Feyenoord look likely to face Heerenveen at De Kuip Sunday without central defensive duo Cory Gibbs and Karim Saidi. The US international is definitely ruled out, while the Tunisian is highly doubtful. André Bahia is set to come in for Gibbs, but Gullit still retains hope that his partner will make it. If worse comes to worse Gullit will probably choose between Paauwe and Zuiverloon, although he was unwilling to make any statements on that Friday.

The season is reaching its climax and that’s reflected in the injury list facing Ruud Gullit going into the game. Heerenveen will be facing a Feyenoord side without Hossam Ghaly, Patrick Mtiliga, Christian Gyan and Cory Gibbs. Gábor Babos and Karim Saidi may also miss the game, though that won’t be known until the last minute. If Saidi is unable to start, his place may be taken by the old head Paauwe, who last played two months ago after an injury. The alternative is young gun Zuiverloon, who has made some good progress this season. That would appear to be a serious option, because Zuiverloon feels at ease in the middle of defence and showed that he was able to deputise in two matches this campaign. In the last match before the winter break he put in a stellar performance against ADO Den Haag, in a game that few Feyenoord players will look back on with any enthusiasm. Last week at Groningen he came on for Gibbs and made a fine impression alongside Bahia in confrontation with Martin Drent, who’s strong in the air.

At the weekly press call Ruud Gullit pointed up the difficulty of purchasing players to strengthen his squad. ‘A top club buys players that make the team better than it is. That is the problem with us. We are unable to do that and we have to fish in a different lake. A lake from which players come that need time to become a worthy addition. Many managed to do that this season, but some didn’t. So we’ve been busy all season making players better. Bart Goor was the only one who added value immediately; lads like Kalou and Castelen still had to learn a lot. If Shevchenko goes to AC Milan, do you think that Ancelotti has to teach him anything? No, because he is an absolute top player. I hope we manage to get a player that raises the level in one fell swoop. That would be tremendous.’

Feyenoord – SC Heerenveen
Sunday 1 May 2005, 14:30 at De Kuip


Feyenoord: Lodewijks (Babos); Östlund, Bahia, Saidi (Zuiverloon/Paauwe), Bosschaart; Castelen, Ono, Pardo, Goor; Kalou, Kuyt.
Heerenveen: Vandenbussche; Seip, Hansson, Radomski, Drost; Väyrynen, Huntelaar (Bruggink), Berg Hestad; Yildirim, Samaras, Nilsson. 

7/3/2004 Feyenoord - Heerenveen 2-2
22/3/2003 Feyenoord - Heerenveen 5-0
28/4/2002 Feyenoord - Heerenveen 3-2
21/10/2000 Feyenoord - Heerenveen 2-0
29/8/1999 Feyenoord - Heerenveen 3-1
28/11/2004 Heerenveen - Feyenoord 2-2
23/8/2003 Heerenveen - Feyenoord 1-0
7/12/2002 Heerenveen - Feyenoord 3-1
1/12/2001 Heerenveen - Feyenoord 1-0
31/1/2001 Heerenveen - Feyenoord 1-0

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