Feyenoord return to Eredivisie action Sunday lunchtime when FC Utrecht come to De Kuip. It’ll take full commitment from Ruud Gullit’s first choice eleven to rise to the challenge against an Utrecht side that have taken seven points from four league games this campaign. The Amstel Cup winners also knocked the stuffing out of Swedish champions Djurgården in the Uefa Cup Thursday, scoring four without reply, while Feyenoord were ‘disappointing’ in Norway, according to Gullit.

Kuyt, Kalou and Ono were the dynamos in last week’s win against FC Twente and coach Gullit wanted to rest them in the Norway. But Castelen and Saidi were also kept out the starting line-up due to light injuries and Feyenoord clearly looked less potent. ‘I thought it was logical to give a few players some rest,’ admitted Gullit. ‘Romeo Castelen had trouble with fluid on the knee in the days before the match and Dirk Kuyt didn’t look fantastic. So it was the ideal opportunity to give some of the youngsters a chance. The performance was disappointing. And that’s a pity, because it would have been good to have some competition if we’d played an excellent game. They haven’t dropped out, absolutely not. But we are an experience richer. We looked in the mirror.’

Gullit’s disappointment was tempered by two plusses however. Feyenoord won the game and gave themselves a great chance to progress in the competition. And Kalou and Kuyt stayed wrapped up on the bench for the full ninety minutes, while Ono and Castelen played only one half. The coach is hoping that rest will pay off against Utrecht.

Saidi also slots back into the starting eleven Sunday after missing the Odd game with a minor groin strain. The Tunisian completed Saturday morning training, as did Pascal Bosschaart, who left training twenty-four hours earlier with an ankle problem. He’ll start against his former club.

Holland Casino Eredivisie
Date: Sunday 19 September
Time: 12:30 pm
Place: De Kuip
Referee: Allaerts (Bel)

Likely line-ups

Babos; Song, Saidi, Paauwe, Basto; Castelen, Ono, Bosschaart, Goor; Kuyt, Kalou.

FC Utrecht
Ponk; Cornelisse, Schut, Di Tommaso, Shew-Atjon; De Jong, Tanghe, Broerse; Douglas, Van de Haar, Van den Bergh.

Last ten meetings

De Kuip

25/1/2004 Feyenoord-FC Utrecht 3-2
1/6/2003 Feyenoord-FC Utrecht 1-4 (Amstel Cup Final)
1/12/2002 Feyenoord-FC Utrecht 2-1
28/10/2001 Feyenoord-FC Utrecht 4-0
20/5/2001 Feyenoord-FC Utrecht 2-2

Nieuw Galgenwaaard

18/4/2004 FC Utrecht-Feyenoord 0-3
4/5/2003 FC Utrecht-Feyenoord 1-2
27/1/2002 FC Utrecht-Feyenoord 2-2
29/10/2000 FC Utrecht-Feyenoord 1-1
19/12/1999 FC Utrecht-Feyenoord 3-4

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