For a team that has won the European Champions League, the UEFA Cup and has 24 national titles under its belt, finishing in fourth place in the Dutch league last season was a major disappointment. PSV Eindhoven, one of Europe's top clubs - which has in the past been managed by Guus Hiddink and the late Sir Bobby Robson - must look at the qualifying stage of the Europa League and wonder just what it's doing there.
But the fact is, after four consecutive championships, last season's fourth-place finish means no Champions League soccer for PSV this season - despite a massive annual budget of 54 million euros.
In the previous round of the Europa Cup, PSV was far from impressive, beating Cherno More of Bulgaria 1-0 both at home and away. According to the Dutch media, PSV's main problem was in creating gaol-scoring opportunities.
Speaking after Friday's draw against Bnei Yehuda, coach Fred Rutten had this to say about the unknown opponent from the Middle East: "It's difficult to say what sort of opponent we will come up against, especially since the Israel league season has not yet started. All I can say is that results don't lie: Bnei Yehuda has won all six of its Europa League games so far and has not conceded a goal. So we have to take them very seriously indeed." (Eli Shvidler)
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