‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Sunday’s visit to Arnhem gives Feyenoord an opportunity to end a dismal run at the Gelredome Stadium that has yet to see the club take all three points out east since Vitesse moved into their new ground in 1998. The signs are looking good for the Maassiders. Feyenoord are unbeaten in their last three visits and tenth-placed Vitesse are not firing on full cylinders. Coach Koeman counsels caution however. ‘The eternal question is how you come out of the winter break. And our team has undergone a number of changes.’
Main change is at the back where Swedish international Alexander Östlund misses the encounter through suspension. But with Serginho Greene likely to start as right back, it will be interesting to see whether Östlund regains his place after he’s served his ban or whether Greene will continue to get the nod. New acquisition Ron Vlaar has been pencilled in for a start on the left side of central defence alongside André Bahia, the position that Greene has filled this season. Koeman has already spoken with Greene about the positional switch and the defender admits that he does not mind playing right back. ‘He can do that job well too, because he was always right back at RKC before Boulahrouz left. He is the right type for it,’ judges Koeman. Pascal Bosschaart will play left back as the Rotterdam-born defender is selected ahead of Ferne Snoyl again.
The other changes to the team are down to injuries. Sebastián Pardo will start Sunday due to the unavailability of Alfred Schreuder, Hossam Ghaly and Nicky Hofs. Hofs may make the squad for the first time this season, but he won’t know until Saturday and a place in the starting line-up against his former club is simply unrealistic. Diego Biseswar is expected to start for the first time in a Feyenoord jersey on the right after four appearances as a substitute. He will come in due to the absence of Romeo Castelen, Ali Boussaboun – who has African Cup of Nations commitments – and Tim Vincken. Castelen may make the squad, but in that case he will be sitting next to Hofs on the bench.
John Owoeri is back in the squad after training with the Nigeria squad. He’s now heard he hasn’t been selected for the African Cup of Nations and he was back in training in Rotterdam Friday.
Vitesse – Feyenoord
Sunday 15 January 2006, 12:30 at the Gelredome Stadium
Referee: Van Egmond
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Greene, Vlaar, Bahia, Bosschaart; De Guzman, Paauwe, Pardo; Biseswar, Kuyt, Kalou.
Vitesse: Wapenaar; Swerts, Dingsdag, Knol, Fränkel; De Mul, Janssen, Yakubu, Van der Schaaf; Benson, Junker.
LAST TEN LEAGUE MEETINGS
29/8/2004 Vitesse -Feyenoord 1-1
8/2/2004 Vitesse - Feyenoord 0-0
19/10/2002 Vitesse - Feyenoord 1-1
17/2/2002 Vitesse - Feyenoord 2-1
4/3/2001 Vitesse - Feyenoord 0-0
6/11/2005 Feyenoord - Vitesse 0-0
23/1/2005 Feyenoord - Vitesse 1-2
22/11/2003 Feyenoord - Vitesse 3-0
12/4/2003 Feyenoord - Vitesse 2-1
17/11/2001 Feyenoord - Vitesse 3-2