Fate-tempting perhaps, but Feyenoord have never lost to De Graafschap in Doetinchem. Not that the Rotterdammers will be taking the game lightly after the midweek debacle in Enschede. Nothing less than a good win will bring anything resembling a smile to the faces of the legion: the fans who turn up every game to support their team. So Bert van Marwijk will not be happy that both Johan Elmander and Jon Dahl Tomasson are doubtful for Sunday’s match.

Van Marwijk still clearly has Wednesday’s defeat in his head. And more specifically the fashion of it, ‘due to individual errors and sloppiness.’ The trainer recognises however that second place in the Eredivisie at the winter break would be a satisfying achievement, coupled with good progress in the European and national cup competitions. Certainly, when you take all those injuries into account. Yes, those injuries. To recap Feyenoord are without Ulrich van Gobbel, Ramon van Haaren, Pieter Collen, Paul Bosvelt, Ferry de Haan and Jan de Visser Sunday. What’s more there’s Johan and Jon. Elmander ended training early Friday with a nasty gash in his calf. Tomasson didn’t join in at all. ‘Jon has suffered some tightness in his legs and he needs a bit of a rest,’ Van Marwijk explained. Whether he’s loosened up by Sunday, we’ll have to wait and see. Bonaventure Kalou is the man to fill in for either of the two. If they both fail to make the cut then Leonardo dos Santos is likely to start on the right wing. Otherwise Leonardo may claim a striker’s role. Peter van Vossen misses the game for De Graafschap. The ex-Feyenoord favourite, who has also played for UEFA opponents Glasgow Rangers, was given a fine reception when the two sides met in the Kuip earlier in the season. Feyenoord won that one 2-0 and it will take a similar scoreline to send the Rotterdammers home happy from their last game before the winter break. Probable teams: DE GRAAFSCHAP Postma; Bot, Berck Beelenkamp, Vreman (Bakens), Fränkel; Hupkes, Meerdink, Van den Brom, Van Leerdam; Valeev, Van der Haar (Diakité) FEYENOORD Zoetebier; Gyan, Van Wonderen, Paauwe, Rzasa; Elmander (Dos Santos), Emerton, Ono, Smolarek; Van Hooijdonk, Tomasson (Kalou)
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