Leaders PSV in the spotlight

Feyenoord have been well off the pace this year, spending the first

part of the season dabbling with the relegation zone. But they have

hauled themselves back into a position just outside the top eight,

and the chance of Europa League football via the playoffs. That

gives them every motivation against PSV. “We need to win our last

three games,” said coach Mario Been on the club’s website. “Against

PSV, we will give 100%”. PSV sit top on goal difference alone from

FC Twente, who get first crack at adding to their points tally when

they travel to fifth-place ADO Den Haag on Friday night. Twente

have drawn their last two league games to surrender a slight

advantage at the top, and coach Michel Preud’homme has told his

players to pick things up. “We know where we stand,” he told

fctwente.nl. “The last two league matches were disappointing. Now

we must play football in a way that works to our advantage.” Ajax,

one point behind the top two, must wait until Sunday to face

Excelsior, hoping that by then one or both has slipped up. There is

then an eight-point gap between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, who hold the

second automatic Europa League play-off place, two points above

ADO. Roda JC, five points behind AZ, face NAC Breda on Saturday,

while FC Groningen, six points back, play NEC Nijmegen on Sunday.

Both Roda and Groningen are virtually certain of a Europa League

play-off place, but the same cannot be said of eight-placed FC

Utrecht, above both Heracles Almelo and Feyenoord by a single

point, with Heerenveen and NEC a further point back. FC Utrecht

host Vitesse on Sunday, while Heracles are at home to Graafschap.

Heerenveen travel to VVV Venlo. At the bottom, Willem II will have

new coach Jurgen Streppel on the bench for their meeting with AZ.