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KNVB Beker | Semi-Finals
Feb 29, 2024 at 7pm UK
Stadion Feijenoord

2 - 1

Hancko (61'), Lingr (83')
Stengs (34'), Lingr (84')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Duarte (31')
Bacuna (37'), Peersman (90+1'), Emeran (90+6')

Preview: Feyenoord vs. Groningen - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's KNVB Beker clash between Feyenoord and Groningen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A place in the KNVB Beker final is up for grabs as Feyenoord welcome Groningen to De Kuip for a semi-final clash on Thursday night.

The victors of this contest will face NEC in the showpiece event on April 21 after they beat Cambuur 2-1 after extra time on Tuesday.

Match preview

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot reacts on February 22, 2024© Reuters

Three days after crashing out of the Europa League following an excruciating penalty-shootout defeat to Roma in the playoff round, Feyenoord returned to winning ways when they beat Almere City 2-0 in the Eredivisie on Sunday.

The Rotterdam-based giants initially struggled to get going at Yanmar Stadion, but after a goalless first half, they eventually sealed the victory in the final 20 minutes courtesy of a late brace from Newcastle United loanee Yankuba Minteh.

Arne Slot's side have extended their unbeaten league run to nine matches, including a perfect four wins from four without reply in February, and they have subsequently consolidated second place in the Eredivisie table, sitting eight points clear of FC Twente in third and 10 points adrift of leaders PSV Eindhoven.

Before locking horns with PSV on Sunday, Feyenoord shift their focus to the KNVB Beker, a competition that they have won 13 times in total – only Ajax (20) have won more – but they have not triumphed since 2018.

After beating Utrecht, PSV and AZ Alkmaar in the previous rounds, Slot and co have been handed a favourable semi-final tie, on paper, against Groningen, and although they are unbeaten in their last seven meetings with the Pride of the North, four of those have ended as a draw, so they will need to be on top of their game to get over the line on Thursday.

Groningen's 23-year stay in the Dutch top flight came to an end last season and they have since found it relatively challenging to adjust to life in the second tier, having won only 13 of their 26 games so far this term.

Dick Lukkien's side have made a bright start to 2024, though, as they have won six of their eight competitive fixtures in all competitions, scoring 13 goals and conceding just two in the process, although they were held to a goalless draw by Helmond Sport last weekend.

The Pride of the North currently sit sixth in the Ereste Divisie table and are firmly in contention for a playoff spot, while automatic promotion cannot be ruled out just yet as they could move to within five points of second-placed Roda if they win their game in hand against basement club Den Bosch next Monday.

Groningen are now gearing up for their first KNVB Beker semi-final since 2015 when they went all the way to lift the trophy for the first and only time to date. They have already beaten top-flight duo Excelsior and Fortuna Sittard to reach the last four and will relish their underdog status again on Thursday when they endeavour to cause another upset against Feyenoord.

Feyenoord KNVB Beker form:

Feyenoord form (all competitions):

Groningen KNVB Beker form:

Groningen form (all competitions):

Team News

Feyenoord's Igor Paixao celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 15, 2024© Reuters

Feyenoord are still having to cope without injured trio Justin Bijlow (shin), Gernot Trauner (hamstring) and Gjivai Zechiel (knee), as well as Bart Nieuwkoop (illness), while Thomas van den Belt remains doubtful with a hip problem.

Manager Slot was unable to take his place in the dugout last weekend due to illness, but he is expected to be return on Thursday and will likely name a strong starting lineup, with both Minteh and Calvin Stengs pushing for recalls.

Star striker Santiago Gimenez is set to lead the line; the Mexican has scored 22 goals in 32 games for Feyenoord this season, at least 15 goals more than any of his teammates, although he is yet to open his account in the KNVB Beker.

As for Groningen, they confirmed on Tuesday the departure of midfielder Daleho Irandust, who has returned to his native Sweden to link up with IF Brommapojkarna.

The visitors will also have to manage without left-back Wouter Prins and former Manchester United youngster Noam Emeran as they continue to recover from injury.

Isak Dybvik Maatta is set to continue on the left side of a back four in the absence of Prins, while top scorer Romano Postema, who has 10 goals to his name this term, could be joined in attack by Thom van Bergen.

Feyenoord possible starting lineup:
Wellenreuther; Geertruida, Beelen, Hancko, Hartman; Wieffer, Timber; Minteh, Stengs, Paixao; Gimenez

Groningen possible starting lineup:
Jurjus; Bacuna, Rente, Peersman, Maatta; Schreuders, Pelupessy, Duarte, Valente; Van Bergen, Postema

SM words green background

We say: Feyenoord 3-0 Groningen

Feyenoord have already dispatched three fellow Eredivisie clubs, that all currently sit in the top eight, to reach this stage, so they will rightly fancy their chances of success against their second-tier counterparts this time around.

Groningen have impressed on their journey to the last four, but they face their toughest test yet on Thursday and it is difficult to back against the hosts in Rotterdam.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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