After an encounter with one old club FC Groningen last week, Erwin Koeman gets to test himself against another Sunday when Feyenoord travel to Waalwijk to take on RKC. And with the group stages of the Uefa Cup getting underway this week without Feyenoord, both players and coach have their reasons for continuing a fine run in the Eredivisie. That said, things won’t be easy against an RKC side that find themselves fourth in the league with almost a quarter of the season gone.

The two sides go into the game with a lot of motivation. Feyenoord will be hunting the three points to stay at the top of the table, while RKC will be gunning to stop their recent slide, which has seen them drop off the pace near the top.

The game is also Erwin Koeman’s first chance to head back to Waalwijk, where he was coach last season. ‘It’s great to play them. I had a good year at RKC and I left with good feelings. But the game last week was more special; I only worked at RKC for a year.’

RKC have two players on loan from Feyenoord, so that will also make it an interesting occasion for Koeman. The coach has been watching the progress of both Gianni Zuiverloon and Benjamin De Ceulaer. ‘They are valuable for RKC. It’s important that they have a steady year and show that they can live at a certain level for a longer period.’

Koeman may have to do without Patrick Lodewijks Sunday. The keeper has a knee problem, which forced him out of Thursday training early and kept him off the training pitch Friday. ‘I have the feeling that he’ll be ready in time,’ revealed Koeman Friday, but if he isn’t Maikel Aerts will be ready to deputise. That would be Aerts’s first appearance for Feyenoord. Sherif Ekramy’s injury means that youth goalie Jesper Hogedoorn would be on the bench.

Another talent from the Varkenoord academy who may find himself in the squad is Diego Biseswar. He will step in if Tim Vincken is unable to shake off a shoulder strain. John Owoeri will definitely miss out, following surgery on his cheekbone. One player who will be in the squad – and most likely the starting line-up – is Pascal Bosschaart.


RKC Waalwijk – Feyenoord
Sunday 23 October, 14:30 at Mandemakers Stadium

Referee: Gumlenny (Bel)  

Probable line-ups
RKC Waalwijk: Van Dijk; Longuet, Keller, Teixeira, Van Haaren; Martens, Zuiverloon, Molhoek; De Ceulaer, Van de Haar, Hoogendorp.

Feyenoord: Lodewijks (Aerts); Östlund, Greene, Bahia, Bosschaart; Ghaly, Paauwe, De Guzman; Castelen, Kuyt, Kalou.

24/10/2004 Feyenoord - RKC Waalwijk 4-0
21/3/2004 Feyenoord - RKC Waalwijk 1-0
11/5/2003 Feyenoord - RKC Waalwijk 2-1
31/3/2002 Feyenoord - RKC Waalwijk 1-1
9/9/2000 Feyenoord - RKC Waalwijk 3-1

19/3/2005 RKC Waalwijk - Feyenoord 2-4
21/12/2003 RKC Waalwijk - Feyenoord 0-0
23/11/2002 RKC Waalwijk - Feyenoord 1-0
28/11/2001 RKC Waalwijk - Feyenoord 2-3
1/4/2001 RKC Waalwijk - Feyenoord 2-0

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