PSV cannot match Atletico Madrid physically - Cruyff


Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff says PSV must avoid a physical battle at all costs if they are to stand a chance in their Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid.

The Eredivisie champions finished ahead of Manchester United and CSKA Moscow to book their ticket for the knockout stages and will now have to deal with Diego Simeone's men.

Cruyff admitted he is "not optimistic" about PSV's chances unless they can match the desire that Atletico will bring.

"Atletico Madrid might not be the best opponent, but they are the most difficult one," Cruyff wrote in his weekly column for De Telegraaf.

"PSV will be in trouble if they turn it into a physical contest. They have to be one step ahead of Atleti in order to prevent that from happening. Atletico play like the fans want them to play. It's not technical and attacking football like Barcelona and Real Madrid, but all about giving 200 per cent.

"PSV will have to be on top of things right from the start, because Atletico will definitely be focused from the first whistle. They defend with their entire team and attack will 11 players as well. 

"They will punish any small mistake. I am not optimistic about PSV's chances if they give Atletico any space in midfield."

PSV host Atletico in Eindhoven on Wednesday, before travelling to Spain on March 15 for the second leg.