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Gunners firing with Bergkamp

Published: Wednesday 25 September 2002, 4.00CET
Two of Europe's in-form sides, PSV Eindhoven and Arsenal FC, meet head on in Group A.

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Published: Wednesday 25 September 2002, 4.00CET

Gunners firing with Bergkamp

Two of Europe's in-form sides, PSV Eindhoven and Arsenal FC, meet head on in Group A.

By Theo Ruizenaar

Two teams who have made unbeaten starts to their domestic campaigns meet tonight at the Philips stadium in Eindhoven for their second UEFA Champions League matches in Group A.

Dominant teams
Home side PSV Eindhoven have won their first five matches in the Eredivisie, conceding only one goal, while visitors Arsenal FC are still unbeaten in the English Premiership, registering five wins from seven matches.

Home wins
PSV coach Guus Hiddink knows that after a goalless draw against Olympique Lyonnais in France last week, three home wins should be enough to reach the next round. "It's clear that we have to win our home matches, but for matches against opponents like Arsenal you always have to consider your tactics," he said.

'Play our game'
"When you choose a defensive style like Arsenal are doing abroad there is always the chance that it all will go wrong. That's why we will try to play our game and just aim for the three points. But we have to be aware that we keep a defensive balance in the team, otherwise it will be absolute suicide."

Zonal system
Yet Hiddink will not sacrifice defenders to man-mark Arsenal strikers Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp. "That will be useless," he added. "Players with their experience will drag their defender to the side of the pitch just to create space for their team-mates. We will play as we are used to, every defender guarding his own zone."

Away form
Arsenal's biggest worry should be their poor performances in Champions League away matches. Their last victory on their travels was against Lyon in February 2001 and since then they have been beaten seven times and drawn once.

'Too defensive'
Hiddink said: "Arsenal should be considered as an international team without the typical British style of playing football. They are capable of playing different systems, but away from home they always lean too much on their defence."

Bergkamp travelling
PSV will welcome back goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus for the match after he missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, while Mark van Bommel will return after a one-match ban. Arsenal will probably start with Bergkamp, who travels abroad for his first away Champions League match in five years because of his fear of flying.

'A pleasure'
Hiddink is looking forward to taking on the player who put his Netherlands side through to the semi-final of the 1998 FIFA World Cup with a memorable goal against Argentina. "It will be a pleasure to meet Dennis and to see him play again in Holland," he said. "I'm not so pleased that he is an opponent, but for our crowd it will good to welcome him home."

Last updated: 25/09/02 20.49CET