Feyenoord return to Eredivisie action Sunday at home to De Graafschap just three days after their cup exploits against FC Groningen. The quick turnaround has both advantages and disadvantages. Ninety minutes against a good top-flight side will have taken something out of his men, but Bert van Marwijk will also feel that the 3-1 win instilled some confidence after the club’s second defeat of the campaign in Enschede.

The league loss at FC Twente was followed by as good performance against Groningen in the cup. The Rotterdammers looked hungry from the first whistle, which produced an early goal courtesy of Roy Makaay. ‘We have to start on Sunday like we did on Thursday,’ confirmed Van Marwijk.

The Feyenoord coach feels that De Graafschap will be tough opposition with a couple of good strikers. Van Marwijk watched the Doetinchem outfit last Wednesday when Roda JC knocked them out the cup on penalties, but still left impressed with what he had seen. ‘They surprised me. Certainly after the first game, when they lost 8-1 to Ajax.’ Asked whether De Graafschap’s current eighth place is realistic, the coach was resolute. ‘I do, yes. De Graafschap have earned all those points themselves after all. Everything is relative, that’s true. It’s still early in the season. But I have to say that I see De Graafschap as a team that will keep out of the lower reaches all season.’

It is still doubtful whether Van Marwijk will have Kevin Hofland available Sunday. The defender is suffering from stomach flu, which forced him out of the cup victory against FC Groningen.

Nicky Hofs will also miss the match. The midfielder is scheduled to go in for surgery next week and is expected to be unavailable for the next three to four weeks. Van Marwijk will also be without Ron Vlaar, Tim Vincken, Sherif Ekramy, Dwight Tiendalli and Jacob Lensky, who are all injured. Andwélé Slory has now made a full recovery from his foot injury, but he lacks match fitness. He’s hoping to be back in contention for a place next Sunday against Ajax.


Technical director Han Berger was talking it terms of qualifying for Europe in the short term ahead of the season, but a 1-8 opening day loss at home at Ajax seemed to confirm the doubts outside the club about its chances in the Eredivisie after last season’s promotion. Jan de Jonge’s squad is devoid of big names and the biggest buys of the close season were Donny de Groot and Resit Schuurman.

The squad and its coach have not been knocked off their stride though. The win at FC Groningen was an impressive one and over the following matches, De Graafschap have proven to be difficult to play against, Even FC Utrecht and FC Twente were held to a draw.

It all points to a difficult afternoon for Feyenoord Sunday, and an interesting test for the visitors against one of the big boys.

Feyenoord – De Graafschap
Sunday 4 November, 14:30 at De Kuip

Referee: Braamhaar

Feyenoord: Timmer; Lucius, Greene, Bahia, De Cler; Sahin, De Guzman, Van Bronckhorst; D. Buijs, Makaay, Bruins
De Graafschap: Van Fessem; Schuurman, Keller, Volmer, Fung A Wing; Meijer, Hese, Robbemond, Vidarsson; Schöne, Tarvajärvi


15/08/2004 Feyenoord - De Graafschap 6-1
21/09/2002 Feyenoord - De Graafschap 2-0
15/09/2001 Feyenoord - De Graafschap 2-0
15/04/2001 Feyenoord - De Graafschap 1-2
16/12/1999 Feyenoord - De Graafschap 0-0

04/02/2005 De Graafschap - Feyenoord 2-7
05/04/2003 De Graafschap - Feyenoord 3-4
25/04/2002 De Graafschap - Feyenoord 1-0
01/10/2000 De Graafschap - Feyenoord 2-3
16/04/2000 De Graafschap - Feyenoord 0-1
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