Feyenoord begin their Europa League group campaign with a tricky tie away to defending champions Sevilla.

feyesevThe Rotterdam club have moved past the qualifying stages in Europe for the first time since the 2008-09 season, but will face an uphill struggle to get out of their group after being drawn against Spanish giants Sevilla, Belgian’s Standard Liege and Croatian’s HNK Rijeka.

Fred Rutten’s side travel to Spain having won only once in five Eredivisie games with Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to new boys Willem II their second straight loss in Rotterdam, which has got alarm bells ringing among the club’s fanatic support.

In the run up to the game midfielder Lex Immers has been ruled out through injury, while Colin Kazim Richards is suspended from a previous ban.  According to Algameen Dagblad Feyenoord are going to change to a 4-4-2 formation against Sevilla with two quick forwards playing up front to try and take advantage of counter attacks. This could see top scorer Mitchell Te Vrede benched in favour of speedy winger Bilal Basacikoglu.

Possible Feyenoord XI: Vermeer, Wilkshire, Kongolo, Mathijsen, Van Beek, Clasie, Vilhena, El Ahmadi, Toornstra, Schaken, Basacikoglu

Sevilla have made a good start to their La Liga campaign, winning two and drawing once in their opening three games, while they are unbeaten in their last 12 competitive matches at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stretching back to last season.

Coach Unai Emery has only Kevin Gameiro missing from his squad and he admitted to the press conference on Wednesday that he may make changes to the side that beat Getafe 2-0 on Sunday.

Possible Sevilla XI: Beto, Coke, Tremoulinas, Pareja, Carrico, Krychowiak, Mbia, Benega, Vitolo, Vidal, Bacca

Key Players to watch:

Jordy Clasie: Sevilla will boss the possession in front of their own fans and Feyenoord will need Clasie’s determination in the middle to try and break up the Spanish side’s momentum, and start counter attacks with his vision and good passing ability.

Ever Banega: The 26-year-old has had his troubles during his career but Sevilla have given the midfielder a lifeline this summer by signing him from Valencia. Banega is a class act with the ball at his feet and if his head is in the right place he can cause huge damage to Feyenoord.

Ruben Schaken: With Feyenoord likely to play on the counter, Schaken’s pace will be vital if the Rotterdam side are going to come away with a good result. The winger is likely start up front and look to latch onto any long balls played from the back.

Carlos Bacca: The Colombian is Sevilla’s main danger man, with the striker netting seven goals in the competition last season while adding another 14 in the league. If Mathijsen and Van Beek give the striker any room in the box then he will punish them.

Prediction:

Feyenoord face a trip to face rivals Ajax on Sunday and Fred Rutten will hope his side can finally gain some confidence with a good performance in Spain. However Sevilla are huge favourites for the match, and will be one of the club’s looking to win the competition come next May. With the away side in such poor league form, there should only be one winner, but there is no doubt the Feyenoord fans will enjoy being back in Europe.

Sevilla 2-0 Feyenoord




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