Despite a tough result against Manchester City in the Champions League, Feyenoord need to pick themselves up for the challenge of some title rivals
All eyes will be on the Philips stadium on Sunday as PSV host Feyenoord in an eagerly anticipated heavyweight clash in the Netherlands. The reigning champions, Feyenoord, will face the Eredivisie winners of the two seasons before Feyenoord’s historic title win, PSV, making the meeting even tastier.
PSV won’t start this weekend’s game with a lot of confidence, having lost 2-0 away to Sc Heerenveen in their last game. It put a hold to their perfect start and it means that the side managed by former Barcelona player Philip Cocu stand on nine points after four league games. Another negative point of last week’s defeat is the sending-off of top scorer Hirving Lozano. The Mexican winger received two yellow cards vs. Heerenveen and is therefore suspended for the Feyenoord game.
The man PSV will rely on with Lozano unavailable is Gastón Pereiro. The Uruguayan No10 has started the season well but the best is yet to come. In an open game which I expect PSV-Feyenoord to be, Pereiro can flourish in the spaces between the lines that will be allowed.
Pereiro won’t be able to showcase his abilities in Europe this season as PSV was knocked out in the qualification rounds of the Europe League. But like the legendary Johan Cruyff once said, every disadvantage has its advantage and not playing on Thursday night ensures that PSV will enjoy a lot more rest than Sunday’s opponents Feyenoord will.
It’s not something Feyenoord sees as a disadvantage, however, as making their return to the Champions League this week was a dream come true. Granted, they lost 0-4 against Manchester City, but the huge financial gap between the two clubs makes it understandable. The Feyenoord faithful did themselves proud, though, singing and supporting their team for the whole 90 minutes.
— Feyenoord Rotterdam (@Feyenoord) September 13, 2017
In PSV, Feyenoord faces a much more evenly matched opponent and will fancy their chances. The Rotterdammers have won their first four games and are the only side to do so, making them the leaders of the Eredivisie. Feyenoord maintaining their 100% record will depend on the players’ physical state after the midweek European fixture.
Feyenoord don’t have enough squad depth to rest some of their key figures, so some players will be required to play three games in a week; something that most of them have never done before. Despite all of that, the season is still young so fatigue would be unlikely.
In any case, PSV-Feyenoord is the first big game of the Dutch footballing season and will give a clear indication over this year’s title race. PSV, Feyenoord, and Ajax will most probably be fighting it out for the league title once again, but if Feyenoord can win away at PSV it will be a clear statement of intent and the first step towards keeping the title.