It’s Willem van Hanegem’s birthday! Today (Wednesday) he celebrates reaching the magnificent age of 75. Management, sup...
Feyenoord host Ajax Sunday in the first of two games that can make or break their season. Next week’s visit to FC Utrecht will tough, but first the league leaders must be sent packing with nothing but bad memories. It’s always been the only game in town and with a reasonably complete squad to choose from, Bert van Marwijk will want three points from what may be his last ever Feyenoord-Ajax.
The coach will be happy that his players came through Saturday morning training unscathed. Perhaps most importantly, after two days complete rest Shinji Ono looks to have made the cut, despite Van Marwijk’s concerns 24 hours previously: ‘He seems tired to me, although we had a fairly relaxed training session,’ remarked Van Marwijk. ‘He has to be prepared Sunday, because it’s a game that will ask the big questions.’
Feyenoord start with Edwin Zoetebier between the sticks. He’ll be gunning to continue his recent run of good form that’s seen him replacement not concede a goal since his return for the injured Patrick Lodewijks. Much of the praise for that he’ll happily share with his defence, which has been rock solid recently. Old heads Peter van den Berg and Patrick Paauwe will be in the centre again Sunday, while Patrick Mtiliga returns after suspension. One player who will be suspended however is Chong-Gug Song. The Korean picked up double yellow in the win at NAC Breda last week and his expected replacement is Chris Gyan.
With the frontmen on song, it all adds up to Feyenoord being as ready as they’ll ever be come Sunday lunchtime.
HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE, SUNDAY 11 APRIL 2004
Kick-off: 12.30 pm
Venue: De Kuip
Zoetebier; Gyan, Van den Berg, Paauwe, Mtiliga; Smolarek, Ghaly, Ono, Lurling; Buffel, Kuyt.
Lobont; De Jong, Heitinga Escudé, Maxwell; Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Galásek; Pienaar, Ibrahimovic, Sikora.