FRONTMEN HAVE TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

The upcoming cup final between the clubs adds extra spice to Feyenoord’s visit to FC Utrecht Sunday. With the home side gunning for UEFA Cup qualification through the league and the Rotterdammers aiming a rung higher there’s a shedload at stake. Coach Van Marwijk expects a tough physical contest at Galgenwaard, where Feyenoord have not won since 1999. Interestingly, the game pits Dirk Kuyt against the team he’ll be playing for next season.

Recent weeks have shown more than ever that the attack line at Feyenoord is what often makes the difference between one point and three. If Robin van Persie or Bonaventure Kalou don’t have their day then quite often Feyenoord doesn’t have its day and the burden passes to the midfield to drive the Rotterdammers to victory. Bert van Marwijk has acknowledged the problem and has spent the past few weeks trying to get the best out of the creatives on the flanks. ‘But experience has taught me that things don’t go better just like that,’ the coach admitted Friday afternoon. ‘You have to continue to address the problem and continue to invest in it.’ The availability of the midfield tandem Ono-Bosvelt Sunday will give Van Marwijk a boost as he prepares for one of the trickiest games of the run-in. And the fact that the two sides are due to meet in the Amstel Cup final 1 June won’t have an influence on the game, posits the coach. Perversely, FC Utrecht would benefit from a second place finish for Feyenoord, as that would hand the club an automatic UEFA Cup place as cup finalists. That doesn’t make things any easier however, says Van Marwijk. ‘Utrecht will be going for the win, so it will be tough. The defeats of Ajax in the league and PSV in the cup are good examples. Utrecht will take a very physical approach. With so much resistance, it’s our frontline who have to make the difference.’ HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISE, SUNDAY 4 MAY 2003 FC Utecht-Feyenoord Venue: Galgenwaard Kickoff: 1PM Probable teams FEYENOORD Lodewijks – Emerton, Van Wonderen, De Nooijer, Paauwe – Kalou, Bosvelt, Ono (Acuña), Van Persie – Buffel, Van Hooijdonk. FC UTRECHT Wapenaar – Vreven, Schut, Zwaanswijk, Shew-Atjon – Zuidam, Bosschaart, Tanghe, Van den Bergh – Gluscevic, Kuijt History 27/1/2002 FC Utrecht-Feyenoord 2-2 29/10/2000 FC Utrecht-Feyenoord 1-1 19/12/1999 FC Utrecht-Feyenoord 3-4 25/10/1998 FC Utrecht-Feyenoord 2-3 8/2/1998 FC Utrecht-Feyenoord 2-3 1/12/2002 Feyenoord-FC Utrecht 2-1 28/10/2001 Feyenoord-FC Utrecht 4-0 20/5/2001 Feyenoord-FC Utrecht 2-2 9/4/2000 Feyenoord-FC Utrecht 1-2 11/4/1999 Feyenoord-FC Utrecht 4-2
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