"Instead of spending huge sums of money to be successful, I think the process of creating your own players and doing well in Europe is very important for the domestic competition."

With five defeats in their last six matches, CSKA will be hoping to book their place in the Europa League and bow out of the Champions League on a high.

Another ominous stat for the Russian side is the fact that keeper Igor Akinfeev hasn't kept a clean sheet in the last 36 Champions League matches, you can expect goals in this one.

Their recent poor form prompted coach Leonid Slutsky to admit: "Given the number of matches we have lost, I would say we are facing a crisis."


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3 min read
Published 8 December 2015 at 3:32pm
By Basil Saab