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By ESPN Staff

PSV seek pivotal point

PSV Eindhoven need just one point to secure second place in Group B and progression to the UEFA Europa League knockout stages.

The Dutch side are sill smarting from Saturday's 6-2 thrashing at the hands of Eredivisie leaders Vitesse Arnhem.

Philip Cocu's PSV will be desperate to atone for that comprehensive loss by seeing off Chornomorets Odessa at the Philips Stadium.

Cocu must do without his captain Stijn Schaars though, who will miss six weeks' action after suffering a torn calf muscle in the weekend Vitesse humbling.

Cocu said PSV struggled to adapt after losing Schaars against Vitesse, and admitted dealing without the influential midfielder will be among their biggest challenges on Thursday night..

"We had to replace him after he had sustained an injury following a nasty challenge, it was a terrific blow for us," he told the club's official website.

"Things went from bad to worse when Schaars had to come off."

PSV remain level on points with Chornomorets, but even a draw would see them safely through to the round of 32, due to their superior head-to-head record.

Cocu's men will be seeking the double over their Ukrainian visitors in any case, after their 2-0 victory in Odessa, which came courtesy of goals from Memphis Depay and Florian Jozefzoon.

Chornomorets must claim their first-ever victory over Dutch opposition to progress past the group stages.

PSV's Swedish striker Ola Toivonen will extend his record as the man with the most Europa League appearances if he makes his 36th tournament bow on Thursday night.

Cocu took the PSV reins in the summer, but has struggled to inspire a title challenge in the Dutch league.

PSV sit 10th in the table after 16 games, trailing leaders Vitesse by 13 points.

Cocu's 101-cap Holland career and his impressive stint with Barcelona marked him out as a popular summer appointment to the managerial role.

But he was already under pressure before Saturdays' humiliating slump, that only serves to underline the chasm between PSV and the Dutch league's front runners.

Swedish forward Toivonen is still posturing for a move away from the club in January, with his contract expiring next summer.

Cocu has confirmed PSV will not let their prize asset leave on a free transfer, paving the way for a January switch, with Fulham, Newcastle and Norwich said to be circling.



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