Eredivisie matchday 4 preview: PSV – Vitesse, FC Twente – Feyenoord and FC Groningen – Ajax make a Super Sunday
We’re back with the previews for match day four and PSV and PEC Zwolle are the two teams with a perfect record so far in the league this season, while Feyenoord and Ajax try to get back to winning ways with tough away trips at FC Twente and FC Groningen. This weeks previews are written by Priya Ramesh, PeterMcVitie and Michiel Jongsma.
Go Ahead Eagles – Willem II: Sound the alarm! Expectations in De Adelaarshorst
Go Ahead Eagles, a club with a name that’s almost poetic but with a coach whose name (Foeke Booy) makes most foreigners giggle uncomfortably. There’s reason for panic in Deventer. A loss against FC Groningen is acceptable, but the team in red and yellow threw away a 2-0 lead. Picking up only one point from six against newly promoted sides Excelsior and FC Dordrecht isn’t thrilling either and now with Willem II coming to visit surely a victory is a must.
Willem II are on a high after a 3-0 demolition of AZ and it looks like Terrell Ondaan, the revelation on the wings from the first few weeks is set to stay. For Willem II, a point would be welcome but with their pace and trickery in attack they can surely surprise the rather slow defence of Go Ahead. Deventer will be hoping that the Erik Cummins-Marnix Kolder line will finally work. The goalkeeper of Go Ahead has made a hobby of booting every ball up the field to the tall striker, but it is yet to result in anything effective.
SC Cambuur – ADO Den Haag: Reliable long men on for a battle
The striker of SC Cambuur is Michiel Hemmen. The striker of ADO Den Haag is Michel Kramer. Two mountains of men, providing the goods for their respective teams. In this battle of giants both teams will be looking to build on a moderately positive start to the season. Cambuur are still unbeaten and have picked up five points so far, while ADO Den Haag fell only to Feyenoord in the first game of the season. But the club from the residency picked FC Groningen apart last week (3-0) and will be eager to build on that.
With Timothy Derijck coming back after a spell at PSV the defence has been bulked a bit and goalkeeper Martin Hansen has been a truly inspirational signing for ADO. Cambuur will rely on Dejan Meleg to make a difference. The right attacker could not start last time out against Heracles due to injury but in the end popped up to assist Michiel Hemmen for the winner. A feisty affair is expected.
Excelsior – Heracles Almelo: #NoJordyNoParty?
Even more so than FC Dordrecht, Excelsior have been the surprise package of the season so far. One point at NAC, three points against Go Ahead and a late defeat against sc Heerenveen ensure Excelsior of four points after three games as they face Heracles Almelo, who still search for that elusive first point. The last three opponents of Excelsior were helped by the presence of Jordy Deckers, as the goalie offered a goal to NAC in their opener, was beaten by his opponent goalkeeper against Go Ahead and was sent off and caused a penalty against Heerenveen. Is nothing going Heracles’ way?
Given the performance of Deckers in the first few games, one can only assume the second goalkeeper is even worse, so there is hope. But Heracles failed even to have a shot on target in their most recent Eredivisie game. Excelsior will hope Tom van Weert and Botaka can do the damage for them and while Deckers hasn’t been the greatest goalkeeper in the world, neither has Daan Telgenkamp. Will it be a dearth of goals or a goal flurry? One or the other it seems.
FC Dordrecht – AZ: No niceties in the Van Overeem derby
Joris van Overeem has been an impressive asset for FC Dordrecht in the first few weeks of the season and the AZ loanee would have very much liked to impress his boss Marco van Basten in the home game against the Alkmaarders. Sadly though, there will be no such opportunity for Van Overeem. Marco van Basten is rumoured to have had heart flutterings and suffers from stress in general and will be away from the AZ bench for a while to recover. All of us at BeNeFoot wish ‘San Marco’ a quick and successful recovery.
On to the football, as Joris van Overeem still has Earnest Stewart (the technical director of AZ) to convince. FC Dordrecht are very much in the ‘less is more’ mood with a stadium of a capacity of only 4100, but that doesn’t mean AZ will get an easy ride. FC Dordrecht have picked up four points from three games so far, suffering their only defeat against PEC Zwolle. Their unlikely hero so far is Filip Kurto. The goalkeeper was not exactly a success for Roda JC last year but looks better than he ever has for the Dordtenaren.
AZ will be eager to gain some of their pride back and of course assure their boss that they can manage a game without his presence. After a good start versus Heracles (0-3) the wheels have gone off a bit for AZ, as Ajax (1-3) and Willem II (3-0) both defeated the Kaasboeren. Time to put all that attacking talent in Hupperts, Berghuis and Tankovic to work and get a result in Dordrecht.
sc Heerenveen – FC Utrecht: Entertainment galore expected
Somewhat lucky to get all three points against newly-promoted Heracles, Heerenveen will be worried about coming up against an Utrecht side which came from behind to beat Feyenoord last week.
Having lost Alfred Finnbogason, Hakim Ziyech and Bilal Basicikoglu, Heerenveen have been severely weakened in attack. However, Daley Sinkgraven and Luciano Slagveer remain and add great youth, speed and skill to an attack which includes Mark Uth and Sam Larsson, meaning Dwight Lodeweges’ side should not be underestimated.
