Feyenoord target second, PSV chase
Feyenoord boss Ronald Koeman was quick to focus on his side's achievement of qualifying for European competition next season - even though the UEFA Champions League remains the primary objective. The Rotterdammers are assured of a spot in the UEFA Europa League following last night's 4-1 thrashing of Heracles Almelo but a top-two finish - and the greater prize which accompanies it - remains theirs to lose.
Feyenoord are a point ahead of third-placed PSV Eindhoven heading into the final game of the season at a Heerenveen side who would sneak second themselves with a six-goal win and a PSV defeat at already-relegated Excelsior.
The odds remain in favour of Koeman's side but the former Barcelona and Netherlands defender preferred to concentrate on bringing European football back to De Kuip after a 12-month absence. He told the club's official website, www.feyenoord.nl: "It is fantastic that we have achieved European football.
"Nobody expected this, I didn't. For this, the whole team deserves a big compliment. Second place would be lovely but the achievement of European football is worthy of congratulations."
Feyenoord have won eight of their last ten league games to propel themselves up the table although their surge was not enough to prevent arch rivals Ajax from claiming the Eredivisie title. "Over the last few months, we have really grown as a team," Koeman said.
"We have conceded almost no goals and yet we have found a way to hurt our opponents. If this run had started earlier we might even have been champions."
AZ Alkmaar can sneak into the Europa League if they beat FC Groningen and Heerenveen lose. If not, they will have to settle for the play-offs. FC Twente and Vitesse Arnhem are certain to contest the play-offs. They finish their regular season campaigns against VVV-Venlo and Ajax respectively.
The other spot comes down to a three-way tussle between RKC Waalwijk, Roda JC and NEC Nijmegen. RKC are in pole position and a win at NAC Breda will be enough. Roda, who are a point behind RKC host FC Utrecht, and NEC go to Heracles.
The other key fixtures this weekend centre around the battle to avoid automatic relegation. De Graafschap go into the final round with a two-point advantage over rock-bottom Excelsior. De Graafschap take on an ADO Den Haag side who are safe while Excelsior have that crunch clash with PSV.