Defending Eredivisie champions Feyenoord have made a great start to their title defence but they face their biggest test yet against an under-fire PSV Eindhoven in the Philips Stadion this Sunday. The mouth-watering clash kicks off at 3.45pm.

Feyenoord may have won all four of their league games so far this season and sit top of the Eredivisie, but they go into this weekend’s tie with a big point to prove after a horrid 4-0 defeat at home to Manchester City in the Champions League. Giovanni van Bronckhorst side were embarrassed by the Premier League side and they will be eager to prove they are still the strongest team in the Eredivisie when they travel to the Philips Stadion.

Feyenoord won the fixture last season and van Bronckhorst believes that although his side learned a harsh lesson midweek they will be ready for PSV. He said, “It was a wise lesson in everything. We will be fresh on Sunday against PSV. The team (PSV) still has the ability to become champions. Last season we won there, but also then PSV played well. Those three points were very important to us, mentally too. ”

PSV also go into the game under pressure with last week’s defeat to Heerenveen once again raising doubts on Phillip Cocu’s future. The coach who led the club to back to back Eredivisie titles in his first two years in charge is now struggling to motivate his side, who went from champions to third last season and have already been knocked out of Europe.

Speaking at his pre-game press conference, Cocu called on the fans to create a special atmosphere on Sunday and help his team to victory, “If our fans are completely behind us, that can affect all kinds of things. We hope to have a nice day together. ”

PSV currently sit sixth in the table with three wins and one defeat in their four league games.

Team News

PSV will be without Hirving Lozano, who is suspended after his red card last week. That will give a chance to Luuk de Jong, who will come back into the starting line-up. Jurgen Locadia is likely to move back to the wing, with Gaston Pereiro coming into midfield for Bart Ramselaar.

Expected PSV line-up: Zoet, Arias, Paal, Isimat-Mirin, Luckassen, Hendrix, Van Ginkel, Pereiro, Bergwijn, Locadia, De Jong

Nicolai Jorgensen will be missing for Feyenoord, but Ridgeciano Haps is fit again and should start. Bilal Basacikoglu, Sven van Beek and Bart Nieuwkoop are back training and could feature on the bench. After impressing against Man City, Sofyan Amrabat could stay at right-back instead of Kevin Diks.

Expected Feyenoord line-up: Jones, Amrabat, Botteghin, Van der Heijden, Haps, El Ahmadi, Toornstra, Vilhena, Berghuis, Kramer, Boetius

Odds

PSV: 21/20 Draw: 13/5 Feyenoord: 23/10

Head to Head

Feyenoord won both ties between the club’s last season, 1-0 at the Philips Stadion and 2-1 in De Kuip. The 2015/16 season saw PSV victorious in both meetings.

In the last 55 meetings between the two clubs, PSV have won 23 times, while Feyenoord have 22 victories.

Predictions

Our resident Eredivisie prediction expert Michael Statham and Sky Sport’s commentator Richard Connelly have had their say on the game. Check out their predictions on PSV v Feyenoord and all the rest of the Eredivisie action by clicking here.

Key Men

Luuk de Jong

The former PSV captain has been dropped from the starting line-up after a dip in form which has followed on from last season. However, Lozano’s absence means De Jong will get another chance and PSV will need the striker to be on form if they are to win. Coming up against Eric Botteghin and Jan Arie van der Heijden, De Jong will be in a physical battle and if he can link the attack with Steven Bergwijn and Jurgen Locadia, PSV may get the win they desperately want.

Tonny Vilhena

Feyenoord’s midfield was totally overrun and outclassed by Manchester City on Wednesday and the Rotterdammers can’t afford to let PSV take charge on Sunday. Vilhena will be key to Feyenoord’s plan and he will need to unsettle Marco van Ginkel, Jorrit Hendrix and Gaston Pereiro much like Stijn Schaars did last week for Heerenveen.

In Summary

PSV v Feyenoord is a massive game on Sunday with both teams having something to prove. A win for Feyenoord cements them as early title favourites, while PSV are looking to prove their doubters wrong and establish themselves as genuine contenders.

Most of the pressure going into the game lies on Cocu’s shoulders, with the coach’s ability to motivate and get this PSV side going under huge scrutiny. He needs his players to put in a big performance on Sunday because a defeat will once again raise calls for the club to possibly look elsewhere.




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