I'll be disappointed if PSV even get close to winning
27 April 2018
Feyenoord Vs. PSV Eindhoven: KNVB Beker Final Preview
The KNVB Beker reaches its climax on Sunday as reigning Dutch Champions Feyenoord take on Stanley Menzo’s PSV Eindhoven side who last won the competition back in 2012. Both sides have overcome difficult journeys to the Final and you can catch the big game live on Sky Sports 5, at half past five on Sunday, as the Dutch season begins to come to a close. Here Sky Sports gives you an in depth preview ahead of the showpiece event at De Kuip.
The Form BookFeyenoord come into this game in flying form, having only lost one game this side of the winter break, against Monaco in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg. In the Eredivisie, Feyenoord are unbeaten all season and are currently on a 41 match unbeaten run in the league, an unbeaten run that is even larger when you consider that they haven’t lost in the KNVB Beker since before their last Eredivisie defeat and thumped Ajax in the Johann Cruijff Schaal at the start of the season. PSV Eindhoven themselves aren’t in bad form, having lost only one of their last five games, although this was a costly defeat against Ajax in their last Eredivisie game which means Stanley Menzo’s side will miss out on the chance to play in the Champions League again next season.
The Road To The FinalFeyenoord’s road to the final began with the visit of amateur side Beursbengels, which saw Feyenoord run out 11-0 winners in Rotterdam. A visit to second tier FC Emmen followed before Feyenoord faced the toughest test of their run in when they beat AZ Alkmaar at De Kuip. Back to back away wins in the Quarter Finals and Semi Finals against Jupiler League sides Achilles ’29 and SC Cambuur are how reached the final after the latter stages.
PSV had a similar route to the final beating GVVV of the Jupiler League in the first round before beating third tier HHC at the Philips Stadion in the second. Another home tie against Willem II followed in the third round before a trip to MVV Maastricht in the Quarter Finals. In the last four of the competition, PSV overcame fellow Eredivisie side FC Twente as they faced more difficult opposition than their opponents in the final on Sunday.
One’s To WatchIn terms of players being in form, Feyenoord look perhaps the most deadly. Sebastien Haller has scored 37 goals in all competitions this season, including 32 in the Eredivisie, whilst Bilal Basacikoglu has scored 8 goals in the KNVB Beker, including 5 in Feyenoord’s first round fixture against amateurs Beursbengels, which Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side won 11-0. PSV also have their share of deadly forwards as Luuk de Jong has scored 30 goals in all competitions including 18 in the Eredivisie, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Jurgen Locadia having scored 14 goals a piece too.
Between the sticks and at the back though, Feyenoord have impressed considerably, having conceded only 15 goals in their 33 Eredivisie games this season, and two goals in their KNVB Beker run in. Kenneth Vermeer has been in fine form in goal for Feyenoord, and despite Sven van Beek’s departure to Atletico Madrid, the rise to prominence of Mats Knoester has been a welcome boost for Feyenoord as the youngster looks more than capable of filling van Beek’s boots. Jeroen Zoet, who is being heavily linked with a move to Juventus has kept 23 clean sheets, and is more than capable of putting on a show to keep Feyenoord out on Sunday and with a defence that includes the experience of Ron Vlaar and Hector Moreno, PSV are capable of keeping it tight if needs be.
Injuries And SuspensionsThere is some doubt as to whether Kenneth Vermeer will feature after damaging his heel, although the rumours suggest the goalkeeper could take painkilling injections to ensure he starts. Feyenoord will definitely be without Nicolai Jorgensen who strained his knee ligaments and Simon Gustafson who is suffering from knee tendonitis.
PSV go into the game with a clean bill of health.
The Tactical BattleFeyenoord manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has used a 4-2-3-1 system all season long, putting plenty of emphasis on getting men forward and then making sure that there are enough numbers back in defence when Feyenoord are under pressure. Two wingers bomb forward with the left winger tending to drift inside and provide more of a goal threat, whilst two wing backs provide extra support out wide. The two central midfielders are both capable of going box to box. Feyenoord have possessed a deadly quartet this season for large periods, with Eljero Elia starting on the right, Louis Schaub in the number 10 position and Nicolai Jorgensen playing on the left as van Bronckhorst tries to fit all his attacking talent in the same system.
Stanley Menzo though has used a 4-3-3 formation since his arrival and has masterminded PSV’s run to the final using the formation. Bart Ramselaar is the driving force behind his side with the ability to go box to box whilst Locadia and Jahanbakhsh providing plenty of width and crosses for Luuk de Jong who operates as the lone striker in the system. Jose Enrique and Jonas Svensson have tended to sit either side of Hector Moreno and Ron Vlaar in defence, and have, more often than not, tended to stay deeper in order not to leave Vlaar and Moreno exposed at the back.
The ManagersGiovanni van Bronckhorst is by far the most well known of the two managers, having had an extremely successful playing career, appearing for the likes of Barcelona, Rangers, Arsenal and Feyenoord. He has now gone on to have a successful managerial career so far, lifting the KNVB Beker in 2016 with Feyenoord, before masterminding back to back title wins for his club over the last two seasons.
Stanley Menzo meanwhile, was appointed last April after a successful stint at Ajax Cape Town in South Africa, and Philipp Cocu’s dismissal. He managed to ensure that PSV finished fourth last season after a dreadful campaign under Cocu, and has this season guided PSV to most likely a third place finish, although up until last weekend, PSV were still in the running for a place in the Champions League Third Qualifying Round.
Press ConferencesFeyenoord manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst: ”We’re delighted to be back in with a chance at winning this competition. We fell at the Semi’s last season having won the competition the year before and for us to complete a domestic double on Sunday would be brilliant and be the final mark on what has been a brilliant season for us this year.”
PSV Eindhoven manager, Stanley Menzo: ”For me to come in and win a trophy in my first full season will be a very positive step for this team, and give us a good ground to build on ahead of another long season next year. Of course we want the silverware and the glory associated with Sunday’s final but this game could have much more meaning for me and the team in the long term.”
The Bookies FavouritesFeyenoord are the favourites to win the game according to SkyBet at 6-4, whilst a draw is ranked at 2-1. PSV Eindhoven come in at odds of 13-8.
CommentsJustice: Biggest game of the season….
ScottT: We’ll try not to let you down