Both teams’ Champions League journeys are done for this season, but there’s still third place and a spot in the Europa League to play for. FC Rostov enter the match with the advantage, three points ahead of PSV. That puts all the pressure on the Dutch side to win at home and move ahead of Rostov on their head-to-head record while finishing level on points. PSV have had an up-and-down season - while they only have a single point in their group, that includes matches in which the were within a single goal of Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid. They’re not on a great run of form at the moment, having won only one of their past six matches and failing to score in half of them. Rostov meanwhile, are likely still buzzing from the biggest victory in the club’s history as they beat Bayern 3-2 at home. They’re still, however, in sixth in Russia after failing to pick up points in their last two matches. PSV should be expected to win at home and claim a place in the Europa League.
As the current Eredivisie champions, PSV qualified directly into the group stage. Their Champions League campaign last year included wins over each of their group opponents - Manchester United, Wolfsburg, and CSKA Moscow - before losing to Atletico Madrid on penalties after holding them scoreless for 210 minutes. Again, they’ll boast an impressive spine in Mexican internationals Andres Guardado and Hector Moreno, and Dutchmen at either end with Jeroen Zoet in goal and Luuk de Jong up top. With Bayern and Atletico Madrid in their group, they’ll need heroics to get out of their group for the second year running.
The Russian side are getting one hell of an introduction to the Champions League in their first year in the competition - a group featuring Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven. But, you’d imagine their fans will be buzzing to welcome that trio to the 15,000 seater Olimp-2 stadium. The western Russia-based club are experiencing the best period in their 86 year history, winning the Russian Cup in 2014 and finishing as runners-up in the Russian Premier League last year after nearly being relegated the season prior. Over the summer they locked down their top scorer from last season, Sardar Azmoun, who was previously on loan. Realistically, being on this stage is an incredible achievement for Rostov and any results are an added bonus.
Scored 58 goals in 88 appearances in his first two seasons with PSV.
A star for the Mexican national team, Guardado has played in three World Cups and two Copa América.
The 21 year old Iranian international has scored 15 goals in 20 appearances for his country.
The squad’s captain has played over 195 matches for Rostov and was the Moldovan footballer of the year in 2013.