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FC Utrecht
Eredivisie | Gameweek 18
Jan 21, 2024 at 11.15am UK
Stadion Galgenwaard
PSV

Utrecht
1 - 1
PSV

Boussaid (53')
Toornstra (27'), Fraulo (89')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Bakayoko (7')
de Jong (54')

Preview: FC Utrecht vs. PSV Eindhoven - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Eredivisie clash between FC Utrecht and PSV Eindhoven, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Looking to extend their flawless record in the league this term, runaway leaders PSV Eindhoven will face FC Utrecht at Stadion Galgenwaard on Sunday afternoon in the Eredivisie.

The Cathedral Citizens will be aiming to halt a worrying winless run, while the visitors will seek to make it three-straight wins since returning from the winter break.


Match preview

PSV Eindhoven coach Peter Bosz reacts on November 29, 2023© Reuters

Following a three-week winter break, Utrecht returned to competitive action last Sunday against relegation-threatened Vitesse at GelreDome, and the visitors on the day were held to a goalless draw by the Arnhem-based club, with Eloy Room and Vasilios Barkas both earning clean sheets.

A share of the spoils last time out extended the Cathedral Citizens' unbeaten run to nine matches in the Eredivisie after a run of seven defeats in the first eight at the beginning of the campaign, meaning Ron Jans's men have steered themselves clear of trouble at the bottom in recent months.

Utrecht currently occupy 13th position in the Eredivisie standings after collecting a steady tally of 18 points from their opening 17 league matches, sitting four points ahead of 16th-placed RKC Waalwijk and six better off compared to 17th-placed Vitesse, who have only won one league match since October.

Finding the net just 17 times in as many contests in the first period of the Eredivisie term, only Waalwijk and Vitesse have scored fewer league goals than Sunday's hosts, with attack-minded midfielder Victor Jensen leading the club's Golden Boot race with just four goals.

Utrecht supporters will draw on their home record for hope of earning a shock result against the league leaders, with Jans's side unbeaten at Stadion Galgenwaard since September 30, when newly-promoted Almere City rocked up and netted two in the final 10 minutes through Thomas Robinet and Rajiv van La Parra.

After pitting their wits against Heracles and German outfit Hamburger SV in friendly matches over the winter break, PSV Eindhoven have returned to competitive action in the New Year with back-to-back 3-1 successes, beating SBV Excelsior in the Eredivisie before breezing past FC Twente in the KNVB Cup on Wednesday night.

The hosts at the Philips Stadion booked their place in the third round of the competition in stylish fashion, with Yorbe Vertessen, Luuk de Jong and Johan Bakayoko all getting onto the scoresheet to give their side a three-goal advantage, before Manfred Ugalde fired in a consolation for the Tukkers late on.

With Ajax dominating the Dutch scene for so long, PSV are taking advantage of the perennial champions' woes this term, with Peter Bosz's men collecting maximum points from the opening 17 matches of the term, meaning they possess an unprecedented 11-point buffer between themselves and title holders Feyenoord in second.

Whilst Feyenoord's Santiago Gimenez and AZ Alkmaar's Evangelos Pavlidis fight for the division's Golden Boot this season, PSV have scored goals from all over the pitch so far, with former Newcastle United man De Jong, Guus Til, Hirving Lozano and Malik Tilman combining for 32 league strikes.

Remarkably, Eindhoven's away record outshines their form at the Philips Stadion at the halfway point of the term, with Bosz's men scoring 30 goals and conceding only two in eight-straight Eredivisie victories on the road, meaning a point for Utrecht on Sunday - let alone three - would represent a major upset.

FC Utrecht Eredivisie form:


FC Utrecht form (all competitions):


PSV Eindhoven Eredivisie form:


PSV Eindhoven form (all competitions):



Team News

PSV Eindhoven's Ismael Saibari in action with Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny on December 12, 2023© Reuters

Utrecht are without the services of former Manchester United youngster Zidane Iqbal, with the 20-year-old currently on international duty with Iraq at the Asian Cup.

Sunday's hosts are light on options at the front of the pitch due to the absence of Anthony Descotte, with the Belgian failing to feature since October because of a knock.

Winger Marouan Azarkan also remains on the sidelines owing to a head injury, meaning Othman Boussaid is set to start on the flanks once again.

After bagging six goal contributions in 14 league appearances, PSV midfielder Ismael Saibari has waved goodbye to Eredivisie football for the month as he helps Morocco fight for Africa Cup of Nations glory.

Mexico international Lozano made his return from a hip injury in the cup success over Twente on Wednesday night, and the 28-year-old could make his first start since November this weekend.

Southampton loanee Armel Bella-Kotchap has not enjoyed his switch from the English South Coast to Eindhoven so far, with the German last featuring on October 8 due to an injury.


FC Utrecht possible starting lineup:
Barkas; Ter Avest, Flamingo, Viergever, Elkarouani; Bozdogan, Fraulo, Boussaid, Jensen, Ramselaar; Lammers

PSV Eindhoven possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Teze, Silva, Boscagli, Dest; Til, Veerman, Schouten; Bakayoko, Tillman, De Jong


SM words green background

We say: FC Utrecht 0-2 PSV Eindhoven

After drawing a blank against basement dwellers Vitesse last time out, Utrecht will not be too confident of earning anything from the visit of the league leaders.

PSV are brushing their Eredivisie counterparts aside at ease this term, and we see no reason why Sunday's trip to Stadion Galgenwaard will buck the trend.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


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Game History

How you voted: Utrecht vs PSV

FC Utrecht
20.0%
Draw
6.7%
PSV Eindhoven
73.3%
15
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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CPSV EindhovenPSV342941111219091
2Feyenoord34266292266684
3FC Twente34216769363369
4AZ AlkmaarAZ34198770393165
5Ajax341511874611356
6NECNijmegen341411968511753
7FC UtrechtUtrecht341311104947250
8Sparta RotterdamSparta34147135148349
9Go Ahead Eagles341210124746146
10Fortuna SittardSittard34911143756-1938
11Heerenveen34107175370-1737
12PEC Zwolle3499164567-2236
13Almere CityAlmere City34713143359-2634
14Heracles3496194174-3333
15RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk3478193856-1829
16SBV ExcelsiorExcelsior34611175073-2329
RFC VolendamVolendam3447233488-5419
RVitesse3466223074-446


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