NEXT TEST HEERENVEEN AT DE KUIP

Sunday will see the brief return of former club captain Paul Bosvelt to De Kuip to say an official goodbye to Rotterdam. But the real edge of the seat stuff starts at half past two, when fourth placed Feyenoord take on fifth placed Heerenveen. The home side cannot afford to take anything less than three points from the game, but coach Van Marwijk will have to do without a long inventory of players.

That list is not endless, but it is extensive. Van Wonderen, De Nooijer, Leonardo, Van Haaren, Snoyl, Jean and Zoetebier (all injured), plus Gyan and Paauwe (suspended) are definitely unavailable. Friday brought fears that Van Marwijk would have to add the names of Buffel, Ono and Smolarek to that roll, but all three look like making the cut. ‘We are confident that they will be able to play on Sunday,’ confirmed club doctor Van Linschoten. As a consequence of all those absentees, Van Marwijk has an ever-diminishing pool of players at his disposal. The pinch is particularly felt in defence. ‘I’ve lost all four left backs, so it’s logical that Mtiliga will play there on Sunday too. And of the four central defenders there’s only one left, Van den Berg. It looks like Ghaly will play alongside him. He’s played there in the national team and for Feyenoord reserves more often, so he should be up to it,’ said the coach. The technical and medical staffs have evaluated the spate of recent injuries and concluded, as Van Marwijk explains, that ‘all injuries are unconnected. If eight out of ten players had a torn muscle then it could have to do with how we train or play. But everyone has something different.’ While there may be problems at the back, further up field van Marwijk has room to shuffle. A fine week in training seems to have assured Edward Lurling of a place in the starting eleven. He’s likely to replace Robin van Persie. Lurling himself has set his sights on a longer run in the team. ‘I don’t intend to lose my place again. If I keep doing well the coach will have no reason to replace me.' Bert van Marwijk is fully aware of the danger posed by a Heerenveen side that have climbed the table in recent weeks to get within a few points of Feyenoord. ‘They’ve had a good team for years of course. They are in the winning mood and Heerenveen has now won a large number of games in succession. So they must be doing something good. Their speed up front is their strength, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sibon get back into the team either. He can be their target man.’ HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE, SUNDAY 7 MARCH 2004 FEYENOORD-SC HEERENVEEN Kick-off: 2.30 pm Venue: De Kuip Probable teams Feyenoord Lodewijks; Song, Van den Berg, Ghali, Mtiliga; Smolarek, Pardo, Schreuder, Lurling; Buffel, Kuyt. SC Heerenveen Vonk; Haarala, Hansson, Seip, Edman; Radomski, Selakovic, Hestad, Hakansson; Väyrynen, Knopper. That list is not endless, but it is extensive. Van Wonderen, De Nooijer, Leonardo, Van Haaren, Snoyl, Jean and Zoetebier (all injured), plus Gyan and Paauwe (suspended) are definitely unavailable. Friday brought fears that Van Marwijk would have to add the names of Buffel, Ono and Smolarek to that roll, but all three look like making the cut. ‘We are confident that they will be able to play on Sunday,’ confirmed club doctor Van Linschoten. As a consequence of all those absentees, Van Marwijk has an ever-diminishing pool of players at his disposal. The pinch is particularly felt in defence. ‘I’ve lost all four left backs, so it’s logical that Mtiliga will play there on Sunday too. And of the four central defenders there’s only one left, Van den Berg. It looks like Ghaly will play alongside him. He’s played there in the national team and for Feyenoord reserves more often, so he should be up to it,’ said the coach. The technical and medical staffs have evaluated the spate of recent injuries and concluded, as Van Marwijk explains, that ‘all injuries are unconnected. If eight out of ten players had a torn muscle then it could have to do with how we train or play. But everyone has something different.’ While there may be problems at the back, further up field van Marwijk has room to shuffle. A fine week in training seems to have assured Edward Lurling of a place in the starting eleven. He’s likely to replace Robin van Persie. Lurling himself has set his sights on a longer run in the team. ‘I don’t intend to lose my place again. If I keep doing well the coach will have no reason to replace me.' Bert van Marwijk is fully aware of the danger posed by a Heerenveen side that have climbed the table in recent weeks to get within a few points of Feyenoord. ‘They’ve had a good team for years of course. They are in the winning mood and Heerenveen has now won a large number of games in succession. So they must be doing something good. Their speed up front is their strength, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sibon get back into the team either. He can be their target man.’ HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE, SUNDAY 7 MARCH 2004 FEYENOORD-SC HEERENVEEN Kick-off: 2.30 pm Venue: De Kuip Probable teams Feyenoord Lodewijks; Song, Van den Berg, Ghali, Mtiliga; Smolarek, Pardo, Schreuder, Lurling; Buffel, Kuyt. SC Heerenveen Vonk; Haarala, Hansson, Seip, Edman; Radomski, Selakovic, Hestad, Hakansson; Väyrynen, Knopper.
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