The 2021/22 season saw Leicester return to European football for the second consecutive campaign, qualifying for the Europa League, but things didn’t go as well this time around. Last season they were knocked out of the Europa League at the round of 32, while this time they didn’t even make it out of the group stage, finishing third behind Spartak Moscow and Napoli. But while in previous seasons that would have brought an end to their European tour, Leicester instead dropped down to the Europa Conference League.
The knockout play-off round of the Europa Conference League put Europa League dropouts against group runners-up, and Leicester were handed a very favourable tie against Randers, which they won 7-2 on aggregate. But the last 16 was a lot tougher and Leicester just about scraped past French side Rennes, winning 3-2 on aggregate despite losing the second leg 2-1.
PSV were another team to drop down from the Europa League and their elimination may have stung more, as they went into the final game of their group knowing a draw would have been enough to secure second. But the Dutch side lost to Real Sociedad, who leapfrogged them, and the Europa Conference League became PSV’s new home.
Things weren’t as easy for PSV in the knockout play-off round and they beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv 2-1 over two legs, setting up what was one of the best ties in the Europa Conference League against FC Copenhagen. The first leg ended as a 4-4 draw, with PSV having to come from behind three times to stay in the tie — and they made sure there would be no such problems in the return leg, winning 4-0 away from home.
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Leicester vs PSV: Match Stats
Cody Gakpo has been PSV’s man in Europe this season, scoring five goals so far across the Europa League and Europa Conference League. Three of those five goals have come in the Europa Conference League too, including a brace in the 4-4 draw with Copenhagen. Leicester’s defenders beware.
Goals, goals, goals. That’s what you should expect when these two face off on Thursday. Despite both sides playing just four games in the Europa Conference League this season, Leicester and PSV have already scored 10 goals each, while conceding four and five respectively.
This will be the first competitive meeting between these two sides and the first time Leicester have played Dutch opposition, being relatively new in their European journey. PSV, on the other hand, have faced English opposition 34 times in total, most recently taking on Tottenham in the 2018/19 Champions League group stage, losing 2-1 away and drawing 2-2 at home.