After returning to form at the weekend Feyenoord are looking to get their first win of the Europa League group stages as they host Belgian’s Standard Liege.

  • By Bas Vos
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feycolingFeyenoord are looking for their first success in group G, after losing 2-0 to Sevilla two weeks ago. The quest won’t be easy, as it is Standard Liège, the runners-up of the Belgium league last season, that is up next.

The two have met once before in Europe, back in the 1973-74 UEFA Cup. Feyenoord won the home game 2-0, but lost in Liège 3-1. With the aggregate score being level at 3-3, Feyenoord progressed on away goals and went on to win the Cup.

Feyenoord are looking for their second win of the season at home, after only winning against Zorya Luhansk 4-3 in a Europa League qualifier so far in a disappointing start to the campaign. After four consecutive losses, the club won their second league game last Saturday against Go Ahead Eagles 0-4. Though Standard is of course a much better team than the Eagles, the faith among the players and the fans after a good result has risen, and with a nearly full-packed De Kuip, a lot of things can happen, which looked way off a few weeks ago.

Fred Rutten announced that he found his best XI, so there are no changes expected from the win at the weekend. This means once again that Jens Toornstra and Elvis Manu are the wingers, with Colin Kazim-Richards as striker.

Possible Feyenoord XI: Vermeer; Wilkshire, Van Beek, Kongolo, Nelom; Clasie, Immers, El Ahmadi; Toornstra, Kazim-Richards, Manu.

Absentees: Boulahrouz (not fit), Lopes Cabral (knee injury)

Standard Liège arrived around 1 PM local time on Wednesday in Rotterdam, with, unlike Feyenoord, no three points in the bag after their latest league game. Last Sunday, they drew 2-2 versus Lierse after being 2-0 ahead. It describes the season so far for Standard. Like Feyenoord, they dropped down from the Champions League qualifying. They did beat Panathinaikos in the third qualifying round  2-1 on aggregate, but couldn’t stop Zenit Saint Petersburg in the play-offs, losing 0-4 on aggregate. Their league campaign has not go as planned either: after 9 games, they are 8th in the Belgian Pro League, with 12 points.

Like Feyenoord, they lost key players in the summer: Belgian U21 international Michy Batshuayi Tunga, the league top scorer, left for Olympique Marseille, and Nigerian international Imoh Ezekiel left for Al Arabi, a club based in Qatar. Still struggling to get their form as well, it could be a very interesting game to watch.

The game is popular in Belgium, as both the Dutch and French-language television stations are broadcasting the game free-to-air. It seems just like a derby between the two national teams of Belgium and the Netherlands, with the only difference being that its clubs playing.

Possible Standard Liege XI: Kawashima; Milec, Jorge Teixeira, Ciman, Van Damme; Faty, Trebel, Ono, M’Poku; Watt, De Camargo.

Absentees: Enoh, Stam and Viera (injuries)

Prediction: Feyenoord 2-1 Standard.

Bas Vos (12 Posts)