Burnley defender wants to beat Norwich City to earn bragging rights over ‘best friend’ Krul
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Burnley left-back Erik Pieters is hoping to claim the bragging rights again as he faces close friend Tim Krul this weekend, when Norwich City arrive at Turf Moor.
Pieters and the City number one, both aged 31, have played alongside each other at international level for Holland previously and both played the full game as Krul made his national debut during a 0-0 friendly draw in Brazil back in 2011.
Krul has eight caps but was regularly in Holland squads from then on, providing cover at Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup, until a serious knee injury picked up during a European Championship qualifier in Kazakhstan severely disrupted his club career in 2015.
That eventually brought an end to the keeper's time with Newcastle but he is back in the Premier League and rediscovering top form with Norwich, helping to secure a landmark 3-2 victory over Manchester City last Saturday.
Pieters explained: "He is my best friend, we keep in contact and I was really pleased for him to go back to the Premier League and he signed a new deal as well at Norwich, so I'm really happy for him.
"We've known each other now for 13 years, he's a really good guy and I'm really looking forward to playing against him. It's the main game because we are always making jokes together, so I can't wait to meet him again in the Premier League."
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The former PSV Eindhoven defender, who has 18 international caps, spent six seasons at Stoke City before returning to the top flight this summer when he joined the Clarets for around £1million.
He added of Krul: "We've played so many games together in the national team as well, so we've been through a lot of things: relegation, new clubs, promotion, we talk about every single thing and I think that might be what makes our connection so strong."
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He has a particularly fond memory of scoring past his friend as well, scoring a rather fortunate winner for Stoke against Newcastle in April 2014, when his cross from the left floated over Krul and into the net.
"Lovely shot wasn't it, so beautiful," he joked, speaking to the Premier League's website. "It killed us as well because he was supposed to stay with me that day after the game but because they lost he had to go home.
"So I was happy at the moment we won but unhappy after the game because he had to go home. We still talk about it, that I scored against him!"