Warm-up: Willems debuts in Groningen selection – Jansen: ‘Lazio solid opponent’

Warm-up: Willems debuts in Groningen selection – Jansen: ‘Lazio solid opponent’

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In this liveblog, we look ahead to the national and international soccer weekend.

  • Quinten Timber out for some time due to knee injury
  • Feyenoord face Shachtar Donetsk in Europa League
  • AZ meets Lazio in Conference League
  • 8 p.m.: Sparta-FC Utrecht

Slot on Shachtar Donetsk: ‘Stadium will not be full, no disadvantage for away team’

Arne Slot discusses the Europa League eighth-final game against Shachtar Donetsk, which was paired with Feyenoord in the draw on Friday afternoon.

Slot on Shachtar draw: ‘Stadium will not be full, no disadvantage for away team’

United possibly without Rashford in League Cup final

Manchester United may have to do without Marcus Rashford in Sunday’s League Cup final. The striker, who has been on a good run in recent weeks, was pulled out of Thursday night’s match against FC Barcelona just before time due to injury.

“We have to wait and see before we can determine it with one hundred percent certainty,” Ten Hag said. Rashford, who is on 14 goals in the Premier League, posted a photo of himself on social media showing him stumbling off the pitch. United eventually won 2-1 over the Spanish top club and qualified for the Europa League’s eighth finals.

According to Ten Hag, Anthony Martial is definitely not available for the final match against Newcastle United. United can grab its first prize in six years on Sunday. In 2017, the club won the League Cup and the Europa League.

The League Cup final begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. and will be played at Wembley.

Marcus Rashford

Willems makes debut in Groningen squad: ‘We need to get on it’

Jetro Willems is among FC Groningen’s matchday squad for the home game against Excelsior on Saturday. The left-back signed a contract with the number 17 of the Eredivisie earlier this week.

The 28-year-old Willems was without a club. The 22-time international last played for German club Greuther Fürth last year.

Willems says he is fit. “Match fit? We still have to see this,” the left-winger said in an interview with RTV Noord. “The facilities at Groningen are good and the possibilities are top. There is still a lot of stretch in this team. We have to get on it.”

Jansen: ‘Lazio is solid opponent’

Pascal Jansen says he is looking forward to AZ’s clashes with Lazio in the Conference League. “It’s a solid opponent, although I don’t know if it was the toughest opponent,” said the Alkmaar coach.

“But it’s a nice draw. I’m looking forward to it. I remember that Feyenoord had a very difficult time there,” Jansen is referring to the Rotterdammers’ Europa League group matches with Lazio earlier this season.

Feyenoord lost 4-2 in Rome and later won 1-0 at home. The latter result was then enough for the current premier league leader to secure the group win.

Lock: ‘Timber out for between two and four months’

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot reckons he will lose Quinten Timber for the rest of the season. “He is still in the hospital today for an MRI to determine exactly how long it will take,” Slot said at the press conference in preparation for Sunday’s game with Fortuna Sittard.

The midfielder is suffering from a knee injury. “But he will be out for months. Between two and four months. For him it’s incredibly annoying. It was an unfortunate collision last Wednesday.”

With Timber missing again, Feyenoord is again tight in defensive midfielders. Mats Wieffer and Orkun Kökcü are the other two options.

“With one of the three out for a long time, you shouldn’t think about one of the other two having a slight injury,” Slot said. “If you are out for two weeks, you can already miss five games. That would be very annoying. But that is offset by the return of Trauner.”

The central defender was also injured during the winter break and did not play a minute in 2023. Whether Trauner will be on the bench Sunday remains to be seen. “Trauner was supposed to train this week, but was sick for two days. Tomorrow again we will discuss whether he feels free enough and fit enough to be with the selection.”

Lock on knee injury Timber: ‘Have to respect time allowed for this injury’

AZ meets Lazio in eighth finals

AZ has drawn Italian Lazio in the Conference League eighth finals. The Alkmaarders start with an away game.

The away games are on Thursday, March 9, and the returns follow a week later on March 16. The Conference League final is June 7 in Czech Prague.

Conference League draw – eighth finals

AEK Larnaca West Ham United
Fiorentina Sivasspor
Lazio AZ
Lech Poznan (Pol) Djurgardens (Zwe)
FC Basel (Zwi) Slovan Bratislava (Slw)
FC Sheriff (Mol) OGC Nice (Fra)
Anderlecht (Bel) Villarreal (Spa)
KAA Gent (Bel) Basaksehir (Tur)

PSV condemns incident field striker: ‘Hoping for mandatory reporting’

General manager Marcel Brands says he is deeply ashamed of Thursday night’s incident with the field stormer. “This is PSV unworthy and we are deeply ashamed of it,” Brands said in a statement.

“We are going to discuss with the relevant authorities how we can better enforce stadium bans, hopefully through a reporting obligation,” the director said.

PSV further said it is awaiting the police’s investigation into the field stormer “and will recover any possible financial damages from him.”

20-year-old man from Roermond

The prosecution reports that the man involved is a 20-year-old man from Roermond.

