AMSTERDAM, January 10 (Eredivisie) - PSV Eindhoven face a tough task in maintaining their position at the top of the Eredivisie when they travel to Feyenoord on Saturday for their first game of 2008.
New boss Sef Vergoossen could not face a sterner test for his first game in charge, with the Rotterdammers only below PSV on goal difference and with a home record of seven wins in eight games this season.
Hungarian midfielder Balazs Dzsudzsak arrived in Eindhoven this week after his proposed summer transfer was brought forward, but influential Danish forward Kenneth Perez has made a surprise return to Ajax during the opening week of the transfer window.
Feyenoord coach Bert van Marwijk is yet to make a move in the window despite being promised five million euros to spend.
Third-placed Ajax host Louis van Gaal's AZ Alkmaar on Sunday with the Amsterdammers looking to start the new year by ending a sequence of three league games without a win.
Van Gaal will also be looking for an improvement from his side in 2008, with AZ currently languishing in ninth place.
At the bottom of the table a single point separates five teams, so both Heracles and Sparta Rotterdam will be desperate for the points when they meet on Sunday.
Bottom side Excelsior travel to high-flying FC Groningen looking to improve on their dreadful form of six defeats in their last seven outings.
Groningen currently occupy fourth place in the table and director Hans Nijland has issued a hands-off warning regarding the team's best players.
Defender Bruno Silva and striker Erik Nevland have both been linked with moves, but Nijland insists there is nothing in the rumours.
'It makes no sense to make us an offer,' he said.
'Groningen want to finish in the top eight this season again, and we need the players we have to do that.'
Willem II, boosted by the arrival of striker Sergio Zijler and Brazilian Leonardo Henrique Veloso, will be looking to ease their relegation worries with a win at Roda JC.
Heerenveen travel to Utrecht, almost certainly without star striker Afonso Alves, who is seeking a move to a bigger club.
Coach Gertjan Verbeek suggested Alves will not feature even if a transfer is not completed before the weekend.
'I only work with guys who have their heart and soul at Heerenveen and that is not the fact with Alves,' he said.
Elsewhere, NAC Breda will be hoping to add to their two home wins when they welcome VVV Venlo and De Graafschap host Vitesse Arnhem.