Eredivisie preview week 15: Five things we expect to see
PSV’s woes to continue
Having collected only five points from their last seven league matches, PSV are in worryingly poor form, sparking calls that the Eindhoven giants are in crisis. Furthermore, apart from their 3-2 victory
in Den Haag on matchday one, Phillip Cocu’s men haven’t won a game away from home. This week’s opponents, Feyenoord, on the other hand, are looking a bit sharper. Despite their defeat to RKC last week, they were unlucky to only get a share of the spoils when they welcomed AZ to De Kuip earlier this month.The Rotterdam side sit only one point above their Eindhoven counterparts, but they are much more potent in attack with a front three which consists of Jean-Paul Boetius, Ruben Schaken and star striker Graziano Pelle. Conversely, PSV have scored only seven in their last seven games and have been struggling to get into good goalscoring positions.
Ronald Koeman’s first two choices for the left-back spot, Miquel Nelom and Bruno Martins Indi, are doubts for this clash, but other than that they have a full squad. PSV, on the other hand, are still without Tim Matavz, Giorginio Wijnaldum and Park Ji-Sung, while Jetro Willems is also doubtful.
PSV have had a terrible few months in the league of late and it looks like this horrendous run is going to continue for at least another week as Feyenoord look the better (albeit slightly) side heading into this fiery affair.
NAC Breda and FC Groningen to exorcise some of their demons
In this week’s Sidekick TV, a stats based online show of Fox Sports, two stats on two of the available players for both sides were highlighted as they were fairly unique. One of which was on Anouar Hadouir. The Dutch-Moroccan winger has scored nine goals against FC Groningen in the Eredivisie so far from sixteen appearances, while he has never scored more than three against any other team. To put that in perspective: His goal average is 0.56 versus FC Groningen (9/16) while it’s 0.13 (29/221) against the other opponents. ODD! STRANGE! WHAT DOES ANOUAR PUT IN HIS WATER BEFORE HE FACES THE GREEN WHITE ARMY?!* The same can be asked about Rasmus Lindgren. The Swedish midfielder is not expected to start against NAC, but he did score two of his last three league goals against the Bredanaren and NAC (3) is the only team against who he has scored more than one goal. To top it off, the Swede is unbeaten in eleven games against NAC, while NAC have been on a six-game running sequence of WLWLWL. But it’s been five years since NAC beat FC Groningen on home-soil for the last time and the Groningers are the team to beat at the moment (six games unbeaten). What’s going to happen?
Vitesse to have a delightful match round
Whereas Eredivisie’s fifth-placed team have a fairly tough away trip to Breda planned, AZ visit the tricky ground of N.E.C. Nijmegen, FC Twente have a long trip to Kerkrade planned for the Friday and Ajax are on such a high after beating Barcelona that dropping points at ADO Den Haag would just be the thing for them to do. Vitesse meanwhile, the proud league leaders, host SC Cambuur ‘Goals Are Overrated’ Leeuwarden and in that respect they are the exact opposite of Vitesse-boss Peter Bosz. We fully expect Vitesse to take advantage of the lack of goalscoring ability of Cambuur and we can’t see all of the chasing pack pick up a result this weekend, so we expect Vitesse to enter December with a smile on its face.
PEC Zwolle to score two or more
Oh how we loved the start of lovable manager Ron Jans and his PEC boys. ‘The boys are PEC in town’, a banner read during the PEC Zwolle – Feyenoord season opener and damn right they were. A 2-1 victory kicked off a great start to the season. But the wheels have come off a bit. Of the last ten Eredivisie games, only one was won and that was partly due to a comic appearance by the ADO Den
Haag reserve-keeper (who was forced to come on) Martijn de Zwart. The six draws and three losses aren’t the true worry for Ron Jans at the moment though. It’s the fact that the ADO clash was the only game in this sequence in which they have scored more than one goal. That Diederik Boer was the man of the match against FC Groningen last week isn’t exactly comforting either. Ron Jans admitted it was the first time so far he was happy with a draw. With the attack not scoring and the defence giving up more and more chances to the opposition, it is time for PEC to get a few goals on the board again to build up confidence.
Another defeat for Utrecht
Away from home, Utrecht are absolutely dire. So far this season they have collected one point from their seven games away from home, scoring three goals and conceding an incredible 19. This weekend sees Jan Wouters’ team travel to Almelo to face Heracles, where we expect them to pick up a seventh defeat on the road.
Utrecht arrive in the Polman Stadion without captain Mark van der Maarel, who is suspended, while Willem Janssen, Cedric van der Gun and Jacob Mulenga are all out injured. Heracles, on the other hand, are missing only Milano Koenders and Mike re Wierik, although Leon van Dijk is also missing, but is in no way an integral player.
Heracles are looking to recover from their 3-0 defeat last weekend to Ajax as they look to crawl away from the relegation playoff spots. Although home advantage doesn’t count for much when it comes to Jan de Jonge’s team, the results from Utrecht’s last six games read lose, win, lose, win, lose win, and we expect them to continue that pattern this week with another loss on the road.
*Disclaimer: This is in no way a suggestion that Anouar Hadouir uses doping or whatever. He is just always ridiculously good against the Groningen boys.
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