The official website for European football

Dutch feast for Sunday lunch

Published: Friday 20 October 2006, 11.36CET
Last season's top four meet in the Eredivisie on Sunday afternoon when current leaders AFC Ajax visit Feyenoord and champions PSV Eindhoven go to AZ Alkmaar.
by Berend Scholten

UEFA.com features

Penalties: How to hit them, where to put them
  • Penalties: How to hit them, where to put them
  • Upwardly-mobile Roma impress Xabi Alonso
  • Benatia ready for quick return to Roma
  • Masterclass: Džeko's heading guide
  • European qualifying's all-time top scorers
  • Pick of the Week of Football
  • Linköping and Liverpool seek improvement
  • Ten things you may not know about Robbie Keane
  • Age no limit for record-breaking Ødegaard
  • Raţ ready to complete Romania century
1 of 10
Published: Friday 20 October 2006, 11.36CET

Dutch feast for Sunday lunch

Last season's top four meet in the Eredivisie on Sunday afternoon when current leaders AFC Ajax visit Feyenoord and champions PSV Eindhoven go to AZ Alkmaar.

Sunday could prove a crucial day in the 2006/07 Eredivisie as two lunchtime fixtures bring together last season's top four. The front two from last term, AZ Alkmaar and PSV Eindhoven, renew their rivalry but there will be even more interest as leaders AFC Ajax take on Feyenoord in what is considered the true Dutch classic.

Charisteas reunion
It has been a good start for Ajax, a point clear of unbeaten AZ, but Feyenoord are seven adrift after seven matches, appropriately enough in seventh place. The loss of striker Dirk Kuyt to Liverpool FC is still being felt in Rotterdam, although the visit of Ajax will be a big moment for Angelos Charisteas, who left the Amsterdam club to join Feyenoord as Kuyt's replacement just before the transfer window closed.

Fighting spirit
Although league position is against Feyenoord, their fanatical support can expect to see more of the fighting spirit which has marked their campaign so far. They have lost just twice despite trailing in seven of their matches, including at UEFA Cup group-stage opponents FC Basel 1893 on Thursday, when Stein Huysegems's equaliser averted 1-0 defeat. A reverse here would be a huge blow as Feyenoord seek to keep in touch with the leading trio. Ajax, meanwhile, have lost striker Ryan Babel to a knee injury.

European joy
AZ and champions PSV, in second and third, know victory in Alkmaar will take them into pole position should Ajax slip. Both are coming off excellent European results: PSV won 2-1 at Galatasaray SK on Wednesday and look odds-on to reach the UEFA Champions League last 16; AZ beat SC Braga 3-0 to make early progress in their UEFA Cup group. Nonetheless, AZ coach Louis van Gaal wants to keep his players' feet on the ground, recalling the equivalent fixture in February. PSV struck twice in the opening six minutes, prevailed by 2-1, and streaked clear in the title race. Van Gaal warned: "If we don't start well, it is possible that just like last year we will be two down inside ten minutes."

Last updated: 22/10/06 16.36CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/news/newsid=470519.html#dutch+feast+sunday+lunch

  • © 1998-2014 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.