PERSONNEL PROBLEMS AHEAD OF PSV CLASH

Bert van Marwijk remains unclear about his preferred starting eleven at PSV Sunday just two days ahead of the game. The Feyenoord coach finds himself unable to select a number of first-team regulars for the tussle with the Dutch champions, including Nicky Hofs and Luigi Bruins. Indeed, Van Marwijk admits to having ‘no clue’ as to whether the two forwards will be available for selection come match day.

It’s an inconvenience Van Marwijk could have done without going into an important fixture for Feyenoord. Both Hofs and Bruins have an important role in the system the coach has used in all four league matches thus far. Bruins in particular will be difficult to replace on the left wing if Van Marwijk is not to change a winning formula.

There’s also uncertainty about how PSV will line up Sunday. Ronald Koeman’s side have played with three up front in the league this term, but reverted to a two-man attack of Danko Lazovic and Danny Koevermans in Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with CSKA Moscow. ‘But my philosophy is that we have to learn to play against every system,’ said Van Marwijk Friday. ‘Whatever team lines up against us, we have to make sure we stay organised ourselves.’

The coach did say that he expects a tough game, however PSV decide to approach it. ‘The team is not much off the level it achieved last year. If you examine the results this season and the Champions League game, they’re pretty good. PSV will have taken a lot of confidence from the CSKA Moscow game in particular.’

Van Marwijk confirmed that he is likely to give Serginho Greene his first squad place of the season Sunday. The injury to Ron Vlaar leaves Feyenoord scratching around for defensive options. ‘He should really be getting up to match fitness in the reserves first,’ admitted van Marwijk, ‘but needs must in this case.’

All those variables mean that Van Marwijk wants to wait till the last moment before naming his starting eleven. Sherif Ekramy will not be among them in any event. The Egyptian keeper has a shoulder injury. Erwin Mulder takes his place on the bench.

THE OPPONENTS

PSV entertain Feyenoord four days after a hard-fought victory against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. The Russians provided the Dutch champions with their first real test of the season, so coach Ronald Koeman will have welcomed the win. Seemingly indispensable players like Philip Cocu, Arouna Koné and Alex all departed Eindhoven in the summer and it was unclear whether PSV would be able to compete in Europe. The league season certainly started well enough, with PSV recording three wins and a draw, but CSKA is clearly a different proposition to Heracles or NEC.

It was interesting to note that PSV’s goals against the Russian titleholders came from two newcomers in the forward line, Danko Lazovic and Kenneth Perez. The third new striker Danny Koevermans was also close to a goal. That said, no one should be too surprised, as the Eindhoven outfit have been able to replace vital players again and again in recent seasons.

The club never loses sight of the future, which is proven once more by the large number of players that have joined the ranks in recent months. PSV hope that young players in the making like Fagner, Cássio Ramos, Jonathan Reis and Ismail Aissati step up to the plate when they’re needed if the likes of first-team regulars Jefferson Farfán, Heurelho Gomes and Ibrahim Afellay decide to try pastures new.

The home game against Feyenoord will be PSV’s second big test in less than a week and many a fan will be looking forward to seeing the champions of last season take on the only club with a hundred per cent record this. It will be interesting to see whether PSV go all out for the three points or concentrate on defusing Feyenoord’s bid for the victory. If the Rotterdammers do leave Eindhoven with all the spoils Sunday Feyenoord will have a four-point lead on their rivals, which no one in PSV would be happy about.

EREDIVISIE
PSV – Feyenoord
Sunday 23 September, 14:30 at the Philips Stadium
Referee:
Braamhaar

PROBABLE LINE-UPS
PSV:
Gomes; Kromkamp, Addo, Salcido, Zonneveld; Afellay, Simons, Bakkal; Farfán, Lazovic, Perez
Feyenoord: Timmer; Lucius, Hofland, Bahia, De Cler; Sahin, De Guzman, Van Bronckhorst; Buijs, Makaay, Bruins

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
HOME
26/12/2006 Feyenoord - PSV 1-1
11/12/2005 Feyenoord - PSV 1-0
12/12/2004 Feyenoord - PSV 3-3
21/09/2003 Feyenoord - PSV 1-3
18/05/2003 Feyenoord - PSV 3-1

AWAY
17/09/2006 PSV - Feyenoord 2-1
12/04/2006 PSV - Feyenoord 1-1
15/05/2005 PSV - Feyenoord 4-2
14/03/2004 PSV - Feyenoord 0-1
17/11/2002 PSV - Feyenoord 1-2
Feyenoord Business CLub
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