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Monday, April 2, 2007

Champions League, PSV Vs Liverpool preview

For match report and highlights, please click here

Liverpool travel to Eindhoven for their Champions League quarter final clash with PSV hoping to take advantage of the Dutch side's injury problems.

Coach Ronald Koeman will have to do without two of his best players when the former European champions visit the Phillips Stadion on Tuesday, and the absence of both Arouna Kone and Alex means PSV are facing a tough test against a side who are on a high after a great result at the weekend.

Liverpool registered a crushing 4-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday, and will be further boosted by the return into contention for the match in the Netherlands of Sami Hyypia, Steve Finnan and Craig Bellamy, who were all rested at the weekend.

Peter Crouch is likely to get the nod to start with Dirk Kuyt up front for Liverpool after netting a hat-trick to down Arsenal as the rangy striker proved his fitness after a spell on the sidelines.

"Crouch hadn't played for 20 days because of his nose operation and he was desperate to play and score goals," Benitez said. "All of his goals were fantastic. Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano controlled the midfield and it has set us up nicely for the Champions League against PSV Eindhoven."

For PSV, Ivorian striker Kone has not played since the beginning of last month, when he sustained a knee injury during the 1-1 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates in the last round of the competition, while defender Alex, whose header knocked the Gunners out, will also miss out on the visit of the Reds through injury.

To make matters worse for Koeman, youngster Ibrahim Afellay is doubtful after having picked up a hamstring knock in Saturday's draw at NAC Breda. That result saw PSV's lead at the top of the Eredivisie cut to just two points

"We don't have the fittest squad at this moment," said Koeman, "but we will not give up despite two matches against Liverpool in a week. Afellay is a major doubt. We have problems battling for silverware on two fronts."

The meeting will be the third time the two sides have clashed this season after they were both drawn in the same pool at the group stage. It was Liverpool who came out on top from those two encounters, winning the home match before holding out for a point in a goalless draw in Eindhoven.

For match report and highlights, please click here.