The KNVB Cup final takes place this Sunday as Utrecht and Feyenoord battle it out for the trophy in De Kuip. Kick-off 5pm.

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In their own stadium, Feyenoord will look to lift the KNVB Cup for the first time since 2008 and for the 12th time in their history, while their opponents Utrecht have tasted success in the cup on three occasions, with their last coming back in 2004.

Feyenoord go into the game as favourites with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side two places above Utrecht in the Eredivisie table and having already got the better of their opponents on two times this season. Feyenoord beat Utrecht 3-2 at home and 2-1 away in the league.

However in the cup, Utrecht have been excellent this season and boss Erik ten Hag believes they will lift the trophy if they replicate the form which saw them oust PSV in the Quarter finals.

Ten Hag said, “We must take inspiration from our away performance in Amsterdam against Ajax last weekend and our quarter-final defeat of PSV in terms of the manner in which we played.

“We are convinced that if we play well on Sunday we can win the cup.”

Neither side go into the game on the back of great performances with Utrecht going down 2-0 at home to De Graafschap in midweek while Feyenoord had to battle back from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at Heracles.

Team News

Feyenoord rested Dirk Kuyt and Karim El Ahmadi for the draw at Heracles in midweek but both should be back in the starting line-up on Sunday. The only question mark for van Bronckhorst will be around his defence with the fit again Terence Kongolo challenging Eric Botteghin for a starting spot.

Possible Feyenoord line-up: Vermeer, Karsdorp, Nelom, van Beek, Botteghin, El Ahmadi, Vilhena, Toornstra, Elia, Kuyt, Kramer

Utrecht will be without injured goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter for the final after he broke a bone in his hand while Yassin Ayoub is also out with a groin injury.

Possible Utrecht line-up: Bednarek, van der Maarel, Ligeon, Letschert, Leeuwin, Janssen, Strieder, Ramselaar, Ludwig, Barazite, Haller

Odds

Feyenoord 3/4 Draw 11/4 Utrecht 10/3

Route to the Final

Feyenoord: PEC Zwolle (3-0), Ajax (1-0), Willem II (2-1 aet), Roda JC (1-0 aet), AZ (3-1)

Utrecht: ONS (2-0), Groningen (5-3 aet), Achilles 29 (5-0), PSV (3-1), VVSB (3-0)

Key Players

kuyt fey azDirk Kuyt

The veteran returned to Feyenoord in the summer to win the league, but that has not worked out and he will have to settle with the chance of lifting the KNVB Cup. The 35-year-old has only lifted the trophy once during his career and that was when Utrecht triumphed in 2003.

Kuyt has been instrumental to Feyenoord reaching the final, scoring four goals in the five games so far, adding that to the 18 he has netted in the league this season. Likely to start on the right wing expect Kuyt to be heavily involved throughout the game as he chases what could be one of the last pieces of silverware in his glittering career

hall uuuSebastien Haller

The French goal machine has been the catalyst for Utrecht’s improved form this season with 17 league goals lifting the club to fifth in the league, and his five in the cup taking them to the final.

Brilliant with the ball at his feet and in the air Haller is lethal in front of goal and he will look to give Feyenoord’s defence nightmare’s throughout Sunday.

Facts

-The winner of the cup will automatically qualify for the Europa League next season. If Feyenoord win it, fourth place in the league will lead to Europe. That position is currently held by AZ. Places 5-8 will then take part in the end of season play-offs.

-Feyenoord and Utrecht met in the 2003 KNVB Cup final. Utrecht won 4-1 that day with a certain Dirk Kuyt as one of the scorers.




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