Two experienced European campaigners go head to head in Group D as PSV and Sporting CP meet for the first time.
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Two experienced European campaigners go head to head in Group D as PSV and Sporting CP meet for the first time in their history on matchday one in Eindhoven. While it is the Dutch club's seventh European fixture of the 2019/20 campaign, it is their Portuguese visitors' first.
• PSV may have never faced Sporting before, but they have had 13 previous UEFA competition matches against other Portuguese clubs with the record W3 D6 L4. At home the figures are W2 D4 L1, the most recent fixture having brought a 1-0 win against Estoril on matchday one of the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage – PSV's last involvement at this phase of the competition. Most famously, PSV beat Benfica on penalties in the 1988 European Champion Clubs' Cup final after a 0-0 draw in Stuttgart.
• Sporting have an impressive overall record against Dutch clubs of W11 D3 L2, with neither defeat proving costly as they won both ties, including a dramatic UEFA Cup semi-final against AZ Alkmaar in 2004/05 (2-1 h, 2-3aet a). It is exactly a decade since they last visited the Netherlands, a 3-2 win at Heerenveen secured by a Liedson hat-trick kicking off their 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage campaign.
• PSV ceded the Dutch title to Ajax last season, finishing runners-up, while also playing second fiddle to their Amsterdam rivals in the UEFA Champions League as they dropped out at the group stage, finishing bottom of a tough section comprising Barcelona, Tottenham and Internazionale.
• This season the Eindhoven club's UEFA Champions League ambitions were extinguished early as they were beaten by Basel on away goals (3-2 h, 1-2 a) in the second qualifying round, but they recovered to knock Haugesund and Apollon Limassol out of the UEFA Europa League and reach the group stage for the seventh time. They have gone through to the knockout phase on four of the previous six occasions, reaching the quarter-finals in 2010/11.
• PSV's home record in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W9 D5 L4 though the four defeats have come in the last seven matches, with that win against Estoril the only one they have managed in the last four.
• Sporting qualified automatically for the 2019/20 group stage by winning last season's Portuguese Cup, a penalty shoot-out win in the final against Porto adding to a third-placed finish in the Liga. They also reached the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where they were knocked out by Villarreal.
• This is Sporting's ninth appearance in the UEFA Europa League proper – a competition record – and their seventh in the group stage, five of their previous six having brought further progress into the knockout phase. The Lisbon side's best performance came in 2011/12, when they reached the semi-finals.
• Sporting went a record 20 home games unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, in their first five seasons of participation but have now lost four of the last 11, including a pair of 0-1 defeats last season to Arsenal and Villarreal. Their overall home record in the group stage alone is W12 D4 L2.
Links and trivia
• PSV winger Bruma started his career with Sporting, graduating from the club's academy to the first team. He is a Portugal national team-mate of Sporting's Luís Neto and Bruno Fernandes.
• A feisty, all-purpose midfielder whose playing career was festooned with honours, Mark van Bommel won the national championship of every country in which he played, adding a Liga crown – plus UEFA Champions League glory – with Barcelona, two Bundesliga triumphs with Bayern München and a Serie A title with AC Milan to four Eredivisie successes with PSV. Capped 79 times by the Netherlands, he retired in 2013 and returned to PSV as head coach in 2018 having assisted his father-in-law Bert van Marwijk's Australia side at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
• Madeira native Leonel Pontes was named as Sporting CP's interim head coach on 5 September following the dismissal of Marcel Keizer. He had been acting as the club's Under-23 coach since June and has a long-standing history with the Lisbon outfit, having served on the coaching staff from 2002 to 2010, notably as assistant to Paulo Bento. When Bento was named Portugal coach in September 2010, he rejoined him as his No2, before branching out alone at hometown club Marítimo in 2014. Pontes then moved abroad, experiencing short spells in Greece, Egypt and Hungary and at Spanish third-tier club Jumilla.