‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord will be hoping to continue where they left off last week when Willem II come to town Sunday. The match against the Tilburg outfit is the first in a series of five in fourteen days that includes a trip to Portugal. So Ruud Gullit is delighted that he has three strikers to choose from again, after the return to fitness of Salomon Kalou. That said, there’s less cheer in midfield, as Shinji Ono looks unlikely to start, while Hossam Ghaly is definitely ruled out.
Ghaly’s injury couldn’t really have come at a worse time, because the
African has recently regained his place in the starting eleven and is
impressing coach Gullit, with simplicity and a lack of nonchalance.
Ghaly put in a top-notch performance in the steamrollering of De
Graafschap last Sunday and looked set for a long run in the team. But
disaster struck in a training session ahead of Egypt’s match at home to
Belgium in midweek as the player picked up a serious knee injury that
will keep him out for at least a month. ‘It’s come at a very
frustrating time,’ according to the player himself. ‘It was going so
well for me and then this happens. I have to work hard the next few
weeks to recover as soon as I can.’ Gullit is also exasperated by the
injury. ‘Just when he’s playing perfectly he gets the injury. It’s very
Happily there was also good news for the Feyenoord coach this week, as
Salomon Kalou rejoined training. The Ivorian has been sidelined for the
past three matches, but he was back with the squad Thursday and Friday
and is available for selection against Willem II. He’ll be starting on
the bench however, as the coach pays the ultimate tribute to Danko
Lazovic by picking the Serb ahead of his free-scoring team-mate. ‘He’s
deserved it,’ confirmed Gulllit. ‘Danko is playing very well and he’s
earned his place in the team himself. But I also need Kalou at this
time. We are faced with a run of tough games and it’s good to have
three strikers in form.’
Besides Ghaly, Patrick Mtiliga will also be missing: he has a groin
injury. Gábor Babos left the training pitch Friday with a head wound
and his availability will probably only be confirmed Sunday morning.
Shinji Ono on the other hand does not look likely to start, despite
coming on as a substitute last week at De Graafschap. He spend a couple
of days this week in the gym and while his ankle surgery has gone well,
the Japanese still has some muscle pain to cope with. That means that
Nicky Hofs is a good bet to start behind Kuyt and Lazovic, with Pardo
and Paauwe in the two holding positions.
HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE
Feyenoord – Willem II
2.30 pm, Sunday 13 February at De Kuip
Feyenoord: Babos (Lodewijks); Östlund, Saidi, Gibbs, Bosschaart
(Basto); Castelen, Pardo (Paauwe), Hofs, Goor; Kuyt, Lazovic.
Willem II: Moens; Van der Struijk, Kreek, Van Nieuwstadt, Van der Haar;
Victoria, Caluwé, Smit; Ceesay, Redan, Bobson.
LAST TEN MEETINGS
26/10/2003 Feyenoord - Willem II 2-1
26/10/2002 Feyenoord - Willem II 5-1
25/11/2001 Feyenoord - Willem II 3-1
26/11/2000 Feyenoord - Willem II 1-0
1/12/1999 Feyenoord - Willem II 1-0
WILLEM II STADIUM
22/8/2004 Willem II - Feyenoord 0-4
29/02/2004 Willem II - Feyenoord 0-3
25/5/2003 Willem II - Feyenoord 1-1
5/5/2002 Willem II - Feyenoord 0-0
11/3/2001 Willem II - Feyenoord 3-1