Champions elect PSV have lost but a single time in the league this season, at home to Feyenoord by two goals to one and the Rotterdammers will be gunning to make it six points from six when the teams line up against each other at the Kuip Sunday lunchtime. ‘Separate from the battle for second place this is an important game in itself. One we always have to win,’ suggested Bert van Marwijk Friday.

Despite the impending clash of the Dutch titans, at the Friday presscall Van Marwijk had to field more questions about Robin van Persie’s suspension (‘I only want to say that his situation is not comparable with Pierre’s last week’), the reason for the long injury list (‘the numerous international commitments are exhausting the players. It is too crazy for words’) and the coach’s personal future, on the back of the news that broke during the week that Schalke ’04 wanted to take Van Marwijk to Gelsenkirchen. ‘I am very much at home here,’ confirmed Van Marwijk, ‘and Feyenoord is keeping me to my contract, so it isn’t relevant. If I wanted to and or if I got the idea that Feyenoord were tired of me that would change matters.’ PSV will win the title one of these days, although Feyenoord are determined it won’t be Sunday. ‘They’ll have to hold that party in Eindhoven, not in the Kuip’, rattled Patrick Lodewijks. The neck and neck race for the second spot has been psychologically punishing for the Rotterdammers, which has affected performances although the last defeat does date back to December. ‘The battle has been exhausting. You are always thinking of that single point. That won’t be the case Sunday.’ It is still unclear which eleven players will take the fight to the league leaders on Sunday. Again it’s the centre of defence that is showing signs of stress. ‘Van Wonderen and De Nooijer will remain doubtful until the last moment. Loovens has a groin problem and I have doubts about Gyan’, summed up Van Marwijk. Further up the field, ‘Shinji Ono is ill, although I haven’t given up hope that he can play,’ whereas Van Persie starts a two-match suspension. HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE, SUNDAY 18 MAY 2003 FEYENOORD-PSV Venue: Kuip Kickoff: 1pm Probable teams FEYENOORD Lodewijks; Emerton, Van Wonderen, De Nooijer (Rzasa), Paauwe; Kalou, Bosvelt, Acuña (Ono), Lurling; Buffel, Van Hooijdonk. PSV Lenaerts; Bøgelund, Ooijer, Dirkx, Lee; Rommedahl (Leandro), Van Bommel, Vogel, Robben; Kezman, Bruggink. History 21/3/2002 Feyenoord-PSV 1-1, Feyenoord win on penalties (UEFA CUP1/4 final 2nd leg) 16/12/2001 Feyenoord-PSV 0-0 25/2/2001 Feyenoord-PSV 1-2 28/11/1999 Feyenoord-PSV 1-0 21/2/1999 Feyenoord-PSV 3-1 14/9/1997 Feyenoord-PSV 1-1 UIT 17/11/2002 PSV-Feyenoord 1-2 14/4/2002 PSV-Feyenoord 2-0 14/3/2002 PSV-Feyenoord 1-1 (UEFA Cup 1/4 final 1st leg) 30/1/2002 PSV-Feyenoord 1-1, PSV win on penalties (Amstel Cup) 12/11/2000 PSV-Feyenoord 1-0 3/2/2000 PSV-Feyenoord 0-1 22/9/1998 PSV-Feyenoord 1-2
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