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Feyenoord aim to blunt leaders

Published: Sunday 3 March 2002, 11.00CET
Feyenoord visit arch-rivals AFC Ajax seeking to close the gap at the top of the Eredivisie. features

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Published: Sunday 3 March 2002, 11.00CET

Feyenoord aim to blunt leaders

Feyenoord visit arch-rivals AFC Ajax seeking to close the gap at the top of the Eredivisie.

Only three days after their victory against Rangers FC in the fourth round of the UEFA Cup, Feyenoord are faced with another major challenge when they travel to the Dutch capital to face Eredivisie leaders AFC Ajax in the Amsterdam ArenA 
Poor domestic form
Feyenoord have a game in hand on their opponents, but with five points separating the two sides, Bert van Marwijk's side will be desperate to make up for their recent poor domestic form. Feyenoord lost their last two matches in the league against SBC Vitesse and FC Twente, although Ajax also dropped two important points on Wednesday with a disappointing 1-1 draw against relegation candidates SC Fortuna Sittard.

Waste of points
Ajax coach Ronald Koeman was very diappointed after the midweek draw. "I had a bad feeling before this match," he said. "Everyone was talking about the league match against Feyenoord and the semi-final of the Amstel [Dutch] Cup next week, but we were not in a position to underestimate opponents like Fortuna Sittard. Our defence didn't play so well, while only Wamberto was able to create chances up front. This draw was really a waste of points. Last Sunday we took maximum profit out of the defeat of Feyenoord, and now we have just given away our lead."
Van der Vaart out injured
Koeman is still without Raphael van der Vaart due to a knee injury but his counterpart, Van Marwijk, can add to the side that beat Rangers Danish striker Jon Dahl Tomasson, who returns after a UEFA Cup suspension.

Bitter rivals
Last season Feyenoord won 4-3 in Amsterdam - only their tenth victory at Ajax and the first time they had scored four away goals against their great rivals. Koeman will try to forget about these statistics, and instead think back to 1982 when Ajax, led by Johan Cruyff, recorded an 8-2 win. A repeat of that performance and Ajax really would fancy their title chances.

Last updated: 16/11/12 4.49CET

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