FEYENOORD-RKC, SUNDAY 31 MARCH 2.30 CET

RKC was never going to be the most appealing opponent this season. Indeed, with a match against Internazionale in Milan’s San Siro stadium only days away it would be hard to find anyone who thought it was the biggest game this week. The fact remains that championship contenders have to win games like this or risk being also-rans. And RKC are no pushovers either, because they are still in the race for a UEFA Cup place themselves.

As seems to be the case more and more regularly, a Feyenoord league game is overshadowed by an upcoming European encounter Sunday. The semifinal of the UEFA Cup is a mouthwatering prospect of course, but Feyenoord would do well to take one game at a time. Failure to take three points from RKC would severely dent the Rotterdammer’s title ambitions, and would not be accepted by the loyal Feyenoord supporters, the legion. There’s good news from the treatment room as Ferry de Haan and Pieter Collen have both been declared fit. Collen will not be considered for Sunday’s game though. The Belgian hasn’t played for months and needs to gain match fitness before Bert van Marwijk will think about putting him in. The return of De Haan has been welcomed with open arms by the coach on the other hand, after Kees van Wonderen was forced to pull out with a stomach bug. De Haan is likely to start on the bench. Speculation about the left back position is fast becoming an inveterate habit among Feyenoord-watchers. When he’s played Mauricio Aros has hardly put a foot wrong, but Tomasz Rzasa has done well since the PSV doubleheader and would look to have the better papers for a place in the staring eleven. Further up the left wing Leonardo scored one and made two against Sparta, but with Robin van Persie back in contention it’s anyone’s guess who’ll start. Interestingly however, Persie and Rzasa did team up on the left during Saturday training. PROBABLE TEAMS FEYENOORD Zoetebier; Emerton, Loovens, Paauwe, Rzasa; Kalou, Bosvelt, Ono, Van Persie; Tomasson, Van Hooijdonk RKC WAALWIJK Sinouh; Lamey, Govedarica (Nascimento), Van den Berg, De Graef; Van Diemen, Van Wanrooy, Fuchs (Molhoek), Cornelisse; Hoogendorp (Putter), Janssen
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