Eredivisie preview

PSV must overcome Feyenoord

April 21, 2011

The intense battle for the Eredivisie crown continues this weekend with leaders PSV Eindhoven facing a potentially tricky trip to fallen giants Feyenoord with FC Twente and Ajax desperately hoping for a slip-up.

Feyenoord have been well off the pace this year, spending the first part of the season dabbling with the relegation zone. But they have hauled themselves back into a position just outside the top eight, and the chance of Europa League football via the playoffs. That gives them every motivation against PSV.

"We need to win our last three games,'' said coach Mario Been on the club's website. "Against PSV, we will give 100%''.

PSV sit top on goal difference alone from FC Twente, who get first crack at adding to their points tally when they travel to fifth-place ADO Den Haag on Friday night. Twente have drawn their last two league games to surrender a slight advantage at the top, and coach Michel Preud'homme has told his players to pick things up.

"We know where we stand,'' he told his club's website. "The last two league matches were disappointing. Now we must play football in a way that works to our advantage.''

Ajax, one point behind the top two, must wait until Sunday to face Excelsior, hoping that by then one or both has slipped up. There is then an eight-point gap between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, who hold the second automatic Europa League play-off place, two points above ADO.

Roda JC, five points behind AZ, face NAC Breda on Saturday, while FC Groningen, six points back, play NEC Nijmegen on Sunday.

Both Roda and Groningen are virtually certain of a Europa League play-off place, but the same cannot be said of eight-placed FC Utrecht, above both Heracles Almelo and Feyenoord by a single point, with Heerenveen and NEC a further point back.

FC Utrecht host Vitesse on Sunday, while Heracles are at home to Graafschap. Heerenveen travel to VVV Venlo.

At the bottom, Willem II will have new coach Jurgen Streppel on the bench for their meeting with AZ.