Champions League

Memphis to take on old club

2015-09-14 10:45
Memphis Depay (Getty Images)

London - An air of familiarity will pervade the Champions League return of PSV Eindhoven and Manchester United when they open their Group B campaign in the Netherlands on Tuesday.

There is a strong Dutch connection at the English club, back in the competition after missing out on continental football last season, and manager Louis van Gaal will be up against one of his former players.

Any battle of wits between Van Gaal and Phillip Cocu, who played under him at Barcelona and with the Netherlands national team, is likely to be secondary however to the quicker-than-expected return to the Philips Stadium of Memphis Depay.

The Dutch international scored 22 goals in 30 games for PSV in their title-winning run last season before making a lucrative move, both for him and the Dutch champions, to the Premier League.

He was a fan favourite at PSV but played a poor first half for United in Saturday's 3-1 home win over Liverpool before being taken off.

"Memphis knows by himself that his final pass wasn't good enough. Then you have players on the bench and you can improve the play of your team so that's why I changed. That doesn't mean he doesn't play against PSV Eindhoven but today he wasn't what I expected," Van Gaal said after the game, where the debut goal of teenage signing Anthony Martial attracted the weekend headlines.

The efficient win for the former Champions League winners should put a lid on questions about Van Gaal's methods and reported unhappiness among his players which dominated the build-up to the Liverpool match and which the manager swiftly sought to rebuff.

PSV are playing in the group phase of the Champions League for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

They are unbeaten this season, two points off the leadership of the league, and warmed up for Tuesday's group tie with an emphatic 6-0 win at SC Cambuur.

Luuk de Jong's first-half hat trick settled the outcome early in a display of the dominance that PSV are expected to deliver in the Dutch championship again this season.

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Red Bull Arena 19:55
Napoli v Genk, San Paolo 19:55
Ajax v Valencia, Amsterdam ArenA 22:00
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, da Luz 22:00
Lyon v RB Leipzig, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Inter Milan v Barcelona, San Siro 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Lille, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Maksimir Stadium 19:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta, Metalist Stadium 19:55
Bayern Munchen v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Arena 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus, BayArena 22:00
Club Brugge v Real Madrid, Jan Breydel Stadion 22:00
Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade, Karaiskakis Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Galatasaray, Parc des Princes 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow, Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Saturday, 30 May 2020
TBA v TBA, Ataturk Olympic Stadium 02:00
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