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PSV out to make amends

Published: Wednesday 17 September 2003, 9.00CET
PSV Eindhoven will hope for more success than last season when they open their campaign against AS Monaco FC.

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Published: Wednesday 17 September 2003, 9.00CET

PSV out to make amends

PSV Eindhoven will hope for more success than last season when they open their campaign against AS Monaco FC.

PSV Eindhoven return to UEFA Champions League action against AS Monaco FC in the Philips stadium on Wednesday night hoping to improve on last season's showing in Europe's premier club competition.

Out to make amends
The Dutch title-holders finished bottom of their first group stage section last season, having never recovered from conceding a goal in the opening 20 seconds of their campaign against Arsenal FC. Now they are keen to make amends. "I hope that we can live up to expectations," said PSV coach Guus Hiddink.

Brains required
"We all want to do that so badly, but then again it shouldn't be a complete obsession. We mustn't make the same mistakes we made last year. I want to see the team play passionately but without forgetting to use their brains."

Spying mission
Hiddink and his assistant, Erwin Koeman, were in attendance when Monaco beat FC Metz recently and another member of staff was on hand to observe the principality side's 1-1 draw against Lille OSC last weekend. "Monaco use the same tactics at home and away and always have four defenders at the back, " Hiddink observed. "Jérôme Rothen is great as a winger on the left and up front they usually play two forwards, last weekend Fernando Morientes was one of them. Monaco are one of the top clubs in France. The statistics show plenty of evidence for that."

Two-year absence
Visitors Monaco, returning to the Champions League after a two-year absence, need success in the tournament as much for financial as sporting reasons. Despite finishing second behind Olympique Lyonnais in Ligue 1 last season, the team from the sun-kissed Mediterranean coast only narrowly avoided relegation as a punishment for their large debts.

European pedigree
A good run in Europe would ease their monetary concerns but it will not be easy in a tough Group C that includes AEK Athens FC and RC Deportivo La Coruña as well as PSV, who have the finest European pedigree of all as the only former European champions in the section.

Quintet have experience
Ludovic Giuly, Edouard Cissé, Dado Pršo, Julien Rodriguez and on-loan striker Morientes are the only Monaco players with previous Champions League experience and Deschamps will use the same squad that drew 1-1 with LOSC, with no new injury fears to contend with.

Injury concerns
PSV have not been so fortunate, with Kasper Bøgelund and Johann Vogel both missing through injury. Ji-Sung Park also failed a late fitness test and is unavailable. Jürgen Colin looks set to come in for Bøgelund in defence with Remco van der Schaaf taking Vogel's place in the PSV midfield.

Last updated: 17/09/03 12.09CET