NAC FIRST OF THREE AWKWARD ASSIGNMENTS

After a week of international commitments and relative peace in the Feyenoord camp, Bert van Marwijk’s men get back into the Eredivisie swing Sunday. NAC Breda are the hosts in a match that gets underway at half past noon. A win would be welcome, but the Rotterdammers have traditionally found it hard in Breda. So the coach will be delighted he can name a near unchanged team, save missing Dane Patrick Mtiliga.

Chris Gyan is a safe replacement and so Feyenoord should be able to continue where it left off. The Ghanaian hasn’t started many games this season, but he is reliable when called upon, a quality that Van Marwijk prizes highly. Gyan is most likely to start on the right, with Song switching to the left flank.

Van Marwijk is impressed by NAC’s attacking capability. ‘We have to lose the ball as little as possible. Defend with concentration and attack from there. NAC are known for always giving away space.’ That makes Edwin Zoetebier the first line of attack in Breda. The keeper is set to leave De Kuip at the end of the season, but with Patrick Lodewijks sidelined, he’s come in and done a fine job. Something Van Marwijk is happy to acknowledge. ‘Zoetebier is now a lot more relaxed in the goal. I have spoken with him a lot and he deserves a pat on the back. His attitude is very good.’

A win could move Feyenoord into that converted second place, but the coach is fully aware that the fat lady is still in full voice. ‘The lads see that the gap with PSV is now only one point, but we now have three very hard matches. If we get through them well things can get exciting. Sunday is very important. We always find things difficult in Breda, so we’re not there yet.’


HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE, SUNDAY 4 APRIL 2004
NAC-FEYENOORD
Kick-off: 12.30 pm
Venue: MyCom Stadium, Breda

Feyenoord
Zoetebier; Gyan, Van den Berg, Paauwe, Song; Smolarek, Ono, Ghaly, Lurling; Buffel, Kuyt.

NAC
Babos; Barakat (Féher), Collen, Kerstens, Gudelj; Seedorf, Slot, Engelaar; Diba, Elmander, Boukhari.

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