‘Pepi in interest from PSV’ – Cillessen retains starting place at NEC
In this liveblog, we look ahead to the national and international soccer weekend.
Cillessen retains starting place at NEC
Jasper Cillessen remains first choice under the crossbar at NEC. The goalkeeper, who made a number of mistakes in recent matches, held talks with coach Rogier Meijer this week.
Meijer: “I have not seriously considered passing Jasper. I still have confidence in his qualities. He is in a difficult phase, he has said so himself, and he has to get through that. The best medicine is to keep on playing goalie and to reach your level. You cannot convince someone with words that the uncertainty is gone. You have to show that on the pitch and Jasper is going to do that.”
Emmen is ‘between hope and fear’
FC Emmen has two games left to bid farewell to sixteenth place, which means playing in the nacompetition. The club is also dependent for that on the results of Excelsior, which has one point more.
“The coach is also between hope and fear,” said Dick Lukkien, who takes on Feyenoord with Emmen on Sunday. “But I do have a lot of confidence, because I have faith in what we are doing together.”
Groningen situation hurts Lukkien
Lukkien will no longer be active in the premier league next season anyway. He leaves for the already relegated FC Groningen. “The way things are going in the north now is not nice. Especially when you start working at Groningen, it does something to you.”
On questions about the problems at his new club, Lukkien does not yet answer. “I have resolved not to say so much about that, because I am now an employee of Emmen. So questions about that I will answer at a later time.”
Slot finds new Mourinho success ‘incredibly clever’
While Slot skillfully parried all questions about his own future, he did briefly address the success of AS Roma, the team that knocked Feyenoord out of the Europa League last month, during his press conference.
Roma have secured a final place under the leadership of José Mourinho. Around their meeting in the quarter-finals, Mourinho and Slot were verbally at loggerheads.
Slot praises Mourinho after new final: ‘Can only appreciate’
Ten Hag wants CL ticket, City can take title
Ahead of the denouement in the Premier League, Erik ten Hag has reiterated the importance of finishing in the top four. “When I look at this project, it’s important to secure ourselves Champions League soccer,” the Manchester United coach said the day before the away game with Bournemouth.
United is in fourth place with three games to go. Number five Liverpool has one less point but has played one more game.
Decision in title race imminent
Otherwise, Pep Guardiola’s team can decide it themselves a day later by winning at home against Chelsea.
‘PSV interested in Groningen striker Pepi’
The Eindhovens Dagblad reports that PSV is preparing a bid for 20-year-old striker Ricardo Pepi, who is being rented by Augsburg to FC Groningen this season.
The German club would like ten to eleven million euros for the American international. At already relegated Groningen, Pepi stood out in a positive sense, including scoring twelve goals.
FC Twente wants to secure spot five without Pröpper and with Hilgers
FC Twente wants to secure fifth place in the Eredivisie on Sunday without Robin Pröpper. The suspended Pröpper will be replaced in the away match against RKC Waalwijk by Mees Hilgers, who has just regained his fitness.
“It will be an interesting match. Last season we won by a goal in injury time from Dimitris Limnios and winning again is the task now. RKC has a very nice team and we have to be good in ball possession again, just like against NEC,” said coach Ron Jans.
Arjen Robben turns up at Bayern Munich
Volendam is sorting in advance
FC Volendam has firmly announced a “cheering moment” for when the club secures another season of premier league soccer next Sunday.
Volendam is 14th and has five points more than Emmen, which is 16th. A win in the away match with Go Ahead Eagles will secure coach Wim Jonk’s team. With any other result, it depends on the results of Excelsior and Emmen.
So possibly a party with the supporters awaits Sunday. Now to actually secure that retention for a while….
Slot releases nothing about the future
Although British journalists are present in the room, Feyenoord coach Arne Slot is still unwilling to give any definite details about his personal future during his press conference. He has been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur and is said to have already held talks.
“We are sitting here for next Sunday’s game. We are not sitting here to talk about my future,” Slot said Friday. “So it could be that those English journalists are disappointed and go home with their tails between their legs.”
Slot releases nothing about future: ‘Choose to say as little as possible’
Van Nistelrooij calls second place ‘vital’
PSV can secure second place this weekend at home against Heerenveen. A win over the Frisians will suffice.
Coach Ruud van Nistelrooij called spot two, which entitles participation in the preliminary rounds of the Champions League, “vital” for PSV during his press conference.
If the Eindhoven natives managed to qualify for the main tournament, they could already count on some thirty million euros in premiums.
Furthermore, Van Nistelrooij did not want to anticipate things yet. “We should not yet talk about things that are not there yet,” he said.
AZ broods on measures after riots
Eenhoorn: “We first want to have all the facts and information in order. We won’t let this go over our head. When we have gathered all the information, then we are going to respond in different ways. But I’m not going to anticipate that right now.”
AZ will hold talks with the mayor and police of Alkmaar and the Public Prosecutor’s Office next week. A police spokesman announced earlier today that no arrests have yet been made.
