FC Rostov vs PSV Eindhoven
UEFA Champions League – Group D
Date: Wednesday, 28th September, 2016
Kick-off: 19:45 UK.
Venue: Stadion Olimp-2, Rostov-on-Don.
Rostov have done a lot more than many expected in their debut Champions League campaign. They only qualified for the Europa League for the first time two seasons ago and couldn’t make it past the Playoff Round, but they have managed to get to the group stages of the Champions League against all odds this season.
They beat Anderlecht 4-2 on aggregate in their first ever Champions League tie and then knocked Ajax out with a 5-2 aggregate victory to reach the group stages. It didn’t go so well in their first group match, but a 5-0 loss away to Bayern Munich can’t be seen as anything other than expected.
This 5-0 defeat did send them into a bit of a downward spiral as they lost their next two matches against Krasnodar and Dinamo Moscow, but they broke out of that poor spell with a 1-0 win at home to Lokomotiv Moscow on Saturday.
PSV haven’t had the most emphatic of starts to their season either. They started with a Dutch Super Cup win over Feyenoord and then went on to win four and draw one of their opening five Eredivisie games.
A 1-0 loss at home to Atletico Madrid kicked off their Champions League campaign, and they followed it with another home defeat to Feyenoord. They have managed to win two on the bounce since then though.
This defeat at home to Atletico Madrid has severely hampered their already slim hopes of qualifying above either them or Bayern Munich and making it to the Champions League knockout stages. Realistically they will need to hold oFf Bayern Munich in one of their clashes or get something at Atletico Madrid.
Both of Rostov’s home games in the Champions League have been high scoring affairs, with a 2-2 draw at home to Anderlecht and a 4-1 thrashing of Ajax making up their results. Overall, four of their seven home games this season have seen at least three goals scored, including their two Champions League outings.
PSV have seen at least three goals in four of their five trips away this season as well, and with both teams knowing that a win would be a massive boost, I expect them to be going for it. Odds of 23/20, therefore, seem very generous for Over 2.5 Goals, and I’m going for that along with a 2-1 win for Rostov at 11/1 for my correct score prediction.
Head To Head
This will be the first ever meeting between these teams.
57% of Rostov's home games this season have seen Over 2.5 Goals, including both of their Champions League clashes. 80% of PSV's trips away have been high scoring as well.
Rostov are expecting to be injury free on Wednesday.
Goalkeeper Luuk Koopmans, attacking midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko, and striker Jurgen Locadia are sidelined for the visitors.