The Eredivisie finally gets underway Sunday as Feyenoord face Nijmegen outfit NEC in a 2.30 kick-off at the Kuip. It looks like a great chance for the home side to follow up the midweek European win with three points, but coach Van Marwijk will be fully aware of the need for a solid performance to ensure there is no opening-day upset. Happily Van Marwijk’s pack is almost complete as Feyenoord launches its newest championship bid.

NEC look set to face the same Feyenoord eleven that started the second half of Tuesday’s Champions League qualifier victory over Fenerbahçe. Van Marwijk’s Friday training was based on that very formula, with Ramon van Haaren at left back, Anthony Lurling further up the same wing and Kalou/Van Hooijdonk in a two-pronged attack. ‘Almost everyone is match fit,’ the coach announced at the Friday press conference. ‘Only Loovens and Smolarek are injured and Van Persie has too little rhythm. I’ll decide whether he’s in the squad or not on Saturday.’ Van Persie’s return would be a boost to Van Marwijk, as Thomas Buffel misses the first two league games due to suspension. PROBABLE TEAMS FEYENOORD Zoetebier; Gyan, Van Wonderen, Paauwe, Van Haaren; Emerton, Bosvelt, Ono, Lurling; Van Hooijdonk, Kalou NEC Gentenaar; Wisgerhof, Wielaert, Hesp, Zonneveld (Leiwakabessy); Schuurman, Govedarica, Hersi, Van Rijswijk (Zonneveld); De Nooijer, Hristov LAST TEN HOME: 9/12/2001 Feyenoord 5 - 0 NEC 21/4/2001 Feyenoord 3 - 0NEC 24/10/1999 Feyenoord 2 - 1 NEC 6/12/1998 Feyenoord 1 - 0 NEC 10/5/1998 Feyenoord 0 - 2 NEC AWAY: 8/9/2001 NEC 0 - 3 Feyenoord 25/1/2001 NEC 1 - 2 Feyenoord 19/11/2000 NEC 1 - 3 Feyenoord 7/5/2000 NEC 0 - 2 Feyenoord 16/5/1999 NEC 0 – 3 Feyenoord
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