Kalmar FF arrived at De Kuip Tuesday, training there early evening. The Swedish party included one person who will certainly be returning to the stadium. Viktor Elm, the middle one of three brothers in Kalmar’s team, signed a contract with sc Heerenveen at the end of last season and will join the club in January. The attacking midfielder was impressed by De Kuip: ‘In Sweden we don’t have such big stadiums, they don’t even get near this.’

Coach Nanne Bergstrand prescribed some passing and shooting work for his players in the final training session before the battle is joined, just like his Feyenoord counterpart Gertjan Verbeek earlier in the day. The training was rounded off with a game, in which the Swedes looked very keen.

Kalmar have a clear game plan for Thursday. ‘We know that Feyenoord have a good team and that they won their last game 5-0,’ said Elm. ‘But we come here geared up to reach the next round. Hopefully we’ll win. It will be tough, but we are going for at least a draw on Thursday evening.’

Kalmar are entering a crucial stage of the season in Sweden. ‘We lead the league table and we are in the cup final. Hopefully we can win both of them,’ said Elm. The cup final is scheduled for Sunday; Kalmar’s opponents are IFK Göteborg. But Elm is fully focused on Feyenoord first. ‘We have tall players with a lot of strength and big lungs. We are a really tough team to play against.’

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