Eredivisie Week 11 Preview: Five things to look out for
Alfred Finnbogason to finally get his first Eredivisie hat-trick – Michiel Jongsma
After a smashing first season (24 league goals) and an impressive 13 goal return from nine competitive matches, it’s time that Alfred Finnbogason finally rewards himself with that one thing a striker is always craving for: a hat-trick. And who else to score one against
then N.E.C.? A side who have failed to win any of their last 20 (!) league games and have conceded 29 in their first ten games this season. It took former ‘Eredivisie superstriker without a hat-trick’ Graziano Pelle a while to get the monkey of his back, but after he succeeded in that this season, he promptly scored another.
Finnbogason has been a flood of goals ever since he joined the Eredivisie and in the Netherlands there is no doubt about who’s the best striker from Iceland and at BeNeFoot, we’re astounded at the fact that he’s a substitute for his country. The perception that Kolbeinn Sigthorsson of Ajax is the better striker has only been enhanced lately by a piece in The Herald in Scotland stating Sigthorsson is a ‘potential world beater’ and Iain Macintosh said on Guardian’s Football Weekly that he liked that Icelandic striker from the Eredivisie (Foffosnon), which in the end turned out to be a reference to the Ajax frontman. It probably isn’t so much an ‘unappreciation’ of Finnbogason, but rather just not knowing of his existence. But a striker trained and praised by Marco van Basten scoring 35 league goals in 39 games is not one to be sniffed at. We believe he is of a different class. All he needs is a way to alert others of that.
One other Eredivisie striker in a shirt of red lilies and blue stripes fixed that by putting seven past an opponent earlier in Afonso Alves*. Maybe that is a bit much to ask, but a hat-trick to start with would be fitting.
*Disclaimer: Finnbogason is no Alves. He is way better. We love him. Xx BeNeFoot
At least one game to have six or more goals – Peter McVitie
There have been an incredible 17 games in the Eredivisie this season to have seen six or more goals scored in them. After only ten rounds of fixtures, that’s incredibly high. Just as surprising is that there have been five matches which have ended 3-3.
Averaging almost two per round, you can get there will be at least one game this weekend which will have six or more in them.
The problem, however, is choosing which one it’s going to be!
The joint best attack in the league with the deadliest striker travels to meet the worst defence in the league this evening as NEC host Heerenveen. Ajax, who have won all five of their home games in the Dutch top flight so far, welcome RKC to the Amsterdam Arena. Erwin Koeman’s team have picked up one point from their last eight games and are yet to win away from home. Both of those matches could be absolute trouncings. Frank de Boer’s team are strong enough to smash a few past RKC in a similar way to that which they did against Go Ahead Eagles (6-0). Heerenveen’s Alfred Finnbogason is in good enough form and potent enough to smash six past a flimsy NEC defence alone.
Other than that, the tight matches of Vitesse v Groningen and Zwolle v AZ, also have the potential to be goalfests and of course Twente could give ADO an absolute drubbing in Den Haag.
The ‘mathematical’ top games to be the highlights of the weekend – Michiel Jongsma
When you look at a game between third and eighth in the league on one hand and between sixth and seventh on the other, it hardly sounds exciting. But when you see it as encounters between a team only one point behind the league leaders against one that is a further two behind and a clash between two teams who are both only two points behind the top team, it all sounds rather enticing.
PEC Zwolle v AZ and Vitesse v FC Groningen are two games between four teams that have impressed in their own way and are vying for that role as dark horse in this year’s title race. They are all still looking to establish themselves and have some exquisite footballers to look out for. PEC has Mateusz
Klich, who gave four assists against ADO last weekend, AZ have Icelandic-turned-American striker phenomenon Aron Johannsson, Vitesse’s Lucas Piazon is justifying the hype as the new Kaka by scoring five goals in his first eight appearances and FC Groningen’s Filip Kostic has been mesmerizing on the left wing, attempting and completing more dribbles than every other player in the league.
While Ajax and Feyenoord are facing unfair battles (in their favour) against RKC Waalwijk and Heracles Almelo and with PSV looking quite drab at the moment visiting Roda JC, the encounters between these Europa League spot contenders could well be the ones most worth watching. Both in entertainment and in level of play.
PSV to be knocked out the top five – Peter McVitie
It’s a long shot, but it’s entirely possible. Phillip Cocu’s men have won only one of their five games away from home and they could slip up once again when they face Roda. Karim Rekik, Jeroen Zoet, Georginio Wijnaldum and Park Ji-Sung are all out, while Roda have no key players missing.
The Eindhoven giants were abysmal against Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday night’s Europa League fixture, which was one of the dullest games one is ever likely to see.
Roda’s Krisztian Nemeth has been on fire so far this year, scoring five goals and getting two assists in the ten games he has played so far this year – a very good record for a modest team like Roda.
PSV, though, have lost a bit of momentum already this season. After winning their first three games of the campaign, they have won only two in the matches since then, a very poor record in a run of games which saw them stumble to Groningen, AZ, Heracles, Cambuur and Twente.
If they drop points to Ruud Brood’s team this weekend, they will fall out of the league’s top five teams if Ajax and Feyenoord both win and Zwolle v AZ and Vitesse v Groningen don’t end in draws, which is a possibility.
ADO to feel less at home with their new artificial pitch – Michiel Jongsma
ADO Den Haag is a club of the people. A club of hard working people. And a club with a team that tend to embody that. Passionate, technically not the most proficient, but always with heart. And on those merits they tend to grind out results. And now, due to problems after a relay of the field, it is a club with an artificial pitch.
Clubs in the Eredivisie with an artificial pitch: PEC Zwolle (ooh that’s a sweet team to watch, Ron Jans propagating silky smooth football there) and Heracles Almelo (their last two managers were Gertjan Verbeek and Peter Bosz, need I say more?).
ADO isn’t made for this kind of pitch. They got hammered on it last week 6-1 by PEC Zwolle. This will be the first home game for them on it and it’s against FC Twente, a side with footballers like Dusan Tadic and Felipe Gutierrez. In previous home encounters against better teams, a combination of determination and not having a pitch even like a billiards room would enable the Den Haag club to actually get a result. The last home game they played was a good example of that. In that game, they beat Vitesse 2-1 and it was a deserved victory against a better team on a dreadful pitch. This time, it will probably turn out a deserved loss against a better team on a better pitch. And to make things worse, around 10 home games against better teams on that better pitch. Oof.