Eredivisie Week 14 Preview: Five things we expect this weekend
NEC to lift themselves off of the bottom – Peter McVitie
As Anton Janssen’s NEC continue to show signs of improvement, they have a golden opportunity to lift themselves off of the bottom spot this weekend.
They picked up their first win of the season only a month ago and have since drawn level on points with second bottom club RKC. They are looking much brighter now and remain with a great chance of emerging from this dark period and ensuring they avoid relegation this season.
With the exception of Samuel Stefanik, Janssen has a full team to choose from and he will fancy his chances of getting a second win of the campaign as his side prepare to face Cambuur. Dwight Lodeweges’ team have lost all but one of their last six matches and are without Erik Bakker and Michiel Hemmen as well as Mart Dijkstra.
The Waalwijk club meet Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord this weekend and it’s very difficult to see Erwin Koeman come out on top in the clash against his brother.
In order to lift themselves off of the bottom spot, NEC must better the result of RKC. A victory over Cambuur will see them go level on points with the Leeuwarden side and put them in a much better position to stay in the Dutch top flight for at least another season.
The top six to win their games – Michiel Jongsma
The only thing predictable about the Eredivisie so far is that a surprise can come from anywhere, but we think it’s about time the league settles down and becomes a bit more sensible. And if there’s ever a weekend to do so it is this one. League leaders Vitesse have an away match at Go Ahead Eagles (more on that later) that is very winnable, especially considering they are on a high, AZ are on good form and can be expected to beat Roda JC, Ajax always enjoy themselves against Heracles so for the top three it’s a pretty straightforward set of games. Add to that an FC Groningen side that is unbeaten at home and will host PEC Zwolle, a side without their main creative threat Mateusz Klich and captain Bram van Polen, FC Twente creating chances at will anyway should finally be able to seize on that versus NAC Breda and Feyenoord with a returning Pellè visiting poor RKC Waalwijk and we can see the top six doing what they’re supposed to do: Win their game.
Go Ahead Eagles – Vitesse to be the highscoring affair of the weekend – Michiel Jongsma
Over at BeNeFoot, we have our darlings. Alfred Finnbogason, Graziano Pellè, Lucas Piazon, Virgil van Dijk and Dico Koppers to name a few. Another is Peter Bosz. If there is one manager in the Eredivisie that likes some good old attractive football it is the former Feyenoord midfielder. As a player, he was a curly hard-tackling midfielder, but ever since he lost the hair, he’s preaching positive football. It’s no surprise that his boys have been banging quite some shots on goal too, 100 to be exact, the highest in the league. Bosz is also very much a man who likes a high defensive line and it seems to be working well for them, but it can leave you rather exposed at the back. Go Ahead Eagles have two pacy wingers in Houtkoop and Antonia and they look like players capable of exploiting that space. This game could well be ‘Goals Ahead at Grande Vitesse’. For those not appreciating the terrible mis-use of language there: We expect a lot of goals.
Graziano Pellè to return with a bang – Michiel Jongsma
Oh how Feyenoord missed you, you Italian superstriker. In reality, it wasn’t all that bad, as a Pellè-less Feyenoord managed to win in the Cup against Dordrecht, beat Cambuur at their home turf and were unlucky to draw against AZ in their own Kuip, but Pellè will definitely add a little bit of extra flair to the Feyenoord team and while the three week break gave him a chance to set up all kinds of things (a twitter account and a book concept among those), he’ll be eager to show his supporters what they have been missing. RKC is not known for having the best defence in the world and Pellè has been very prolific so far this season, bagging two hattricks already. A third one wouldn’t surprise us. Hide your women and kids, Waalwijk people, the captain’s got something to prove.
PSV to continue their struggle – Michiel Jongsma
After a promising start to the season, PSV have been in terrible form recently. They are now on a four-match streak without a win in the league and we’re expecting them to make it five, something that hasn’t happened since 1985. SC Heerenveen always seem good for a few goals, as the Frisians are the high scoring side in the league. With a striker like Finnbogason the latter is hardly a surprise and the void left by Djuricic (who left for Benfica) has been filled by Hakim Ziyech. PSV meanwhile have had a striker problem for the last few seasons and with Matavz out until the winter break, they are forced to rely on Jurgen Locadia. Locadia is not a bad striker, but the youngster is struggling to get his shots away, something illustrated by a mere six shots so far this season in over 300 minutes. Add to that the lack of form of wonderkid Adam Maher and Ola Toivonen often looking more disinterested than sharp and all of a sudden PSV are very reliant on young wingers Bakkali and Depay. They have impressed for the Eindhovenaren, but not yet til an extent that will see them win games on their own. The aforementioned duo of Ziyech and Finnbogason have done exactly that, so we don’t expect anything more than a draw for PSV in this game. (*Note: Finnbogason is injured and won’t play, but we stand by our statement. Slagveer, make it happen)