Feyenoord face Manchester City in group return
Feyenoord’s first match in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 15 years pits them against a Manchester City FC side who are again looking to go deep into the competition.
• While City have become regulars at this stage in recent years, Feyenoord have not participated since 2002/03 – and have not won a match in the competition proper in almost 16 years – as they prepare to face the English club for the first time.
• Feyenoord have enjoyed recent success against opposition from Manchester, however, beating City’s neighbours Manchester United FC in last season’s UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Having lifted a first Eredivisie title in 18 years last season, Feyenoord are now in the last 32 of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2002/03, when they were eliminated in the first group stage.
• The Rotterdam team lost in the third qualifying round in both 2012/13 (to FC Dynamo Kyiv) and 2014/15 (to Beşiktaş JK).
• Feyenoord’s last win in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, was a 2-1 success at home to FC Spartak Moskva on 31 October 2001. Their record since is D2 L4.
• The Dutch side played English opposition in last season’s UEFA Europa League group stage, beating eventual champions Manchester United 1-0 at home but losing 4-0 away. They finished third in their section.
• That victory against United was Feyenoord’s first at home to a Premier League club since a 1-0 defeat of Everton FC in November 1995 in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup second round.
• Feyenoord’s record at home to English teams is W5 D1 L6; overall it is W7 D5 L11.
• Third in last season’s Premier League, City are embarking on a sixth successive UEFA Champions League campaign – and they have progressed to the round of 16 or beyond in each of the last four.
• City did not win away in last season’s competition, losing at Monaco and FC Barcelona (0-4) and drawing at Celtic FC and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. City have won just one of their last seven European away games (D3 L3).
• The Barcelona match was City’s biggest European defeat, home or away.
• City’s last trip to the Netherlands produced their only loss there, a 3-1 reverse at AFC Ajax in the group stage on 24 October 2012.
• The Citizens’ only other away fixture against an Eredivisie side was a 1-1 first-leg draw at FC Twente in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup first round – City won 4-3 on aggregate.
• The Manchester club’s overall record against Dutch teams is W2 D2 L1.
Coach and player links
• Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst was an Arsenal FC player between 2001 and 2003; he played 90 minutes of the 5-1 Premier League win at City on 22 February 2003.
• Have played in England:
Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa FC, 2012–14)
Brad Jones (Middlesbrough FC 2001–10, Liverpool FC 2010–15)
Steven Berghuis (Watford FC 2015/16)
• El Ahmadi scored one of his three Premier League goals for Villa in a 3-2 home victory over City on 28 September 2013.
• Feyenoord defeated Vitesse 4-2 on penalties at their De Kuip stadium after a 1-1 draw in the Dutch Super Cup on 5 August.
• Van Bronckhorst’s men have won their first three games of the 2017/18 Eredivisie season, the highlight a 5-0 home victory over Willem II on 27 August.*
• Teenage goalkeeper Justin Bijlow, deputising for the injured Brad Jones, made his debut for Feyenoord in their league opener against FC Twente.
• Feyenoord are unbeaten at home since a 1-0 defeat by Fenerbahçe SK on UEFA Europa League matchday six last season. The Rotterdam club’s last domestic loss at De Kuip was a 2-0 reverse against ADO Den Haag on 31 January 2016.
• City are 11 games unbeaten (W8 D3) in the Premier League, a run dating back to early April.*
• Guardiola’s side have had two players – Kyle Walker (1-1 v Everton FC) and Raheem Sterling (2-1 v AFC Bournemouth) – sent off in their first three fixtures of the season.*
• Kevin De Bruyne played in Belgium’s 9-0 victory over Gibraltar on 31 August and the 2-1 triumph in Greece three days later, the latter result confirming the Red Devils’ qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Vincent Kompany featured in the first of those matches.
*Subject to weekend updates