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Prediction: Feyenoord vs Manchester United

Verdict: Feyenoord not to lose

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: bet365

Manchester United players are probably not too keen on playing Europa League football, but they will have to take the game seriously if they want to get anything from De Kuip. Feyenoord have won five games in a row and they will relish the opportunity to claim a major European scalp this Thursday.

Feyenoord

Feyenoord are one of three most successful clubs in the Netherlands, alongside Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, and even though they haven’t enjoyed as much success as their rivals of late, the club have been on the uptrend over the last few years. While fresh talent from one of Europe’s best youth academies is at the base of their project, the Pride of the South also managed to bring some of their former footballers back to De Kuip, with Dirk Kuyt and Karim El Ahmadi some of those. Last year’s third-place finish proved enough to secure a place in the Europa League, but Feynoord look like they can mount a serious title challenge this term and they currently lead the chase in Dutch Eredivisie having won each of their five league fixtures so far. Several comfortable triumphs in a row will have served as a major confidence boost ahead of the visit of Manchester United and we have no doubts De Kuip will be rocking on Thursday evening. The iconic stadium has seen some memorable European nights in recent years, and chances are that the hosts will take the game much more seriously than the opposition, which could make all the difference.

Team News

The hosts should have full-back Miquel Nelon back in contention after he recovered from injury, but Sven van Beek is unlikely to be risked.

Manchester United

Manchester United enjoyed a strong start to the season under Jose Mourinho, winning their first four fixtures in all competitions, but the team were utterly disappointing in the local derby against Manchester City. Even though the manager was quick to blame the referees for the 2-1 loss, everybody could see that his side were completely outclassed by their local rivals and should have lost by a greater margin. The Portuguese manager will demand a response in the Europa League lash with Feyenoord, but he will not resist temptation to rest his key men ahead of the Premier League clash with Watford. And while the back-up players will be looking to impress, they might not be able to find motivation for Thursday’s fixture, despite the fact that the atmosphere at De Kuip will surely be worthy of a Champions League match. The reality is that Manchester United do not exactly have quality replacements for the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney, although the fans will definitely be eager to see exciting forward Marcus Rashford in action after a good cameo role against Man City. It is also important to note that Man Utd lost last three away fixtures in Europa League.

Team News

Luke Shaw is unlikely to be risked after picking up a hamstring injury, while the likes of Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Rooney and Bailly are likely to be rested.

Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera are certain to start, with Michael Carrick, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo also hoping to be included.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Feyenoord are on a five-match winning run
  • Man Utd lost last three away fixtures in Europa League
  • The visitors will be without most key men
  • Feyenoord won four of last five home games in Europa League
  • The Dutch scored 15 and conceded 2 goals in five league games

Conclusion

Manchester United may be the favourites here, but we are not really sure why that is the case. While Jose Mourinho will field a second string side that will not exactly be pumped up, red-hot Feyenoord will be looking to make it six victories on the trot and give the packed De Kuip another memorable European night, so you will understand why we doubt the home fans will be left disappointed.

Verdict: Feyenoord not to lose

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: bet365

Wed 14 Sep, 2016
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