The ball is in the home side's court as PSV Eindhoven look to seize a UEFA Cup semi-final place after securing a 1-1 draw in the first leg at ACF Fiorentina.
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The ball is in the home side's court as PSV Eindhoven look to seize a UEFA Cup semi-final place after securing a 1-1 draw in the first leg at ACF Fiorentina last week.
• PSV's 250th game in UEFA club competition ended well for Sef Vergoossen's team. They went a goal behind when Adrian Mutu scored after 56 minutes at the Artemio Franchi Stadium but Danny Koevermans struck a fine equaliser seven minutes later to leave his side with a crucial away goal to build on in the Netherlands.
• Mutu refused to be downhearted after the game, though, as Fiorentina seek their 50th win in UEFA club competition, saying: "We've got a chance in the return, I'm sure of that. We played a great team who play in the Champions League every year but we played well. Now we are positive about going to the Netherlands and giving everything we have got. We believe we can get at least one goal over there."
• The game could have added significance looking ahead to UEFA EURO 2008™. Italy and the Netherlands meet in their opening Group C fixture in Berne. Fiorentina's Alessandro Gamberini, Manuel Pasqual and Riccardo Montolivo are in the running for places in the Italy squad while Ibrahim Afellay and Koevermans will be hoping to represent the Netherlands on 9 June.
• On the same day, France will meet Romania in a game which could see Fiorentina team-mates Sébastien Frey and Mutu on opposite sides. Italy face Romania on 13 June and France on 17 June, while the Netherlands play those teams in the opposite order.
• That latter match will be a reprise of two previous games between the Netherlands and Romania in qualifying. The teams drew 0-0 in Rotterdam, before Romania prevailed 1-0 in Constanta to seize top spot in Group G. Fiorentina's Mutu played in both of those games, while PSV's Koevermans came on late on in the second fixture having been an unused substitute in the first match.
• France and Italy also met twice in qualifying, with Frey watching the match in Milan on 8 September 2007 from the bench. Fiorentina's Franco Semioli started the first game played in Paris but was an AC Chievo Verona player at the time.
• Fiorentina have now played 106 games in UEFA club competition but had never met Dutch opponents until this season, when they were drawn against FC Groningen in the first round of the UEFA Cup. Both legs ended in 1-1 draws with Fiorentina winning a penalty shoot-out 4-3 on home soil to progress. Therefore, all three of their games against Dutch sides have now ended in 1-1 draws.
• PSV have now come up against Italian opponents on 17 occasions, winning six games, drawing three and losing eight. All six of those wins – and two defeats – have come in their eight home ties against Italian sides.
• PSV met Fiorentina's Serie A rivals FC Internazionale Milano in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage, losing 2-0 at San Siro and 1-0 at home.
• Mutu has been Fiorentina's most dangerous player so far, scoring four times in the UEFA Cup this season, while Christian Vieri has scored three.
• Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli has never come up against Dutch opponents. The former midfielder played for US Cremonese, Atalanta BC and Juventus before coaching Atalanta, US Lecce, Hellas-Verona FC, Venezia FC, Parma FC, AS Roma and now Fiorentina.
• Vergoossen will coach PSV until the end of the season, at which point Hamburger SV boss Huub Stevens will take charge. The 60-year-old previously coached VVV Venlo, MVV Maastricht, Roda JC, KRC Genk, Al-Jazeera of the United Arab Emirates and Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight.
• While at Genk, he played his only previous fixtures against Italian opposition as his side met Fabio Capello's AS Roma in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League first group stage. His side lost 1-0 in Belgium and drew 0-0 in Rome. Genk played the last 80 minutes of the first game with ten men following goalkeeper Jan Moons' dismissal.
• Fiorentina have yet to lose at home in the UEFA Cup this season, earning four wins and two draws. Away from home, they have earned three 1-1 draws and a 1-0 win but lost 2-0 at Everton FC in the Round of 16 second leg – the first UEFA Cup game this season in which they failed to score in normal time.
• However, they won a penalty shoot-out after that defeat at Goodison Park to progress to the last eight. That was their second penalty shoot-out success of the season, having also prevailed against Groningen.
• PSV lost their most recent UEFA Cup home game 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur FC but prevailed on penalties to go through. Including that game, they have won two, drawn one and lost two of their five home games in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup this season.
• The number eight could be a lucky one for PSV. Their two previous major European titles both came in years ending in eight. They won the European Champion Clubs' Cup in the 1987/88 season having earned their first major trophy in the 1977/78 UEFA Cup.
• PSV have not been prolific scorers in Europe this season, with just nine goals spread over eleven UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup ties. Serbian Danko Lazović has been the most prolific scorer with three strikes, with two-goal Jefferson Farfán the only other PSV player to have registered more than once.
• Fiorentina's Marco Donadel, Montolivo and Tomáš Ujfaluši are all within a booking of a one-match ban.
• PSV's Farfán misses the second leg after picking up a booking in Florence. Lazović and Dirk Marcellis are within a booking of a suspension.
• Fiorentina finished second in UEFA Cup Group C, then beat Rosenborg BK and Everton to reach the quarter-finals. PSV finished third in their UEFA Champions League group and parachuted into the UEFA Cup, where they beat Helsingborgs IF and Tottenham Hotspur FC to make it to the last eight.
• The winners of the tie will face either Rangers FC or Sporting Clube de Portugal in the semi-finals, playing the first leg away on 24 April and the home game on 1 May.
• The winners of that tie will be the nominal away team in the UEFA Cup final at the City of Manchester Stadium on 14 May.