FRIENDS REUNITED FOR SATURDAY GET-TOGETHER

There’ll be a family feud Saturday in Rotterdam, although it’s all in the best off spirits, as Excelsior entertain Feyenoord in the Eredivisie. Opposition comes in the shape of old friends De Haan, Pinas and Holman, and also hands Nam-Il Kim the chance to give Bert van Marwijk something to chew over. But even with doubts about De Nooijer, Bosvelt and Ono, Feyenoord must feel they have far too much for their brother-in-law across town.

While Excelsior are struggling for form, Feyenoord have hit a rich vein since the turn of the year. ‘Our aim was to put down a good run in the first five league games and to reach the semifinal of the cup. We’ve done that,’ explained Bert van Marwijk Friday. ‘But we have to keep that going now. The cup and second place are two prizes we have within our reach, because I feel that second place is a prize too. Certainly when you consider from how far back we’ve come.’ Shinji Ono returns to the squad for the game, but is not fully fit after a bout of flu. ‘The same goes for Paul Bosvelt and obviously also Gérard de Nooijer, who bruised three ribs against Vitesse,’ clarified Van Marwijk. ‘Although there is a genuine chance that he’ll play. I have Chris Gyan waiting in the wings to replace him. He’s shown he can do it on the right and in the centre in the last few games. Chong-Gug Song has also been making a case for himself this past week, but he clearly needs to build up some steam.’ Van Marwijk also expressed the hope that the youthful tandem Buffel-Van Persie would continue to do things the right way at Woudestein. ‘It looked like they had finally understood against Vitesse. The switchover looked good at last. It has to be spontaneous. Thomas is more aware of his task than Robin, but he has to be harder. As soon as Robin waits for a second or two, Thomas runs towards the defender. That’s not what we want; the nearest player has to guard the left flank. Otherwise the free role varies game by game. I would compare then with Figo and Zidane at Madrid. They start on the wings, but end up in every area of the pitch.’ Edwin Zoetebier is fit and sharp, but Patrick Lodewijks retains his place in the starting eleven. ‘I said that Patrick is first choice for the duration and I stand by that.’ HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE Saturday 7 March 2003 EXCELSIOR-FEYENOORD Venue: Woudestein Kickoff: 7.30 Probable teams FEYENOORD Lodewijks; Emerton, Gyan (De Nooijer), Van Wonderen, Paauwe; Kalou, Bosvelt, Ono (Song), Van Persie; Buffel and Van Hooijdonk EXCELSIOR Varkevisser; Buys, Olfers, De Haan, Bastos; Swerts, Kim, Boutahar, Mtiliga; Holman and Pinas. The History 5/4/1987 Excelsior 1-6 Feyenoord 27/4/1986 Excelsior 2-1 Feyenoord 4/11/1984 Excelsior 2-4 Feyenoord 15/4/1984 Excelsior 0-2 Feyenoord 22/8/1982 Excelsior 2-3 Feyenoord 10/9/2002 Feyenoord 4-1 Excelsior 21/9/1986 Feyenoord 5-0 Excelsior 3/11/1985 Feyenoord 2-1 Excelsior 25/4/1985 Feyenoord 2-1 Excelsior 30/10/1983 Feyenoord 4-0 Excelsior
Feyenoord Business CLub
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