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Van Bommel can take PSV Eindhoven to group stage

BATE Borisov have been unconvincing

Steven Bergwijn of PSV celebrates scoring against Utrecht
1 of 1

Playoff round first legs
BT Sport, 8pm Tuesday

Celtic's exit in Athens last week means there is no British representation in the final stage of Champions League qualifying, which begins on Tuesday night.

However, European stalwarts Ajax, Benfica and PSV Eindhoven are three of the 12 clubs vying for a place in the group stage.

Dutch champions PSV begin their quest for a place in the final 32 at Belarusian title winners BATE Borisov on Tuesday and look well placed to seize the initiative in the tie.

Mark van Bommel's men have made a perfect start to their title defence with victories against Utrecht (4-0) and Fortuna Sittard (2-1) as well as enjoying a strong pre-season campaign which included triumphs over established continental outfits Valencia, Olympiakos and Galatasaray.

Opponents BATE, meanwhile, have been unconvincing in their progression to this stage of qualifying, recording single-goal aggregate wins over Finland's HJK and Qarabag of Azerbaijan.

PSV are of a much higher calibre than those sides and they should make that class tell.

In Tuesday's other two ties, Benfica are 1-2 to see off PAOK on home soil and last season's Europa League semi-finalists Salzburg are 23-20 to win at Red Star Belgrade.

Recommendation
PSV Eindhoven
2pts Evs general


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Mark van Bommel's men have made a perfect start to their title defence as well as enjoying a strong pre-season campaign
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