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By ESPN Staff

Eredivisie: Verbeek ready for Heerenveen

Feyenoord coach Gertjan Verbeek has called on his struggling team to battle through their current injury crisis.

The 14-time Dutch champions go into Sunday's clash at home to Heerenveen fourth from bottom of the Eredivisie table with just four points from their opening six matches.

They have lost their last three league games and Verbeek has warned the situation is unlikely to improve until the injuries start to ease.

"We have to get through this,'' Verbeek told the club's official website. "There has to be some sort of natural pecking order.

"Against Ajax (a 2-2 draw) and away at Kalmar (a 2-1 win) we set the standard, but in the first half against Willem II we didn't measure up. It's my job as the coach to look for people who measured up, but you need competition for that. Due to the number of injuries we barely have any.''

Feyenoord are missing the likes of Jon Dahl Tomasson, Ron Vlaar, Andwele Slory, Denny Landzaat and Theo Lucius through injury.

Jonathan de Guzman and Roy Makaay have begun training on their own as they step up their recoveries, but are still doubtful for the clash.

Champions PSV Eindhoven host Roda JC on Saturday looking to bounce back from last weekend's defeat at NAC Breda.

That win lifted NAC to the top of the table, three points clear of PSV in fourth, although Huub Stevens' men will fancy their chances of maintaining their 100% home record against a team yet to win this term.

PSV also picked up their first Champions League win over Marseille in midweek, putting themselves in a strong position to at least make it in to the UEFA Cup even if they can not overhaul Liverpool and Atletico Madrid at the top of Group D.

NAC themselves have the only perfect away record left in the division and travel to FC Utrecht on Sunday.

Ajax, plagued by inconsistency this season, will look to improve on their current ninth place when they welcome NEC Nijmegen.

Second-placed Groningen, knocked off the summit by NAC last weekend, can regain top spot - for 24 hours at least - with victory over Sparta Rotterdam on Saturday.

Friday evening's game sees Heracles Almelo take on ADO Den Haag, while on Saturday Willem II host De Graafschap and AZ Alkmaar play an FC Volendam side still looking for their first point of the season.

Vitesse Arnhem welcome FC Twente on Sunday.


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