With two Group D victories already, PSV Eindhoven will be aiming to take another step closer to the knockout phase as LASK visit.
Article top media content
With two Group D victories already under their belt, PSV Eindhoven will be aiming to take another step closer to the UEFA Europa League knockout phase as they play host to a LASK Linz side whose maiden group campaign has started with a home win and an away defeat.
• PSV have struck seven goals in accumulating their six points, three of them scored by 20-year-old Donyell Malen, who got one on Matchday 1 at home to Sporting CP (3-2) and two on Matchday 2 at Rosenborg (4-1). LASK, meanwhile, beat the Norwegian champions 1-0 at home before surrendering a half-time lead and going down 2-1 in Lisbon.
• This is LASK's first competitive encounter against Dutch opposition.
• PSV have played 12 games against Austrian clubs and won nine, including six out of six in Eindhoven, where they have scored 15 goals and conceded three, most recently beating St Pölten 1-0 (and 4-2 on aggregate) in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round. They have never previously met Austrian opponents in a group stage.
• 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 hopes 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 W10 D5 L4, though the four defeats have all come in the last eight matches. The Matchday 1 win against Sporting ended a three-match winless run at home in the competition proper (D1 L2).
• Runners-up to Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga last season, LASK also took part in UEFA competition for the first time since 2000. Having defeated Lillestrøm in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round, they were then eliminated by Beşiktaş on away goals (0-1 a, 2-1 h).
• LASK entered Europe this season in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, where they recorded a 5-2 aggregate victory against Switzerland's Basel (2-1 a, 3-1 h) but could not repeat the trick in the play-offs, losing home (0-1) and away (1-2) to Club Brugge and therefore entering the UEFA Europa League group stage instead.
• The Linz club have lost six of their last nine European away games (W2 D1).
Links and trivia
• Opposition coaches Mark van Bommel and Valérien Ismaël were team-mates at Bayern München in 2006/07, although Ismaël was sidelined with injury for most of that season.
• LASK's Australian midfielder James Holland launched his European career in the Netherlands with AZ Alkmaar in 2009 before spending a season on loan at Sparta Rotterdam. Also with AZ at the time was current PSV defender Nick Viergever.
• LASK are one of six clubs making their debut this season in the UEFA Europa League group stage, along with Espanyol, Wolves, Olexandriya, Ferencváros and fellow Austrians Wolfsberg.
• A feisty, all-purpose midfielder whose playing career was festooned with honours, 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.
• A former central defender who started out with home-town club Strasbourg, Ismaël spent the latter part of his career in Germany, winning the domestic double with both Werder Bremen and Bayern München. His final club, Hannover, gave the Frenchman his first coaching opportunity in charge of the reserves, and he occupied a similar role at Wolfsburg, which was punctuated by a brief spell as head coach at Nürnberg. After another short stint as the main man at Wolfsburg, from October 2016 to February 2017, he resurfaced in Austria as the new boss of LASK in May 2019.
The FootballPeople weeks take place from 10 to 24 October 2019 and are organised by UEFA's social responsibility partner Fare. The weeks are a global campaign aimed at tackling discrimination and celebrating diversity in football. The UEFA Europa League is offering its full support to the FootballPeople weeks; teams will line up for a mixed photo with the referees, while an #EqualGame hashtag will also be on display. Videos will be played on giant screens at stadiums across Europe, and child mascots will be wearing #FootballPeople t-shirts. UEFA's collaboration with the Fare network's FootballPeople weeks has been running since 2001. The aim of this initiative fits in perfectly with the goals of #EqualGame, which is looking to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility.