Defensive midfielder Karim El Ahmadi says his Feyenoord team-mates are “ready for battle” as the Rotterdam club prepare to travel to AZ on Sunday.
Feyenoord and AZ go head-to-head at AFAS Stadion with the former bidding to strengthen their grip on third spot in Eredivisie, which guarantees passage to the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
Fred Rutten’s side have 54 points from 28 matches, four points more than AZ, who sit fourth in the standings.
Feyenoord competed in the Europa League this season, eliminated by Roma in the round of 32, but the visitors are confident heading to Alkmaar after Anass Achahbar’s brace inspired a 2-1 win over PSV prior to the international break.
“The victory over PSV was very well done. It is unfortunate that we are no longer active in the Europa League, but you immediately feel you can switch to a rhythm of good practice and play once a week,” said El Ahmadi
“Everyone is fresh and ready for battle with AZ.”
Reigning champions Ajax are also in action on Sunday.
Ajax – second in the table – travel to Utrecht hoping to close the gap on PSV, who are on the road against Twente on Saturday.
Frank de Boer’s Ajax are eight points off top spot and will be without top goalscorer Arkadiusz Milik, who made his loan move from Bayer Leverkusen permanent this week, due to a knee injury suffered on international duty for Poland.
In other fixtures, PEC Zwolle host Willem II in a mid-table clash on Saturday.
Fifth-placed Vitesse entertain Groningen, Heerenveen tackle relegation-threatened NAC Breda and rock-bottom Dordrecht play Heracles.
On Sunday, ADO den Haag can end a four-match winless streak with victory at Excelsior, while lowly Go Ahead Eagles make the trip to Cambuur.
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