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Dutch Eredivisie Preview

Vitesse, Ajax and Utrecht all recorded vital wins to stay within touching distance of the top spot last weekend.
Gameweek 5 of the Eredivisie kicks off on Friday night. Check out our preview and predictions!
The Dutch Eredivisie wasn’t too tough to call last week as the defending champions, Feyenoord managed to maintain their place at the summit of the standings. Vitesse, Ajax and Utrecht all recorded vital wins to stay within touching distance of the top spot.

On the wrong end of the table, three teams that have recorded four straight loses – Willem II, Roda and FC Twente – are finding life hard in the Netherlands’ elite league. Will they manage to turn their fortunes around this week? Let’s take a close look.

Friday 15 September

24/10 Sparta Rotterdam | Draw 51/20 | AZ Alkmaar 21/20 (20:00)

Sparta Rotterdam find themselves lying 12th on the log after four rounds of action. The team that finished just above the drop zone last season has managed one win, two draws and one defeat. One has to also note that their only win this season came against bottom-placed Willem II. AZ are enjoying an impressive run of three wins on the bounce. Last week they beat struggling Breda 2-1 to remain in the top six. Interesting to note that they have handed Vitesse their only defeat this season, which shows that they can compete with anyone on their day. I’m expecting the visitors to walk away with maximum points.

Saturday 16 September

43/20 Excelsior | 49/20 | Heerenveen 23/20 (18:30)

Excelsior have been too inconsistent this season, winning their opening match, only two lose twice and draw once in their following three fixtures. Earlier signs indicate there will be not much of an improvement from their last week’s 12th place finish as they currently lie 13th. Heerenveen are one of the teams that are still unbeaten this season as they have registered two wins and two draws. Last week’s 2-0 win over PSV must be a warning sign to other teams at the top of the table. Hans Vonk’s former team go into this match as favourites due to form, pedigree and log placement. Back Heerenveen for a victory away from home.

39/20 NAC Breda | 47/20 | FC Groningen 13/10 (19:45)

Newly-promoted Breda are winless in four games, having collected one point out of a possible 12. They have conceded a whopping 12 goals and only found the back of net on five occasions. They have scored in every single match they have played this season but they have let in a lot of goals as well. Groningen have also scored in every one of their four matches but they have only won once. The other three matches have only produced two points as they drew two and lost the other one. Last week they put up a strong fight to share spoils with Venlo who started the season like a house on fire, winning back-to-back games. I’m tipping Both Teams to Score at 11/20.

5/4 Roda JC | 47/20 | Willem II 21/10 (19:45)

This is a bottom of the table clash with two teams which have been the league’s punching bags going head to head. Roda are second from the bottom, losing all four of their matches. They have conceded 11 goals and scored three so far this season. Willem II has an almost identical record having also lost their opening four matches. They have conceded a whopping 11 goals and only managed to score two. Having finished 13th on the standings last season, they seem to have regressed drastically and they might fancy their chances against a team that is at their level. Tough one to call but I think Roda have a slight psychological edge and they might triumph.

8/10 PEC Zwolle | 28/10 | Heracles 3/1 (20:45)

Zwolle will be looking to return to winning ways after suffering a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Ajax last week. Before the defeat they were on a three-match unbeaten run in which they recorded one draw and two wins. Their performances show that they are good enough to stay in the elite league but they lack quality to hold their own against the big guns. Heracles are one spot below their opponents and they will be looking to leapfrog them into ninth place and the only way to do that is by beating them. Heracles are another team that will be looking to bounce back after succumbing 4-2 to the log leaders and defending champions, Feyenoord last week. This will be a tight encounter, just back Both Teams to Score at 5/10.

Sunday 17 September

17/2 ADO Den Haag | 47/10 | Ajax 1/4 (14:30)

Den Haag have finally enjoyed their first victory of the season after edging bottom-placed Willem II. The win came off the back of three consecutive defeats. They are now facing another stern test against last season’s runners up who currently lie third. After losing their season opener, Ajax have managed to turn their fortunes around and win their following three matches on the trot. Last week they produced an impressive, solid performance – clobbering Zwolle 3-0. Take Ajax on the (-1) Handicap at 7/10.

22/10 FC Twente | 5/2 | FC Utrecht 23/20 (14:30)

Twente are languishing on the wrong side of the table with zero points after four matches. Nothing seems to be going their way as they lost 1-0 to Sparta Rotterdam last week and now find themselves placed third from bottom. Utrecht have been very impressive this season, amassing a total of nine points out of a possible 12. They have shown no mercy to the bottom of the table sides, having brushed aside Den Haag, Roda and Willem. I’m tipping Utrecht to win this one.

21/20 PSV Eindhoven | 51/20 | Feyenoord 23/10 (16:45)

This is surely the pick of Eredivisie fixtures this weekend as high-flying Feyenoord visit PSV who have only tasted defeat once. If PSV win this six-pointer they will match their opponents on points and the result will have a serious impact on title repercussions. Other teams at the top of the table will also keep their eyes on this one. Feyenoord’s task is simple, avoid a defeat and keep the distance the same. A draw would guarantee them a spot at the top of the table by the end of the round while a win would see them open up a bigger gap on their rivals. This will be a tough match and I foresee Both Teams to Score at 6/10, as these sides have both found the back of the net in each of their opening four matches.

13/20 Vitesse | 3/1 | VVV-Venlo 36/10 (16:45)

Vitesse have started the season brilliantly, finding themselves second on the table four matches into the new campaign. Their scintillating 3-0 victory over Excelsior last week shows that they mean business and want to improve on last season’s fifth place finish. Venlo have had a modest start to the season with two wins, one draw and one defeat. Their defeat came against a great Ajax side. Last week they showed a great deal of fighting spirit as substitute, Kelechi Nwakali scored in injury time to salvage a point against Groningen. My money’s on the home win.

Feyenoord Win 9/20
Vitesse Win 23/20
ADO Den Haag Win 47/20

Ajax (-1) Handicap 7/10
FC Utrecht 23/20
Vitesse 13/20

Written by Benedict Ngwenya