The official website for European football

High drama in Low Countries

Published: Saturday 22 October 2005, 0.27CET
The stakes are high this weekend as the Belgian and Dutch UEFA Champions League representatives meet in domestic league competition.
by Berend Scholten

UEFA.com features

How promoted Kaiserslautern won the Bundesliga
  • How promoted Kaiserslautern won the Bundesliga
  • Skipper Passlack on his Germany U17 squad mates
  • France captain Cognat introduces his team-mates
  • Story so far: Sevilla FC
  • Story so far: FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
  • The best not to have won the Champions League
  • Passlack, Frommann on winning Germany formula
  • Frankfurt back on top with fourth triumph
  • Faes out to make his mark with Belgium
  • Ten heroes of the Women's Champions League
1 of 10
Published: Saturday 22 October 2005, 0.27CET

High drama in Low Countries

The stakes are high this weekend as the Belgian and Dutch UEFA Champions League representatives meet in domestic league competition.

The stakes are high in the Low Countries this weekend as the Belgian and Dutch UEFA Champions League representatives meet in domestic competition.

Big games
In the Netherlands, Group B hopefuls AFC Ajax travel to meet their Group E counterparts PSV Eindhoven, while over the border in Belgium, Group G contenders Club Brugge KV play host to RSC Anderlecht. However, perhaps strangely, none of the four sides are currently top of their respective leagues.

Odd situation
Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven are currently second in the Eredivisie, two points behind Feyenoord, while Ajax are a further five points adrift in fifth. In Belgium, Anderlecht are in second place and trail leaders R. Standard de Liège by a point, but Club Brugge are a further six points behind, also in fifth position.

Similar positions
Both Ajax and Club Brugge therefore find themselves in a similar position as they go into this weekend's games as neither can afford to lose any more ground on the leaders. However, Ajax's task looks a particularly onerous one as PSV have defeated AZ Alkmaar 3-0 and drawn at AC Milan in their last two games.

Famous victory
Ajax's last victory at PSV came in the 1994/95 season, a famous 4-1 success. However, the Amsterdam outfit have failed to win in all of their subsequent ten trips to Eindhoven, and can only hope that Yannis Anastasiou's two strikes against FC Thun marked the end of their goalscoring crisis.

Reiziger determined
PSV defender Michael Reiziger is in determined mood as he prepares to take on his former club. "I grew up at Ajax and have a lot to thank the club for, but if I want to become a champion with PSV, we have to win against Ajax," he said. "Although I would still prefer to win against Feyenoord."

Belgian fortunes
This week brought mixed fortunes for Belgium's UEFA Champions League contenders, with Boško Balaban's goal giving Club Brugge a win at SK Rapid Wien, while Anderlecht lost their tenth successive UEFA Champions League tie and failed to find the target for the third European game in a row.

Prolific scorers
Goals have been much easier to come by in domestic football for Anderlecht, with Mbo Mpenza and Nenad Ještrovic having managed eight strikes apiece in their opening ten Belgian First Division games. "I do not agree we have a goalscoring problem in big matches," said Ještrovic. "In the UEFA Champions League you play the likes of [Sami] Hyypiä and [Marco] Materazzi - those are the best defenders around."

Selection problems
Anderlecht's hopes of overcoming Club Brugge have been hampered by an injury sustained by defender Hannu Tihinen during their defeat against Liverpool FC, while Walter Baseggio is suspended and Vincent Kompany is still out with a back injury. Club Brugge defender Birger Maertens will also miss the game, having picked up a muscle injury against Rapid.

Last updated: 23/10/05 16.28CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/news/newsid=357087.html#high+drama+low+countries

  • © 1998-2015 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.