He was arrested shortly after the incident and the man will be arraigned on Monday before the examining magistrate. In 2021 and 2022, the suspect already received two community service sentences for “football-related” misconduct.

Sevilla goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic is attacked in the back by a PSV supporter

Is Van Seumeren’s patience running out in Utrecht?

Frans van Seumeren had secretly hoped to be a bit further with FC Utrecht than where the club is now.

Seventh place in the premier league is not what the ambitious financier – he has already put at least 40 million euros into the club since his entrance in 2008 – envisions There is still a gap to bridge with the top four.

We are a bit stagnant, I think. Last season we finished seventh, but the six years before that we always finished in the top six,” said the owner.

“I think it’s actually taking too long before we end up in that top five with Utrecht. Because ultimately that is the club’s dream. And of the supporters. Utrecht is the fourth city of the Netherlands; we have to occupy that place.”

Read the whole story with Van Seumeren below:

Feyenoord draw Shachtar Donetsk

Feyenoord will take on Shachtar Donetsk in the Europa League eighth finals. That was determined by the draw Friday in Nyon, Switzerland.

The Rotterdammers did not qualify as group winners in the Europa League intermediate round. Shachtar Donetsk reached the eighth finals by eliminating French Stade Rennes after penalty kicks.

The away games are on Thursday, March 9, and the returns follow a week later on March 16. The final is on May 31 in Budapest, Hungary.

Last 16 Europa League

Bruggink next three years technical director Twente

Arnold Bruggink is the technical director of FC Twente for the next three years, the club announced Friday on its website.

The former player of the Turkish club will join the club on March 1 and will then be inducted by Jan Streuer, Twente’s current technical director. Streuer will take his leave at Twente after this season.

Bruggink had been involved with the club for some time. “Arnold has been involved within all departments of the club and within the academy since last year,” the club said.

The former international had spent past years working as an analyst for sports channel ESPN.

Who could Feyenoord face?

From noon, Arne Slot and consorts sit ready for Feyenoord’s draw in the Europa League eighth finals.

The potential opponents for the Rotterdammers are not tame.

Feyenoord ‘without Timber for some time’

Feyenoord cannot call on Quinten Timber “for some time”. The club announced Friday morning that the 21-year-old midfielder was injured “in an unfortunate way” during training.

Timber has played 20 official matches for Feyenoord so far this season. He suffered an injury to his metatarsal in December, but made his return to the pitch in late January.

‘Interest in Meijer grows’

According to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, interest in left wing defender Björn Meijer of Club Brugge is growing.

The 19-year-old footballer left Groningen for Brugge last season and has since made an excellent impression as a base player. For example, he played in all seven of Club Brugge’s Champions League matches this season.

PSV hangs heavy punishment over head

PSV must fear a heavy penalty from European soccer federation UEFA after a person attacked Sevilla goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic on the pitch Thursday night.

After a brief struggle, the supporter, who had also slapped the Sevilla goalkeeper, was escorted off the pitch. The Eindhovens Dagblad subsequently reported that the field stormer already had a stadium ban.

“If it’s up to me, it will be a lifetime stadium ban. He also dupe PSV and all the other supporters. I think this moment is worse than the elimination. It does not belong to PSV at all,” a furious general manager Marcel Brands responded afterwards.

It is not yet clear when UEFA will rule on the penalty for PSV.

Sevilla goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic at odds with field goalie in Eindhoven

Southampton continue with coach Sellés for rest of season

Southampton will be under the guidance of Spaniard Rubén Sellés for the rest of the season. He was appointed interim coach earlier this month after the English club sacked head coach Nathan Jones.

Under Jones’ leadership, the team had dropped to last place in the Premier League. Jones was appointed in early November for 3.5 years to succeed the sacked Ralph Hasenhüttl. At that time, the club was eighteenth. Jones won only one league game with Southampton.

With Sellés as interim coach, Southampton won last week against Chelsea (0-1). After 23 games played, Southampton is still bottom of the league with 18 points.

Europa League and Conference League draw

With the elimination of PSV and Ajax, the Netherlands has only Feyenoord and AZ left in Europe.

On Friday afternoon, both clubs will hear their next opponent at the draw in Nyon, Switzerland. Feyenoord is in the eighth finals of the Europa League, AZ is in the last sixteen of the Conference League.

The Europa League draw is at noon and the Conference League draw starts at 1 p.m.

Licking wounds for Ajax and PSV

Ajax and PSV’s European adventure is over.

The Amsterdammers went down in Berlin against Union Berlin (3-1). PSV got off to a much late start against Sevilla in Eindhoven and were eliminated despite a 2-0 win.

Watch the reactions of Ruud van Nistelrooij and Johan Bakayko after PSV-Sevilla below:

Watch the reactions of John Heitinga and Kenneth Taylor after Union Berlin-Ajax below:

We look ahead to the soccer weekend again. Are the top of the premier league creeping closer together again this weekend?

Leaders Feyenoord and number three AZ meet a relatively easy opponent, while number two Ajax and number four PSV prepare for a tricky encounter.

And how is the fitness of the players? We’ll keep you posted here!

Kayleigh Williams