Feyenoord looking to round off great week with win in Breda

It’s rare for so much positive news to be floating around De Kuip in the run-up to a league game. After Jean-Paul Boëtius signed a new deal with the club, another promising youngster Tonny Vilhena put pen to paper on an extension, closely followed by coach Ronald Koeman, who placed his signature under a contact that will keep him at the Feyenoord helm until 2014. Add to that the successful return to action of Erwin Mulder and Sekou Cissé in Feyenoord/Excelsior U21s victory against Ajax U21s and it’s difficult to deny it’s been a great week. With that in mind, Feyenoord travel to Breda to take on NAC on Sunday with a spring in their step. ‘We want to round off a great week with a good result there,’ said Koeman on Friday afternoon.

Unfortunately, the good news in Rotterdam was put in the shade by the appalling events in Almere, where a linesman died after being attacked at a match last weekend. As a result, all amateur games scheduled for this weekend across the Netherlands have been postponed. Ronald Koeman himself would have liked the whole professional programme to be postponed too. ‘Because you make a powerful statement by doing that,’ he explained. ‘That would have been the best thing to do for me. But we have to play on Sunday, so we are preparing as well as possible.’

That said, those preparations have been hampered by the weather. A thick blanket of snow covered the training pitch on Friday morning before the undersoil heating kicked in. ‘We were able to play a good, keen game,’ said Koeman, although Graziano Pellè decided to get out of the cold early. ‘Italians don’t much like our snow,’ the coach explained with a smile, who watched Erwin Mulder and Sekou Cissé complete training without a hitch. Both have been declared fully fit and available for selection on Sunday.

The game at NAC Breda is Feyenoord’s final away Eredivisie fixture before the winter break. The hosts have not had an easy time of it this season, but Koeman is still expecting a tough afternoon. ‘Away to NAC is never an easy match for Feyenoord. They create a special atmosphere there despite everything. It’s a difficult hurdle, but if we want to continue on the good work from last week we have to negotiate it.’

Probable team: Lamprou (Mulder); Janmaat, De Vrij, Mathijsen, Martins Indi; Clasie, Immers, Vilhena; Schaken, Pellè, Boëtius.

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