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1:00 AM UTC Feb 23, 2017
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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League

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Adelaide UnitedAdelaide United
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By ESPN Staff

Rutten cautious over Marcelo fitness

PSV Eindhoven boss Fred Rutten will leave a decision on the fitness of defender Marcelo until the last minute ahead of the weekend Eredivisie trip to AZ Alkmaar.

Marcelo picked up a knee injury over two weeks ago against VVV-Venlo and has missed the subsequent matches against Willem II and ADO Den Haag - the latter ending in a defeat which saw them joined at the top of the table by FC Twente.

Marcelo is a key player for Rutten but the former Schalke boss will not rush the South American back into action.

"We are going to be cautious with him,'' he told Voetbal International. "Forcing him makes no sense. We will look at it on a day-to-day basis and we will decide on Friday or Saturday whether he is going to play.''

Twente will hope to capitalise on any PSV slip when they host Vitesse Arnhem, also on Saturday. Gertjan Verbeek's side saw a three-match winning run in the Eredivisie come to an end with a 1-1 draw at FC Utrecht last time out.

Ajax, who are three points adrift of the leaders, visit Roda JC on Sunday. The Amsterdammers have been largely impressive since the winter break and look to have unearthed another fine young player in Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen was the best player on the pitch in Denmark's 2-1 home defeat by England and is set to go right back into Frank de Boer's side in Kerkrade.

Another player hoping to be given the nod is full-back Vurnon Anita. The 21-year-old was dropped to the bench for last weekend's 2-0 win over De Graafschap but is determined to prove his worth to De Boer.

"It's up to me to change the coach's mind,'' he said. "I know myself what I can do and I know what I need to do to get my place back. If I can play well then it will come.''

FC Groningen, who make up the top four, go to De Graafschap.

Feyenoord's battle to avoid the drop has been as newsworthy as the title race this season with the latest instalment coming on Saturday with a home game against fellow strugglers Heracles Almelo.

And coach Mario Been is hoping for more from new loan signing Soren Larsen. The Dane made his debut in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Vitesse but did not impress the Rotterdammers' boss.

Been said: "I put him in in the hope of getting something extra but it did not come. With his size I expected Soren to win plenty of duels. I expect more from him but then so does he. He lacks rhythm and we will work with him so he can catch up.''

The three teams below Feyenoord will look to keep the pressure on this weekend. On Saturday, rock-bottom Willem II host FC Utrecht and second-bottom VVV go to ADO while, on Sunday, Excelsior visit NEC Nijmegen.

Sunday's remaining game sees mid-table sides NAC and Heerenveen do battle in Breda.


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