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Dec, 6, 2012

Advocaat taking no chances

PSV Eindhoven head coach Dick Advocaat is keeping his key players fresh for Sunday's crunch clash with Eredivisie leaders FC Twente.

Advocaat hopes to reap the benefit of fielding a young side in PSV's encounter at Napoli in the Europa League, a competition where they have no hopes of progressing.

The PSV boss will therefore already have one eye on the biggest game of the weekend in Eindhoven, with his third-placed side just one point behind Twente.

Mark van Bommel, Dries Mertens and Jetro Willems are all doubts for Sunday and Advocaat is desperate not to stretch his squad further in Naples.

"They're injured and just can't play. As a number of our players are out with injuries, we don't want to take any undue risks,'' he told reporters. "We don't look to be hit by more injury woe.''

PSV have been brought back down to earth in the league after seeing an eight-game winning run come to an end against second-placed Vitesse Arnhem two weeks ago before being defeated by reigning Dutch champions Ajax last Saturday.

Advocaat is looking for improvements as they seek to avoid their third successive league defeat.

"We certainly didn't meet expectations. Yet we had the chances to win that game,'' he said.

"And we feel confident ahead of Sunday's top-of-the-table clash with FC Twente.''

Twente will be hoping for a repeat of the last league meeting with PSV when they left Eindhoven with a 6-2 win back in March.

Vitesse will look to take advantage of the two clubs vying with them for top spot taking points off each other.

Fred Rutten takes his side to face VVV-Venlo, while Heerenveen host Roda JC and Feyenoord travel to NAC Breda in Sunday's other two matches.

Ajax can close to within a point of top spot when they welcome Groningen to the Amsterdam ArenA on Saturday.

Bottom side Willem II are still searching for their first away win of the campaign but face a stern test at AZ Alkmaar, while ADO Den Haag play PEC Zwolle and NEC travel to RKC Waalwijk.

FC Utrecht coach Jan Wouters insists tomorrow night's opponents Heracles have one of the best teams in the division.

Although Heracles sit 10th in the table they have lost just one home game at the Polman Stadion this season, a 2-1 reverse against Feyenoord in August.

"Statistics tell me much - that all teams have difficulties in Almelo is a fact,'' he said.

"Heracles is a tough opponent for us, I'm basically looking at them and I think it's one of the better teams in the league.''

Wouters also singled out a number of Heracles players who have impressed him but is backing his team to fight for a result.

"It is a team with a lot of current (high-profile) players,'' he said. "They have the emerging talent of (Willie) Overtoom and (Samuel) Armenteros, not to mention they have a few key players in their midfield. That means for us that we should have no fear for the battle.''

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