Utrecht themselves look to be in for a tough season, especially having lost star player Jens Toornstra to Feyenoord for a measly €3.5 million. However, their win over Feyenoord showed that they can still take their chances, with left winger Tommy Oar linking up well with Nacer Barazite and Rodney Antwi.
The attacking nature of these two sides coupled with their defensive weaknesses mean this game should be a thoroughly entertaining one.
PSV – Vitesse: PSV looking to extend perfect record versus Vitesse
Looking to build on their perfect record and fresh off their win over Ajax in the Amsterdam ArenA, PSV are hoping to dismantle another one of the Eredivisie’s top sides.
The Arnhem club have been looking to cement themselves as a giant in Dutch football and, while they are yet to make a strong bid for the league title, they have become a team capable of challenging for European places. While they are still without a win after three games, having picked up just one point across their clashes with Ajax, Cambuur and PEC Zwolle.
As the Arnhem club have been sloppy and wasteful in attack and have given a way a lot of chances defensively, PSV will be confident of taking all three points from the meeting in Eindhoven. Memphis Depay has been an absolute star in every game he has played this term, while Luciano Narsingh showed last week against Ajax that he should be the first choice right winger.
With their speed and attacking potency, Phillip Cocu’s men should see this one through while Peter Bosz’s worries in Arnhem are set to continue.
FC Groningen – Ajax: Ajax face tough farmer pie with a Chery on top
The Champions travel up north to the Euroborg on Sunday to play the Trots van Het Noorden, with whom, they are actually tied on points in the league table. Both teams started with two wins and then dropped all three points last weekend, Ajax to fellow title rivals PSV while Groningen were dismantled by ADO Den Haag.
As far as the home team go, they have had a pretty decent start to the season, though there is still a relatively lax attitude on field – which is ultimately what cost them last weekend. The keeper trade-off between Groningen and Genk involving Sergio Padt and Marco Bizot has not turned out the most shrewd piece of business so far as neither has hit the ground running with their respective new clubs. Someone who has is 26 year old midfielder Tjaronn Chery, who already has 2 goals to his name from the opening three matches and he will be looking to add to that this weekend.
On to Ajax, who were dealt a severe blow last weekend when PSV finished them off effectively and efficiently. This is a comparatively better start to their campaign than in recent seasons, dealing with the loss of key players, but the Ajax defence has looked extremely shaky and vulnerable on the counter in all three of their matches so far, which is something that the Green and White Army should be looking to exploit. At the other end though, there has been a consistent threat to the opposition goal in the form of Lasse Schone, whose has picked up where he left off last season, joined by the exciting young revelation of Anwar El Ghazi (who just 3 appearances into his professional career already has 2 goals and an assist to his name).
Daley Blind also returns to Groningen, where he was sent on loan, as rumours from England persist over the interest of Man Utd. A few years back, not many Groningen supporters would’ve thought that the skinny young left back who was nearly sold to them would go on to be chased by a top European club – ‘chased’, as the English rumour mill says of course.
Ajax are yet to lose in the last 5 competitive meetings with Groningen, though the last time Groningen won against them, was at the Euroborg Ajax’s main man Lasse Schone also has a certain liking for Groningen, having scored 4 times and assisted 3 times in 11 matches against them over the course of his time in the Eredivisie.
Both teams will be looking to put last week’s respective defeats behind them and rack up points again, but will van der Looi outsmart history-chasing Frank de Boer?
NAC Breda – PEC Zwolle: PEC’s run broken, can NAC kick one off?
The magic of Ron Jans has done wonders within Dutch borders for PEC Zwolle, but against Sparta in Prague it became apparent that these powers do not extend beyond those borders. A 3-1 defeat blocked PEC’s path to the Europa League group stages but only three days after that disappointment, normal service resumes as the Blauwvingers take on NAC Breda. NAC are very much Tighadependent as Adnane Tighadouini has been responsible for all three Eredivisie goals so far. The club from Breda have not tasted victory in a while and in a disappointed and exhausted PEC they might have the right opponent to break their duck for the season.
About breaking ducks: PEC striker Tomas Necid and NAC striker Kingsley Boateng still haven’t had their first goal for their respective clubs, despite impressing on occasion. Could it be the time for the pair to open their account? On behalf of the neutral we certainly hope so.
FC Twente – Feyenoord: Ziyech ready to make his mark against a former flirt
After turning down Feyenoord in order to join FC Twente last week, Hakim Ziyech is in for some abuse from the Rotterdam faithful when they arrive at De Grolsch Veste on Sunday.
Ziyech, though, could have the last laugh once again, just like he did two weeks ago when he smashed a free kick past Erwin Mulder to give Heerenveen the lead in a 1-1 draw in De Kuip. The 21-year-old could make the difference for his new side as he steps in to replace Dusan Tadic and link up with Luc Castaignos. Feyenoord’s defeat to Utrecht last week in Rotterdam came as a huge surprise as they passed up a lot of chances before surrendering the lead and eventually going behind.
While there are a lot of weaknesses in Fred Rutten’s side, it is the Tukkers who should be more worried about Sunday’s game as they head into it having failed to win a single match in the league and with the disappointment of crashing out of the Europa League in midweek.
Looking to bounce back, Twente will be confident of getting all three points from the meeting against a wasteful Feyenoord and Ziyech will be looking to show he made the right decision to go to Enschede.