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FC Groningen’s Leandro Bacuna Gears Up for KNVB Cup Semi-Final Clash Against Feyenoord

Pro Shots Leandro Bacuna

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NOS Voetbal•vandaag, 07:09

First division player FC Groningen is eagerly looking forward to the semi-final of the KNVB cup tournament, tonight at 8 p.m. against Feyenoord in De Kuip. Trainer Dick Lukkien says he can even taste it, that “enormous desire to play this match”.

“A club like Groningen does not often reach the semi-finals, and that is where we are now,” says Lukkien. It has been nine years since the Groningen team reached the final and even won it.

To get one step closer to such a huge success, a big stunt is needed, everyone in the Groningen camp realizes. Also Leandro Bacuna. Born in the city of his club and after ten years of playing football in England and Wales, he returned as FC Groningen’s most experienced player. “On paper, yes,” he says.

Groningen player Bacuna: ‘Don’t be stressed by Kuip, then anything can happen’

The 32-year-old Bacuna is also a man with experience in cup stunts. In 2015 he reached the FA Cup final with Aston Villa, beating Liverpool in the semi-finals.

“I know what it is to convert,” he says of that memory. “Liverpool was also a very big club at the time, certainly bigger than Aston Villa. So why can’t Groningen beat Feyenoord?”

Driving player

His trainer Lukkien points to Bacuna as a ‘driving player’ in the run-up to perhaps the biggest match of the season for the Groningen team. One of the men who has to take charge and help young teammates.

“I know how it works, so the idea is to teach those lessons,” says Bacuna. “Make sure that everyone’s mind is very calm. Boys should not be too stressed. They have played at Helmond Sport or TOP Oss, and then you suddenly come to De Kuip. That is a completely different atmosphere.”

Feyenoord-FC Groningen at NOS

The kick-off of the semi-final between Feyenoord and FC Groningen is at 8 p.m. The competition can be followed on NOS via a live blog on NOS.nl and the NOS app and via Langs de Lijn En Omstreek on NPO Radio 1.

A summary can be seen in the later Journaal at 11:40 PM on NPO 1.

But the 48-time international from Curaçao emphasizes: “It is a match in which we have nothing to lose. And it remains a match, man against man, you just have to make sure you play better than your opponent.”

Lukkien arms himself with tips from Pastoor

Trainer Lukkien sees opportunities for the current number six of the first division against the reigning national champion and current number two of the premier league. In recent weeks he has seen matches in which Feyenoord was struggling.

Against Almere City, for example. last Sunday, when Feyenoord made the difference in the last twenty minutes (0-2). Lukkien called Almere coach Alex Pastoor after that match.

“I was curious about his plan and how he experienced things,” says Lukkien about the conversation with Pastoor. “I also looked at how Go Ahead Eagles and RKC did it. All those teams did it in their own way and were close. We will try to make a good mix of that.”

Pro ShotsFC Groningen coach Dick Lukkien

“Their adventurous way of playing often frees up space,” says Lukkien. “The more players you have in the opponent’s half, the fewer you have in your own half. These are spaces that they leave. I think it is a wonderful attitude, but it is something we can take advantage of.”

“We will have to face Feyenoord on a bad day, because they are the favourites. But I also think that if we can approach the match the way we think we should, and have a bit of luck, we can make it a real match.” to make.”

2024-02-29 06:09:27
#Groningen #Bacuna #eliminate #Feyenoord #Liverpool #conversion

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