It’s been a while since PSV had to go through qualifiers just to make the Europa League groups but after a couple of rather disappointing seasons, this is still a step in the right correction. The Dutch side has an easy mission tonight when it locks horns with St Polten, a team playing in the second Austin division. As a result, the pressure is relatively high on the home side to achieve a wide margin victory, as the fans are unlikely to settle for a narrow triumph over the underdogs.
The statistics speak for themselves, but they are rather useless since punters are fully aware of the difference between the two teams. Those who are hell-bent on checking them out, should head on to http://www.soccerpunter.com/soccer-statistics/Europe/UEFA-Europa-League-2014-2015/head_to_head_statistics/all/1517_PSV_Eindhoven/2424_SKN_Sankt_P%C3%B6lten. PSV are anxiously waiting for the domestic championship to begin, but meanwhile they must focus at the task at hand, which is to secure qualification to the Europa League groups.
What usually happens when considerably better teams are pit against inferior opponents, is that they lack the motivation and sometimes fail to focus. Tonight the hosts will come out firing on all cylinders and try to take the lead early, then build on the narrow advantage. They should prepare for a defensive minded formation that would not come out of its own shell even if the Dutch side scored early in the game.
St Polten has a single quality striker, Spaniard Daniel Segovia, who scored in all the qualifying games so far and is expected to be used up front along. The visitors are reluctant to take any chances and fielding five defenders looks like a good idea against a team that scored plenty of goals in European competitions. Eindhoven went through a good run recently and won seven consecutive games, before ending the match against Hertha Berlin undecided.
This is very likely to be a one-sided game that the hosts will win without breaking a sweat, but punters will find no value in backing them to win outright. In order to take the odds to decent levels, they must trust the hosts to cover the -2.5 goals spread because by doing so, the odds are boosted to roughly 2.20.