Belfast Telegraph

Feyenoord v Manchester United: Dirk Kuyt plotting more misery for his former foes

By Simon Peach

Liverpool fans' favourite Dirk Kuyt believes Manchester United are under "enormous pressure" - and plans to increase it by inspiring Feyenoord to victory in the Europa League this evening.

Jose Mourinho has brought energy back to Old Trafford after a bumpy start to the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, which has seen them fail to reach the Champions League in two of three campaigns.

It means United are now preparing for their first-ever group campaign in the Europa League or Uefa Cup, its predecessor, kicking off their campaign in Holland against Feyenoord and a familiar face in their skipper Kuyt.

More: Feyenoord v Manchester United: It's not our dream, but we will strive for Europa crown says Jose Mourinho

With Liverpool for six years up until 2012, the 36-year-old became a firm favourite at Anfield and netted a hat-trick in a 3-1 success over United in March 2011.

"I played there for six years and for me it was one of the biggest games of the season so now to play again against Manchester United is great," Kuyt said. "I have great memories of playing against United. We won a couple of games, I scored a hat-trick at Anfield, but I also remember a couple of games at Old Trafford, playing with Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard.

"I can remember a late goal of mine in the FA Cup, so I have great memories."

Kuyt believes United are contenders for the Premier League crown but underlined how their weekend derby loss to Manchester City has increased the load.

"I think they are under enormous pressure because everyone wants them to win the league," he said.

"Everyone can see what it did when they lost to City at the weekend, already there is more pressure on them, although the teams in the Premier League have difficulties in challenging teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

"Of course I try to watch Liverpool every week, and all of the teams, and for me Manchester United are contenders to win the league this season, but there are a few more."

Belfast Telegraph


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