Feyenoord earned their third Johan Cruijff Shield win in their history in Eindhoven on Saturday evening. Head coach Giovann...
The pressure will be elsewhere when Feyenoord welcome RBC Roosendaal to De Kuip Sunday. With the playoffs starting midweek, the Rotterdammers find themselves at the business end of their season, whereas opponents RBC Roosendaal can already look forward to first division football when August comes. Feyenoord’s guests have won just once this campaign, but they did nick a point off Erwin Koeman’s side in the corresponding fixture at the end of last year.
When the Eredivisie programme kicks off at half past two Sunday afternoon the tension will be elsewhere as sides throughout the division battle for a place in the playoffs (at the top), or fight to stay out of the playoffs (at the bottom). Feyenoord fans will be interested in three games in particular. With a third-placed finish most likely for the Rotterdammers, eyes and especially ears will be on FC Groningen versus FC Twente, FC Utrecht versus Willem II, and RKC Waalwijk versus Ajax to find out who Feyenoord will play in the playoff semi-final. Ajax have the best papers going into the final weekend. Danny Blind’s side banged in two goals in the last three minutes at home to Vitesse Wednesday night to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and climb to fourth, with a two point lead over Groningen and Utrecht. Ajax need just a point at RKC Waalwijk to set up a two-legged clash with Feyenoord. In that case, the first leg would take place at the Amsterdam Arena coming Thursday, with the return at De Kuip the following Sunday.
Before minds can be focused on that however, RBC must be met head on in the final game of the regular campaign. A good win against already-relegated RBC will give Feyenoord extra momentum going into the playoffs, especially after the fine draw in Eindhoven a few days ago. The game at PSV will have boosted confidence all round, although the lack of sharpness in front of goal is a niggling doubt for Erwin Koeman. He’ll be hoping that the game against the league’s basement team will give his strikers plenty of opportunities to calibrate their sights. One thing Feyenoord will certainly be looking to do is to wash away the bad taste of the 2-2 draw between the clubs earlier this season.
With just one win and nine points to show for their season RBC Roosendaal could be forgiven for wishing the season had ended long ago. At times Feyenoord have shown little mercy at De Kuip this season, knocking in four goals in six different games, including a half dozen against Willem II and seven against Heracles Almelo. Despite the arrival of players of the calibre of Acuña and Elkhattabi, the Roosendaal outfit started off the season abysmally – including a 0-7 loss against AZ – and things went downhill from there. The club sacked coach Dolf Roks in early January, bringing in Robert Maaskant, who finally got a win for the club – the first of the campaign – in February. RBC’s faithful fans will be hoping for better days next season.
Feyenoord – RBC Roosendaal
Sunday 16 April, 14:30 at De Kuip
Feyenoord: Ekramy (Lodewijks); Collen, Vlaar, Bahia, Bosschaart; De Guzman, Greene, Hofs; Castelen, Kuyt, Kalou.
RBC Roosendaal: Friebel; Fleur, Roumani, Loran, Lammens; Paap, Smolders, Daelemans; Sillah, Vos, Basoski.
LAST LEAGUE MEETINGS
27/2/2005 Feyenoord -RBC Roosendaal 3-0
5/10/2003 Feyenoord - RBC Roosendaal 2-0
27/4/2003 Feyenoord - RBC Roosendaal 1-0
2/11/2000 Feyenoord - RBC Roosendaal 5-1
3/12/2005 RBC Roosendaal - Feyenoord 2-2
25/9/2004 RBC Roosendaal - Feyenoord 0-4
9/5/2004 RBC Roosendaal - Feyenoord 1-4
28/9/2002 RBC Roosendaal - Feyenoord 4-2
27/5/2001 RBC Roosendaal - Feyenoord 0-1