Excelsior Rotterdam faces an uphill battle against Eredivisie champions-elect Feyenoord Rotterdam in their final Rotterdam derby of the season
3:30pm on a Sunday afternoon is an ideal time for the sixth and last Rotterdam derby of the 2022/23 Eredivisie season. It’s a game with enormous interests for both clubs, particularly host side Excelsior Rotterdam who are in for the fight of their lives. Beginning a four-game run home that includes Sittard and Volendam, any confidence (or points) they can pick up against the league leaders would be enormous.
They’ve collected just five points at home to clubs in the top ten heading into Sunday’s fixtures (W1, D2, L6), so a shock win won’t be in line with expectations, but the team from Kralingen has historically proven to be a banana peel for the upcoming national champions of the time. Who can forget AZ’s defeat at Woudestein in 2007? One could even go back six years to Excelsior’s booming 3-0 win at home in Round 33 prior to Feyenoord Rotterdam claiming their 15th Eredivisie title a week later.
Excelsior may be in the best form of their season so far, at the perfect time, but Feyenoord have bulldozed their way to the championship title with ten consecutive wins (at an aggregate score of 28-10), doing so in an overcrowded schedule with seven extra KNVB Cup or Europa League assignments. Another busy season likely awaits in 2023/24 with their first Champions League group stage since 2017/18, though it is not yet confirmed.
PSV’s win at Sparta on Saturday at least ensured that they’ll have to wait another week before sealing the title, with five points from their four remaining games to be enough even if PSV were to close their campaign with three more wins. Earlier in the season, Feyenoord ensured there was no dispute about their status as Rotterdam’s superior club with a 5-1 demolition at De Kuip – despite conceding the opening goal!
Players to watch: Midfielder Kenzo Goudmijn (G3, A1) was Excelsior’s only goalscorer in that match, whilst Feyenoord’s Sebastian Szymański (G9, A4) hit the net in each half.
Hot stat: Feyenoord have won 38 of the 45 Eredivisie meetings between these sides, with five of Excelsior’s six wins coming at home.