PSV Eindhoven vs Arsenal: Champions League group stage preview

By on December 12, 2023

Jorginho arsenal

Arsenal are in Holland to conclude the group stages of the Champions League as we take on PSV Eindhoven at the Phillips Stadion this evening.

The game is something of a ‘dead rubber’, as both sides have already booked their place in the last-16 of the competition with a game to spare. Arsenal are already assured of finishing top so we’ll progress as Group B winners, while PSV will finish second irrespective of today’s result.

Last time out in Europe, Arsenal thrashed Lens 6-0 at the Emirates Stadium thanks to a scintillating opening 45 minutes. Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard all scored in the first half to put Arsenal 5-0 up at the break. Understandably, we took our foot off the gas in the second half but still added to our lead via a late Jorginho penalty.

That result secured safe passage to the knockout stages of the Champions League and opened up a four-point advantage over second-placed PSV, so we’ll head into the next phase as group winners. Theoretically, that should give us a better chance of a more favourable draw in the last-16. But after a five-year hiatus from Europe’s elite competition, it’s just a relief that Arsenal have navigated the group stages successfully and are in the hat for the next round.

While it’s been relatively plain sailing in Europe, Arsenal Premier League title bid was dealt a major blow at the weekend and once again the spotlight is on the officials. Aston Villa took an early lead at Villa Park but Arsenal dominated thereafter and deserved at least a point from the game. While Martin Odegaard will be disappointed to have missed a couple of golden opportunities, the officials once again contributed to our defeat.

Kai Havertz looked to have scored a late equaliser after poking home from a goal mouth scramble. Replays showed the ball had made slight contact with the German’s hand before he put it in the net so the goal was ruled out. However, fans were incensed as it appeared that the ball had also struck Villa defender Matty Cash on the arm before Havertz scored. Gabriel Jesus also had a huge call for a penalty turned down by the officials, while Villa defender Diego Carlos was extremely fortunate to escape with a yellow for an off-the-ball elbow that caught Eddie Nketiah in the face.

Arsenal have now dropped to second place in the table following the defeat at Villa, and we sit one point adrift of leaders Liverpool. The Premier League title race looks like it’s going right down to the wire with several clubs in the running, so Mikel Arteta will want to put a good run together in the Champions League as well to keep our trophy hunt alive in two competitions.

We wrap-up Group B away to PSV this evening and I’m expecting a tough game. While Arsenal won the reverse fixture 4-0 at the Emirates, this match will be totally different. PSV are formidable at home and haven’t lost at the Phillips Stadion in any competition throughout the whole of 2023. They come into the game after extending their winning run to 15 matches in the league with a 2-0 win over Heerenveen, and they now hold a 10-point lead over Feyenoord at the top of the table, so they should be in confident mood.

The Phillips Stadion can be one of the most hostile grounds to play at so the atmosphere should be incredible. Travelling fans can buy Champions League tickets via official club channels or through trusted reseller sites.

Team news

Bukayo Saka missed training on Monday after picking up a foot injury against Aston Villa. However, the winger has still travelled to Holland so the issue is only minor and he’s in contention to feature today.

Gabriel Martinelli was also absent at London Colney yesterday and the Brazilian has been forced to remain in North London due to illness, so he won’t be involved against PSV.

Thomas Partey is also still recovering from a thigh injury that’s hampered him in recent weeks while Fabio Vieira is still weeks away from returning from groin surgery. Jurrien Timber is making good progress in his rehabilitation from ACL surgery but he’s still months away from competitive action.

Takehiro Tomiyasu is also out of the game today due to a calf injury that could keep him on the sidelines until the end of the year. However, there is some positive news for Arsenal as Emile Smith Rowe returned to training on Monday. The attacking midfielder has been out for five weeks with a knee injury but could make his return to the field later today.

PSV will be without Hirving Lozano as he’s suspended while he’s also unavailable due to a hip problem. Nao Lang, Armel Bella-Kotchap and Jordan Teze are also injury doubts for the hosts.


With Arsenal safely through to the next phase as group winners, Arteta is expected to rotate his starting eleven to protect key players for this weekend’s Premier League clash with Brighton.

David Raya should make way for Aaron Ramsdale in goal while Jacub Kiwior is set for a run out at left-back with Oleksandr Zinchenko given a rest. William Saliba and Ben White should also be given a breather with Cedric Soares recalled while youngster Reuell Walters is in-line to make his full debut for Arsenal.

Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard and Kai Havertz should all drop out with Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny recalled. Highly-rated teenager Ethan Nwaneri is in the squad and could make his debut if Smith Rowe isn’t ready to start.

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus are all expected to be rested with Reiss Nelson, Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah starting in attack.

Likely Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Soares, Walters, Gabriel, Kiwior; Jorginho, Elneny, Nwaneri, Nelson, Nketiah, Trossard.

Likely PSV XI:  Benitez; Dest, Silva, Boscagli, Van Aanholt; Veerman, Til, Saibari; Bakayoko, De Jong, Tillman.

Predicted score

Arteta will obviously want to get back to winning ways after the Villa defeat, but he knows this is the perfect opportunity to rest some key players and give others a run out. A weakened Arsenal side may struggle to cope with the intensity of playing PSV in front of a hostile crowd at the Phillips Stadion.

It will take some big performances from the youngsters and more experienced players if Arsenal are to get a result this evening. Hopefully the boys can step up, but sadly I think we’ll fall just short. PSV 2-1 Arsenal