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PSV defend top spot against Metalist

PSV Eindhoven will look to confirm top spot in Group I as they host an FC Metalist Kharkiv side with a fine away record and who can overtake them with a 2-0 win or more.

PSV are already certain of a last-32 place
PSV are already certain of a last-32 place ©Getty Images

PSV Eindhoven will look to confirm their place at the top of UEFA Europa League Group I as they play host to the only side that can still catch them, FC Metalist Kharkiv, with both sides already certain of a place in the round of 32 in the spring.

• Both teams won 2-1 on Matchday 5 to leave Metalist three points behind PSV. Myron Markevich's visitors can only finish top if they match or better the 2-0 margin of victory the Dutch side secured when the clubs met in Ukraine on Matchday 2.

Previous meetings
• Cristian Villagra's 26th-minute dismissal in Kharkiv was a significant factor in Metalist's 2-0 defeat when the teams met for the first time on 30 September. Balázs Dzsudzsák converted the resulting penalty with Orlando Engelaar completing the scoring on the half-hour mark.

• PSV have now played nine games against Ukrainian opponents – six of them against FC Dynamo Kyiv - with the record W4 D2 L3 (W2 D1 L1 in the Netherlands).

• Metalist faced Dutch opponents for the first time in the 1988/89 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round, when they were eliminated by Roda JC after following up a 1-0 defeat in Kerkrade with a home stalemate. They have thus yet to score a goal in the Netherlands.

Match background
• PSV are unbeaten in their last six European games – five wins and a draw – and are on a four-match winning streak. They have not lost in nine European home fixtures since going down 3-1 to Liverpool FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• That nine-game run comprises all of their European home games under current coach Fred Rutten – eight wins and a draw.

• Metalist are unbeaten and their defence unbreached on their travels this season, and they have lost just one of their last nine European away games, winning six, in a sequence that stretches back to the start of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage. They recorded their biggest ever away win in UEFA competition on Matchday 1, 5-0 at Debreceni VSC.

• Metalist have not conceded in 309 minutes of competitive European football on their travels since Daniel Beichler scored a 51st-minute equaliser for SK Sturm Graz in the first leg of their 2009/10 UEFA Europa League play-off tie. That game ended 1-1.

Team facts
• Metalist's Serhiy Davidov and PSV's Stanislav Manolev both have birthdays on the day of the match; Davidov will be 26 while Manolev will turn 25.

• PSV are two shy of conceding their 100th goal in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League. Their 98 games in the two competitions to date have seen them concede an average of exactly one goal a game. Their next UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup win will be their 50th.

• Metalist were the unheralded stars of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup, eliminating Beşiktaş JK in the first round, then beating Galatasaray AŞ, Olympiacos FC and SL Benfica in the group stage. They ousted UC Sampdoria in the round of 32, before bowing out to Dynamo Kyiv on away goals in the last 16.

• Hired in April 2009 just a month after being dismissed by FC Schalke 04, Rutten won three titles with PSV as assistant to Guus Hiddink in the mid-2000s. A defender, he spent his entire playing career with FC Twente, moving straight from the pitch to the dugout as assistant coach in 1988.

• First given the top job in 1999, Rutten led Twente to success in the 2000/01 Dutch Cup before heading for PSV, initially to work with the youth team. He returned to Enschede in 2006, leaving for Gelsenkirchen two years later.

• Markevich has been in charge at Metalist since summer 2005, briefly combining his job with that of Ukraine coach before stepping down to focus on his club duties in summer 2010. Having retired as a player at 28, he reached new highs after moving to Kharkiv, leading the club to four successive third-placed league finishes from 2006/07 – the best results in their history – as well as European progress.