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Thursday, January 31, 2008
Eredivisie: Ajax face Feyenoord in PSV chase

Ajax and Feyenoord will look to keep their fading title hopes alive when they go head to head at the Amsterdam ArenA on Sunday.

Both lost ground on PSV Eindhoven in midweek to slip eight points adrift of the Eredivisie leaders.

Ajax went down 2-0 to the reigning champions, only their second home defeat of the season, while Feyenoord had to twice come from behind to rescue a draw against out-of-form AZ Alkmaar.

And defeat for either side at the weekend would all but end their title aspirations.

The pair could find themselves even further behind come kick-off if PSV can dent AZ's European hopes on Saturday.

Sef Vergoossen's side have won their last three, while AZ's point against Feyenoord was their first in four games - but Louis van Gaal's men will be keen to exact belated revenge after being denied the title by PSV on the final day of last season.

Free-scoring Heerenveen are hot on the heels of Ajax and Feyenoord, just a point worse off. They have banged in 12 goals in their past three games so Saturday's opponents Vitesse Arnhem will not be relishing a trip to the Abe Lenstrastadion.

Meanwhile, the fifth title challenger FC Groningen, level on points with Heerenveen, will start life without Fulham-bound striker Erik Nevland on Sunday when they host UEFA Cup hopefuls Roda JC.

The visitors won 5-1 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and Ron Jans's side will be eager to redress the balance.

The crunch clash at the other end of the table takes place on Sunday when Sparta Rotterdam and VVV-Venlo lock horns.

VVV are experiencing a defensive crisis having conceded 10 goals in their last two games, but still lie a point above third-from-bottom Sparta. The hosts though have won two of their last three to boost their survival hopes.

In even graver danger of losing their top-flight status come May are Excelsior, who are three points adrift at the foot of the table. De Graafschap stand between them and a fifth win of the season.

Also on Saturday, second-bottom NEC have the chance to move clear of danger when they travel to Heracles, themselves still looking anxiously over their shoulders four points above the bottom three.

Elsewhere, FC Twente and NAC Breda will look to keep up their pursuit of a Champions League place when they meet on Friday night, while on Sunday Willem II visit FC Utrecht.

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