DCSIMG

Newcastle ace Tim Krul faces Dutch rival

DUTCH BATTLE ... Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul.

DUTCH BATTLE ... Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul.

  • by MILES STARFORTH
 

NEWCASTLE United’s Tim Krul’s ready to go head-to-head with his international rival at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.

Swansea City’s Michel Vorm, like Krul, is competing with first-choice Maarten Stekelenburg for Holland’s goalkeeping jersey.

Krul and Vorm have been outstanding for their respective clubs this season.

And the pair, along with Stekelenburg, will be in Bert van Marwijk’s squad for the summer’s European Championships.

“Of course, we’re fighting for the top spot with Stekelenbreg,” Krul told the Gazette.

“It’s good competition. He’s had a great season so far. It’s his first season in the Premier League, and he’s been outstanding.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him today.”

Both goalkeepers could be in for a busy afternoon, with Vorm facing free-scoring Papiss Demba Cisse as well as leading scorer Demba Ba, looking to end a run of seven games without a goal, the longest he’s gone without finding the net since arriving from West Ham United last summer.

Krul, meanwhile, comes up against a familiar face – in-form striker Danny Graham.

The pair were team-mates at Carlisle United, where Krul had a spell on loan earlier in his career.

Gateshead-born Graham, signed from Watford last summer, has been a revelation in his first season in the Premier League, the 26-year-old having netted 12 goals in all competitions.

“I know Danny from Carlisle, and he’s done very well,” added Krul. “He did great at Watford last season. He’s finding his way in the Premier League as well - he’ll be a big threat.

“But with the confidence we’ve got out of the last three games, we don’t have to be scared of anybody anymore.

“Danny’s a nice lad. I was there for a couple of months. I’ll look forward to seeing him.”

Krul kept a clean sheet in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Liverpool, and buoyant Newcastle, level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea, are looking for a fourth successive victory.

“Beating Liverpool 2-0 at home, and keeping a clean sheet, is out of this world,” he said.

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“Three wins on the bounce is a fantastic record, and what an opportunity we have on Friday to extend that.

“I didn’t have that much to do. Perchie and Williamson were outstanding, and our strikers did their jobs again. That’s our strength - if we keep it tight at the back, we know they’ve got a goal in them.

“If we keep a clean sheet, we know we can win.”

The Liverpool result could have been very different had referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot when former United striker Andy Carroll took a tumble with Krul at his feet.

However, Carroll was instead booked for what Krul has called a “blatant dive”.

“I never touched him, and the referee was on a good angle,” said Krul. “He booked him for it - it was a blatant dive.

“Normally, keepers come rushing out, and if I’d put my hands there, I’d probably have been sent off, but I saw what he was up to, and luckily for us the referee saw it as well.”

Swansea, meanwhile, are strong on home turf, and Krul’s understandably wary of Brendan Rodgers’s attractive side, who have earned praise for their footballing philosophy this season.

“They’ve kept their standards,” added Krul. “Some teams who come up slowly fall off, but they gave Tottenham a hard game last week.

“It’ll be a hard game for us, but as long as we play like we did last week, we’ve got a chance.

“Hopefully, we’ll come up with the goods again.”

Twitter: @milesstarforth

 

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