Soccer-Feyenoord counting on keeper Bijlow's return for Conference League final


Soccer Football - Europa Conference League - Final - Feyenoord Press Conference - Arena Kombetare, Tirana, Albania - May 24, 2022 Feyenoord coach Arne Slot during the press conference UEFA/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Feyenoord's first-choice goalkeeper Justin Bijlow is likely to make his comeback from injury when they take on Italian side AS Roma in Wednesday's Europa Conference League final in the Albanian city of Tirana, manager Arne Slot said on Tuesday.

Bijlow has been out of action since March after undergoing foot surgery. He previously kept one clean sheet and conceded six goals in five group games and the first leg of the round of 16.

"Things are going very well with Bijlow... He's been training with the squad for a week now without problems," Slot told reporters.

"If nothing untoward happens today, then we have a fully fit selection for tomorrow. So there is a considerable chance that Justin will play."

Since the group stages of the inaugural edition of the tournament, Feyenoord are the only undefeated team, with eight wins and four draws.

The Eredivisie side are looking to become the first Dutch club to win a European title in 20 years, since they beat Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Cup final in 2002.

Slot said he did not expect any surprises from Jose Mourinho's side having "seen a lot of Roma's games" ahead of the final.

"We know what to expect, but you never know. Sometimes their coach has a little twitch in his game plan," Slot said.

"But we've seen a lot, so we hope we're prepared in the right way... We've played 55 games so I'd be a bit surprised if he could think of something that we haven't had yet.

"They almost always have the same style of play. It would surprise me if Roma try to play out from the back tomorrow. I expect them to play long balls over the back of our defence."

(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)

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