The recent Euro 2004 playoff matches gave Bert van Marwijk plenty of time to reflect on recent performances and forthcoming challenges ahead of what promises to be a taxing week for the Rotterdammers. Three games in eight days sees two away matches against FK Teplice and Ajax, as well as this Saturday’s Kuip visit of Vitesse Arnhem. Injuries and suspensions mean that Feyenoord are expected to take the field in a somewhat changed formation.

Coach Van Marwijk is forced to reshuffle at the back, with Kees van Wonderen reverting to central defence to replace the suspended Peter van den Berg. That may open the way for Van Marwijk to field Robin van Persie and Anthony Lurling in the same team. The coach certainly tested that configuration at Friday training. Dirk Kuyt will be Feyenoord’s forwardmost player, shadowed by Thomas Buffel. The coach expects a lot of the Buffel-Schreuder partnership. ‘Alfred has been doing very well lately. He has grown in his role.’ There was good news Friday with the return of Ramon van Haaren. The left back has been sidelined for the past thirteen months due to a serious knee affliction, and after a false start a fortnight ago, he’s now ready to pull on a red and white shirt in anger. ‘His reaction was thankfully not too bad. I’m very happy to have him,’ declared Van Marwijk. Sebastián Pardo returns to the fold after shaking off a crisis of form with some fine reserve team displays. ‘He’s now getting another chance. But I don’t want to be too optimistic. I had him play three or four games last season and it didn’t work out. It’s wait and see. At least things are getting more competitive.’ That’s due to the growing promise of other reserve team players, not least Reinhard Breinburg, who has forced his way into the squad on a number of occasions. ‘He is one of the players who is most eligible for promotion to the first team. He has a lot of qualities to make him a good central defender.’ Arnhem outfit Vitesse are in another relegation fight this campaign, despite being UEFA Cup participants only last season, when they went out to Liverpool. The suspended John van Beukering is out, though Bert Konterman will be part of the Vitesse squad. He was a member of the Feyenoord squad that bagged the title in 1999, the last time the championship shield was claimed by the Rotterdammers. HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE Feyenoord – Vitesse When: 8pm, Saturday 22 November Where: De Kuip Who’s in charge: Van Hulten How might they line up? Feyenoord Lodewijks; Swerts, Van Wonderen, Paauwe, Snoyl; Lurling, Schreuder, Ono, Van Persie; Buffel, Kuyt. Vitesse Van Fessem; Cornelisse, Jansen, Konterman, Fränkel; Rojer, Claessens, Schaars, Martel; Zongo, Mbamba. What’s the form? De Kuip 12/4/2002 Feyenoord – Vitesse 2-1 17/11/2001 Feyenoord – Vitesse 3-2 20/12/2000 Feyenoord – Vitesse 2-0 12/10/1999 Feyenoord – Vitesse 0-0 23/5/1999 Feyenoord – Vitesse 2-1 Geldredome 19/10/2002 Vitesse – Feyenoord 1-1 17/2/2002 Vitesse – Feyenoord 2-1 4/3/2001 Vitesse – Feyenoord 0-0 13/2/2000 Vitesse – Feyenoord 3-3 13/12/1998 Vitesse – Feyenoord 1-1
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