TITLE HOPES AT STAKE IN ARENA

Feyenoord will be fighting for their season Sunday in Amsterdam against league leaders Ajax in the latest edition of Dutch football’s biggest game. With a gap already opening up at the top the Rotterdammers are desperate to make ground on the top two and resurrect their championship hopes. That all means that an offensive looking team will take to the pitch in front of the TV cameras for this one o’ clock kickoff.

In Amsterdam the general feeling is that a win against Feyenoord will see the end of the Rotterdammers’ title aspirations. Many in Rotterdam would share that idea. Journalists have painted Feyenoord as the favourites, but Bert van Marwijk wasn’t having any of that at the Friday press conference. ‘It seems we wouldn’t even be the underdogs if we were twelfth. In reality we have to do everything right if we are to have a chance of victory. But we will do everything we can, because we have to win. If we lose we’ll be 10 points behind Ajax and maybe 12 behind PSV. We’ll never give up, but the gap will be very big. So we’ll have to go for the win.’ Van Marwijk was not ready to talk about tactics. ‘Do you think you’d get any answers from Ajax about tactics? I’d rather keep my gameplan to myself.’ It does look like Robin van Persie and Thomas Buffel will start however, with Sebastián Pardo probably missing out. Just who gets the leftback jersey is uncertain, but Patrick Paauwe will be hoping to shake off a knock and take his place at kickoff. If he doesn’t Tomasz Rzasa is the alternative. DE TEGENSTANDER HOLLAND CASIO EREDIVISIE SUNDAY 9 FEBRUARY 2003 AJAX-FEYENOORD Venue: Amsterdam Arena Kickoff: 1pm The probable teams AJAX Lobont; Trabelsi, Pasanen, Chivu en Van Damme; De Jong (Boukhari), Sneijder en Maxwell; Pienaar; Ibrahimovic (Mido) and Van der Meyde. FEYENOORD Lodewijks; Emerton, Van Wonderen, De Nooijer en Paauwe (Rzasa); Kalou, Bosvelt, Ono en Van Persie; Buffel and Van Hooijdonk. The history 6/10/2002 Feyenoord 1 - 2 Ajax 26/8/2001 Feyenoord 1 - 2 Ajax 10/12/2000 Feyenoord 3 - 1 Ajax 23/4/2000 Feyenoord 1 - 1 Ajax 20/12/1998 Feyenoord 1 - 1 Ajax 3/3/2002 Ajax 1 - 1 Feyenoord 13/5/2001 Ajax 3 - 4 Feyenoord 10/9/1999 Ajax 2 - 2 Feyenoord 2/5/1999 Ajax 6 - 0 Feyenoord 14/4/1999 Ajax 2 – 1 Feyenoord
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