PSV Eindhoven: Who are Rangers’ Champions League play-off opponents? Key players, stadium and cost of flights

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The Light Blues will be heading to the Netherlands for their UEFA Champions League play-off round tie.

In a repeat of last year’s Champions League play-off round tie, Rangers will face PSV Eindhoven for the right to advance to the group stage draw, starting with Tuesday’s first leg at Ibrox.

Michael Beale’s side, who dumped out Swiss side Servette in the previous round to move one step closer to a place at Europe’s top table for a second consecutive season, will come up against much tougher opposition after the Dutch club breezed past Sturm Graz in their third round qualifier.

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Gers fans will already be planning their trip to Einhoven next week. Here is everything you need to know about their opponents including the club’s history, the stadium capacity plus how to get there and how much it will cost:

Where do PSV Eindhoven play? Stadium location and capacity

PSV play at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven which has a capacity of 35,119 spectators. It was first opened in December 1910 and currently holds afour-star rating by UEFA. The stadium has gone through several extensive renovations over the years and has played host to a range of Netherlands national team fixtures since 1971. It also hosted the 2006 UEFA Cup Final between Middlesbrough and Sevilla.

General view inside the Phillips StadionGeneral view inside the Phillips Stadion
General view inside the Phillips Stadion

As of 2022, the city of Eindhoven has a population of 238,326 - making it the fifth-largest in the Netherlands. The city witnessed rapid growth in the 1900s by design, textile and tobacco industries.

PSV Eindhoven’s history and European participation

PSV Eindhoven are regarded as one of the country’s “big three” clubs that have dominated the Eredivisie, winning the title on 24 occasions. The 1987/88 European Cup winners have played in the top tier of Dutch football since the league’s inception in 1956.

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PSV has been home a number of world-class players who have used the club as a stepping stone to greater things. The likes of Arjen Robben, Ruud Gullit, Jaap Stam, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ronald Koeman and Memphis Depay made their senior breakthrough at the club.

The club’s European record makes for impressive reading: Played 372 games, Won 163, Draws 83 and 126 defeats. Winners of the 1977/78 UEFA Cup, PSV’s most recent success on the continental stage was reaching the semi-final of the 2004/05 Champions League, during which they lost to AC Milan on away goals.

They’ve played 178 matches in the Champions League, boasting an overall win percentage of 36.52%.

Who is the manager and key players to watch out for?

Dutch coach Peter Bosz is currently in charge of PSV Eindhoven, having replaced Ruud van Nistelrooy who resigned at the end of last season. Bosz was officially appointed as manager in June ahead of the 2023/24 season and counts a number of top European clubs such as Ajax (Netherlands), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) and Lyon (France), among a list of former clubs he has managed.

PSV's Dutch coach Peter Bosz PSV's Dutch coach Peter Bosz
PSV's Dutch coach Peter Bosz

Three key players for Rangers to watch out for are:

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Luuk de Jong - The skipper and former Newcastle United loanee is in his second spell at the club after a hugely successful first stint between 2014 and 2019. A regular for the Dutch national team for the last 12 years, the striker had a temporary spell at Barcelona and poses a major attacking threat.

Joey Veerman - Hugely impressive when the two clubs clashed last season, the roaving central midfield enforcer has an excellent eye of a defence-splitting pass. Very strong in the tackle and his delivery from set-pieces is another dangerous weapon. Capable of playing equally well as a No.6 or an 8, Veerman will be aiming to press Rangers high up the pitch.

Malik Tillman - A name Rangers fans will be very familiar with, the American spent the entirety of last season on loan at Ibrox from Bayern Munich. Named as PFA Scotland’s Young Player of the Year, Tillman has since moved on to another temporary stint in the Netherlands after Bayern opted to cancel Rangers option-to-buy clause earlier this summer.

How to get there

Rangers fans will most likely be travelling by plane to reach Eindhoven. Some supporters might also explore travelling to another part of the Netherlands or driving or take a train journey across the border from either France or Belgium to their onward destination.

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As of the morning of Monday, August 21, flights from Glasgow Airport departing on Tuesday, August 29th and returning on Thursday, August 31st were showing at between £397 and £521 return. However, those are NOT direct flights, with a change over required at either London Stanstead or London Heathrow.

EasyJet and British Airways are currently operating flights to the London Airports, with Ryanair operating the connecting flights from Stanstead or Heathrow direct to Eindhoven.

Flight from Edinburgh on the same dates are also available but they work out more expensive between £423 and £592. However, the outward flight is direct to Eindhoven, meaning the return flight would only require one change over.

The first leg of the match will be played at Ibrox on Tuesday, August 22nd with a 8.00pm kick-off and the second leg in Eindhoven eight days later on Wednesday, August 30th, with a 8.00pm kick-off time.

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The draw for the UEFA Champions League group stages is due to be held on Thursday, August 31st, with 32 teams set to be drawn into eight groups of four. Teams will be seeded into four separate pots - Rangers will either be in Pot 3 or Pot 4 (alongside Celtic) if they qualify.

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