Eredivisie Preview: Gudelj calls for AZ to be sharper
AZ captain Nemanja Gudelj has called for his side to show greater sharpness early in games as they bid to beat Feyenoord to third place in the Eredivisie and claim automatic qualification for the UEFA Europa League.
With PSV 11 points clear of Ajax and well in control of the title race, attention will now likely shift to the race for third and the battle against the drop at the other end of the table.
John van den Brom's AZ were leapfrogged Feyenoord last weekend as they lost 6-2 at Utrecht, while the Rotterdam club overcame NAC Breda 3-0.
Gudelj will be on the sidelines for this Friday's visit to sixth-placed Vitesse after being suspended for his fifth booking of the season, but is under no illusions at to what his team-mates need to do to bounce back.
"We need to start every game with the knife between our teeth," Gudelj told AZ's official website.
"Only when we are as sharp or sharper than our opponent, can we come to play football."
Feyenoord have a great chance to capitalise on another potential AZ slip-up as they face bottom club Dordrecht, who are running out of opportunities to pull themselves out of the only automatic relegation spot.
Dordrecht's fellow strugglers NAC Breda and Heracles - who occupy the relegation play-off spots - meet Go Ahead Eagles and ADO Den Haag respectively.
At the top Ajax visit Heerenveen looking to consolidate their eight-point lead over Feyenoord while at the same time hoping that PSV drop points at Groningen to keep the capital club's slim chances of a fifth straight title intact.
And it promises to be no easy task for the league leaders against a Groningen team who have lost just once at home in the league all season.
Elsewhere, fifth-placed PEC Zwolle travel to Twente, Cambuur take on Utrecht and Excelsior meet Willem II.