Slot remains on radar at Spurs
Rumors of a possible transfer of Feyenoord coach Arne Slot to Tottenham Hotspur are becoming increasingly persistent.
Sky Sports reports that “positive” talks have already taken place between the two parties in the meantime. Slot has long been mentioned as one of the candidates to start work in London next summer.
Brits see ‘awful scenes’ and praise ‘Knollsy’
The United Kingdom has seen an outraged reaction to the riots following the end of AZ-West Ham United. British media describe how players tried to intervene to protect their family members.
Special attention is being paid to the West Ham supporter known as “Knollsy. Video footage on Twitter shows him single-handedly stopping a horde of AZ fans.
Dortmund misses Bellingham in penultimate game
The Bundesliga could see the decision in the championship battle this weekend. Bayern Munich leads with a point more than Borussia Dortmund.
A win by Bayern, which hosts RB Leipzig on Saturday, and a defeat by Dortmund, which visits Augsburg a day later, would settle the matter.
Dortmund will likely have to do without star player Jude Bellingham on Sunday. The young Englishman does not seem to have recovered in time from a knee injury.
Last fielder Ferguson era leaves Manchester United
Phil Jones will leave Manchester United next summer. The 31-year-old central defender, who has been dogged by injuries in recent years, has an expiring contract.
Jones played 229 duels for the club in 12 seasons. This season he has not yet been in action for coach Erik ten Hag’s team due to injury.
Jones’ departure makes goalkeeper David de Gea the only player from Sir Alex Ferguson’s era left at United.
Premier League denouement: all the stakes in a row
Two more rounds of play and then the 2022/2023 premier league season is over. The champion and direct relegators are known, but otherwise there are still plenty of clubs playing for something.
Second place is still at stake, as is the last ticket for the European playoffs. It is also not yet clear which club will go to the nacompetition.
Who takes title in first division?
Heracles Almelo and PEC Zwolle are already sure of promotion to the premier league, but both clubs are still fighting for the title in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie. The final round of play is tonight.
Heracles, which hosts Jong Ajax, has the best papers. The Almeloans have as many points as PEC, but a slightly better goal difference (a difference of four goals).
The club from Zwolle will visit Helmond Sport and must therefore hope for a misstep by Heracles.
No arrests after AZ riots
Police have not yet arrested anyone in connection with the disturbances at AZ last night. Subsequent arrests are not ruled out by the police.
“We are going to look at images to see if any offenses were committed and if we can identify individuals,” a spokesman said.
KNVB wants World Cup 2027, dip in popularity
Soccer Association KNVB, along with its counterparts in Belgium and Germany, applied some time ago to host the women’s World Cup in 2027.
Women’s soccer has been on the rise in the Netherlands for a number of years, but lately its popularity seems to be waning a bit. Read more here.
Gijs de Jong, secretary general of the KNVB, explains how the Netherlands hopes to join Belgium and Germany in hosting the Women’s World Cup.
KNVB hopes to win 2027 World Cup with Belgium and Germany: ‘Want to reach whole world’
All in all, it is an excellent week for Italian soccer.
Both the Champions League (Internazionale), Europa League (AS Roma) and Conference League (Fiorentina) finals feature a club from Italy.
West Ham meets Fiorentina, AS Roma against Sevilla
AZ is thus missing from the Conference League final. West Ham United will take on Fiorentina in Prague on June 7.
The Italians were too strong for FC Basel after an extension: 1-3. The Swiss had won the outward match in Florence 1-2.
AZ semi-final ends with brawl
After AZ’s painful elimination, the match in Alkmaar received an ugly tailspin. Supporters stormed the main stand, which included family members of West Ham players.
“I still jumped between them,” Eenhoorn told me. “This did not go well and ultimately I am ultimately responsible. Internally we are going to talk about this, because it all went very fast with me, too.”
Back to last night: AZ doesn’t make it
Soccer-loving Alkmaar woke up this morning with a hangover. AZ failed to qualify for the Conference League final last night.
In an exciting match, the Alkmaarders failed to bring West Ham United to their knees. Read the match report here.
Watch below the reactions of AZ coach Pascal Jansen, Pantelis Hatzidiakos and Tijjani Reijnders to the European elimination.
Schedule and standings in the premier league
As always, the matches in the 33rd round of the premier league all start at 2:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
PSV can finally seize second place this weekend, which is good for entry into the preliminary rounds of the Champions League.
If the Eindhovenians win at home against Heerenveen, it’s done. If that fails, Ajax can grab the final straw.
Welcome to this liveblog where we will keep you updated on the latest news and other developments leading up to the soccer weekend.
In the premier league, the penultimate round of play is on the program. Feyenoord are sure of the championship, but there is still plenty to play for.
How are Excelsior and Emmen, the clubs looking to avoid the nacompetition, doing? Which club still qualifies for the European playoffs? And will PSV secure second place this weekend?