The 5-0 beating in Tilburg of last week left supporters behind in anger and disbelief. This season has become an odd one if you compare the stability on the one end and the extreme lows on the other. Phillip Cocu is doing something remarkable, breaking records on both sides.
A selection heading for the 24th title in PSV’s history with a 10 point lead and only 8 matches to go: one can imagine a moment of complacency sneaking in. However, this season PSV operates as a team and you kind of would expect a coach like Cocu and his staff – including Luc Nillis, Ruud van Nistelrooij and Boudewijn Zenden – to sense anything like that to happen. You would expect them to notice and prevent the basic players to bring that complacency to the pitch. But apparently the training sessions had been good and most likely no one would expect the number 15 of the Eredivisie to give PSV a 5 goal trashing.
Cocu breaks records…
Phillip Cocu is doing a great job as head coach and breaking records comes naturally for him. Last December, he became the head coach with the highest winning percentage in the Eredivisie ever, leaving giants like Guus Hiddink, Johan Cruijff, Rinus Michels, Louis van Gaal and Ronald Koeman, to name a few, behind him.
In February, he broke the record for most home victories in a row, dating back to 1987, then set by Guus Hiddink. But last week he also booked a negative record: the beating Willem II gave his squad, was the biggest defeat for PSV in 54 years. Nonetheless, Cocu is heading for his 3rd National Title in 5 years as head coach in Eindhoven, his 5th prize in total, not counting along the Rinus Michels Award for best trainer and the 8 Titles and Cups he won as a former PSV player. Had his players won all the remaining 8 matches this season, he would also have set a new record for becoming Champion with the most points ever in the history of the Eredivisie.
Next opponent: VVV-Venlo
PSV are playing against VVV-Venlo for the third time this season. The two previous matches were won, but this one is maybe more important. If PSV wins the remaining four home matches, they are the new National Champions. VVV are the current number 12, are almost ‘safe’ this season with 33 points already, but they surely want to test their abilities at the Philips Stadium. The moment is a bad one, however: PSV has always won a long series of matches after losing one, this season. And the statistics aren’t in favor of the Venlo squad either.
PSV played against VVV-Venlo 72 times throughout history. PSV won 47 times and lost only 11. PSV scored 182 goals and conceded 71: an average of 2,53 per match for PSV and 0,99 for VVV. PSV booked its biggest home victory on 6 December 1996, when they sent VVV back home to Venlo with 11-1. Luckily for VVV it was just a friendly match.
PSV won 29 and lost 4 of its home matches. The first match took place in the season of 1921/1922. PSV won with 4-1, a result they booked often against the yellow and blacks from the Southeast. PSV took 13 points in the last home matches against VVV, the last time on 2 February of 2013. After that, the team relegated and only last season promoted back to the Eredivisie again. Their current 12th position, with only 7 matches to go, is something they could only dream of at the start of the season.
Former PSV players
Captain Clint Leemans is a product of the PSV Youth Academy, doing very well in Venlo ever since he’s left Eindhoven in the summer of 2016. This season he’s been good for 8 goals, 4 assists and only received 3 yellow cards in 27 matches. Good numbers, especially when you consider the team scored only 31 goals so far. A nice compilation with some highlights is available on YouTube.
Defender Damian van Bruggen plays in Venlo on loan. He wanted a chance to make minutes in the Eredivisie instead of the Jupiler League with PSV Under 21. He played 21 matches, scored 2 goals and only received 2 yellow cards. He did very well until he got injured, last Februari. His best moment so far was undoubtedly his equalizer in the away game against Feyenoord, last November.
VVV striker can save a life
VVV’s German striker Lennart Thy skipped this week’s training sessions and will not play in Saturday’s Eredivisie-clash with PSV, because he can help to save a life by donating blood to a patient with leukaemia. Thy has a fully competible DNA-match with this patient and the player decided to cooperate to enable doctors to generate stem cells from his blood that make a transplant possible. If successful, stem cell therapy is a cure for acute leukaemia.
PSV fans have shared this special message on several social media pages. The plan is to give a standing ovation in the 11th minute, to honor Thy’s attitude. You can read his club’s statement here.
Suspensions & Injuries
Hirving Lozano and Jorrit Hendrix back after their suspensions. They will most likely take their place in the basic eleven again. Maxi Romero finally joined in some group sessions on the training pitch, but isn’t fit to play yet. Other good news came from Wageningen, the place of residence of Wim Rip. The video analyst will be back next season, after recovering from a cardiac arrest that he suffered during the match in Groningen.
The assumable lineup for Saturday looks like this: Zoet; Arias, Schwaab, Isimat, Brenet; Van Ginkel, Hendrix, Ramselaar; Lozano, De Jong, Bergwijn.
Date: Saturday 17 March
Location: Philips Stadion, Eindhoven
Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük
Broadcast: Fox Sports
Tickets: Last tickets available through this link
For Eindhoven News: Joey van der Hart
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