Eredivisie week 2 preview: Clashes, derbies and loads of possible league leaders
The Bundesliga starts tonight and so does Ligue 1. The Premier League is still a week away from waking up from their summer sleep, Serie A will follow later and La Liga too. Lazy bastards. In the Eredivisie, things have already kicked off and it’s exciting as ever! On Friday, Cambuur will try and continue their unbeaten streak in Eredivisie after not losing for five games in a row. Four of those games came from the 99/00 season though, in which they were relegated nonetheless. On the other hand, a thirteen year unbeaten streak in a league is one hell of a feat. Last Sunday, they kept NAC at bay in a goalless draw. Roda JC will be looking to put that to hold when the Leeuwarden club comes for a visit. Roda JC is not on an unbeaten streak. Hell, they lost last week and quite comprehensively too against reigning champions Ajax (3-0). They missed some chances in the second half, even missing a penalty and without scoring, you can’t win matches so that is something they need to improve on. If Roda JC win with a six goal difference or more, they go top for at least one day. Cambuur just need a win for that. Both are rather unlikely though.
The next day, Heracles and PEC Zwolle engage in a regional derby, with both clubs being from Overijssel. Where PEC Zwolle are seemingly enjoying life under their new manager Ron Jans after opening the season with a deserved 2-1 victory over Feyenoord, Heracles are not really in the party mood yet. A 3-1 loss at Vitesse wasn’t the start Jan de Jonge was hoping for, but a win against Zwolle would probably get him going. Not in a ‘wearing party hats’ vibe perhaps, but still. PEC Zwolle could grab top spot for at least an hour with a win and that’s something the Blauwvingers would cherish.
Heerenveen impressed against AZ last week, winning 4-2 and the big man was Alfred Finnbogason. With two goals and two assists, the Icelandic striker has put himself further in the shopping window. Marco van Basten will enjoy his company while it lasts and with his men facing NAC, another couple of goals or assists from ‘Bogie’ would be more than welcome. NAC were disappointing against Cambuur, but in front of their own fanatic crowd, they’ll be eager to set the record straight. Heerenveen can go top if, and NAC if, if, etcetera. The same goes for Go Ahead Eagles, who after a 17 year absence at the highest level have their first home game in the Eredivisie for a very, very long time. ADO Den Haag will be the guests and while ADO came close to giving PSV a hard time (2-3), this should be a winnable game for the Eagles, who impressed at FC Utrecht (1-1).
The first serious title contender of the lot finishes of the Saturday. PSV will face NEC, who looked awful last week in their 1-4 home defeat against FC Groningen. PSV meanwhile look fresh and funky and their progression to the final preliminaries of the Champions League (5-0 aggregate against Zulte) will have boosted their confidence. The flank boys Depay and Bakkali have been mightily impressive and Stijn Schaars has replaced Strootman in midfield without any fuss. NEC are not likely to enjoy the trip. PSV supporters on hard drugs probably will.
Feyenoord will host FC Twente early on the Sunday and as they don’t seem to have a Plan B, they are relying on Plan A to do the works for them. Pelle was nowhere to be seen against PEC Zwolle and Feyenoord instantly looked toothless. One side that looked even more toothless in the first match round was FC Twente. The 0-0 home draw against RKC was testament to it. Both sides are expected to finish near the top of the table, it’s time for them to show why.
A side that is at the top of the table at the moment is FC Groningen and the writer of this piece can’t tell you enough how much he likes saying that. FC Groningen are top. FC Utrecht will be visiting in Euroborg and it’s safe to say that the Domstad club looked shakey last week. FC Groningen meanwhile will try to consume their new-found confidence and extend their stay at the top with another week. In order to do so, they at least need to fend off Ajax, who will be facing AZ in the Noord Holland derby. Ajax looked impressive against Roda, but had a vulnerable spell. AZ and Ajax met up earlier for the Johan Cruijff Schaal (3-2 for Ajax after E.T.) and this could be a tight one as well.
RKC Waalwijk and FC Utrecht close off the weekend and both didn’t really enjoy their opening game despite not losing. RKC looked dodgy against FC Twente (0-0) and FC Utrecht were lucky to get away with a draw against Go Ahead after dominating the first half, but completely imploding in the second (1-1).
All in all, a thrilling weekend of football ahead. Eredivisie, yeah!