5 time European champions Liverpool travel to Holland to face Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven in their opening Group C Champions League encounter on Tuesday.
Liverpool, who suffered a 3-0 against rivals Everton in the Premiership, crashed out at the same stage as their opponents in the Champions League last season-the round of 16. They looked out of sorts in the Merseyside derby , and will face a tough task at the Philips Stadion. Liverpool have picked up 4 points from three games in the Premiership, with one draw, one win and one loss and are a poor 14th in the table. Winger Bolo Zenden will play for the first time against his old club, if he starts for the Merseysiders. Jose Reina will start in goal, and will be keen to avoid any mistakes like the one which was responsible for the third goal against Everton.John Arne Riise is out of this game after being stretchered off against the Toffees.Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia will have to be on their feet against the likes of Kone and Farfan, who will be ready to jump at even the slightest opportunity in the Liverpool box. Dirk Kuyt will play against the club he knows very well as an ex Feyernoord player and will be keen to net a few. Craig Bellamy could play a vital role in this fixture with his pace and agility.
PSV, the reigning champions of the EreDivisie are now managed by Ronald Koeman, who took over after the departure of the hugely popular Guus Hiddink. They qualified automatically for the group stages, while their rivals had to sweat it out against Maccabi Haifa. They come into this game on the back of a 3-1 away win at Willem II, which was engineered by a brace from Edilson Mendez. Veteran medio Philip Cocu is suspended for this clash. Brazilian fullback Alex has recovered from his flu and looks set to start. Jan Krompkamp will face off against his former club where he spent a little more than 6 months. Koeman could give a start to former Barcelona and Ajax striker Patrick Kluivert, who has missed the start of the season due to lack of fitness.If Kluivert does not make it, Farfan and Aruna Kone will start.
Both the teams have tremendous pedigree in Europe and are no strangers to big match occasions. Apart from a winning start in Europe’s premier club competition, a lot more is at stake for these two clubs. Liverpool will face off against Chelsea and PSV against Feyernoord in their respective leagues after this game.Both teams would like to go in with a win, and that is why I predict this match to be tough. PSV are a tough team to break down at home. One would feel like putting his money on a Liverpool win, but I go for a 1-1 draw. Rafa’s side may clinch it, but I think PSV have enough resources to take a draw, if not a win out of this game.
Farfan and Crouch to score.