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Dutch Eredivisie Preview

Week 7 of the Eredivisie sees PSV lead the standings by a single point as they host Willem this weekend.
Week 7 of the Eredivisie sees PSV lead the way by one point as they host Willem this weekend.
There were some easy matches to call in the previous round with PSV Eindhoven knocking Feyenoord out of the top spot. AZ Alkmaar, who were expected to make an easy meal of Excelsior, were beaten 2-0 much to everyone’s surprise.

In another shock result of the season, Breda handed the defending champions Feyenoord their first defeat of the season. Will the big sides bounce back this week?  Here are my predictions:

Friday 29 September

17/20 FC Twente | Draw 11/4 | Heracles 29/10 (20:00)

Twente continue to struggle this season and they now find themselves in relegation dogfight. They’re third from the bottom with five defeats and one win in six matches. When they drubbed Utrecht 4-0 two weeks ago, everyone thought they had turned the corner but they lost 1-0 at Groningen this past weekend. Heracles keep fluctuating this season, they won their first match since the opening day last week when they overcame bottom-placed Roda 2-1. This means they have two draws, two wins and two loses. Heracles have been inconsistent but Twente have been poor, so back the visitors.

Saturday 30 September

5/4 NAC Breda | 23/10 | ADO Den Haag 21/10 (18:30)

After failing to record a single win in their first four outings, Breda have won their previous two matches running to climb to 13th spot. Last week’s 2-0 victory over the defending champions Feyenoord is more than a statement to other big teams who may take them lightly. Den Haag have now turned their fortunes around. After losing their first three games, they followed that up by staying undefeated in the next three. A period in which they amassed an impressive seven out of a possible nine points. Picking a winner here would be a tough task but I’m confident both teams will score, get on at 13/20.

11/10 PEC Zwolle | 5/2 | Groningen 22/10 (19:45)

Zwolle lie sixth on the standings with three wins in six matches. Last week they relinquished their 1-0 first half lead at Venlo to draw the match 1-1. Clint Leemans’ thunderous free-kick which the team could do little to stop cancelled out the visitors’ Kingsley Ehizibue’s first-half strike. Groningen are one of the most inconsistent teams in the league. Their record stands at two wins, two draws and two defeats. Having conceded 10 goals in such a small amount of games highlights their defensive shortcomings. Both Teams to Score is tipped at 5/10.

2/11 PSV Eindhoven | 57/10 | Willem II 25/2 (19:45)

PSV are currently the log leaders and they look unstoppable at the moment with the 7-1 rout of Utrecht still one of the most talked about events of the past weekend. Jurgen Locadia found the back of the net on four occasions in the goal fest. Willem have only collected three out of a possible 18 points this season and they are second from bottom on the standings. Their only win came against bottom-placed Roda. Tricolores have conceded 14 and only scored six goals so far. PSV on the (-1) Handicap at 5/10 is what I’m putting my money on.

13/10 Excelsior | 23/10 | VVV-Venlo 2/1 (20:45)

Excelsior dished out some spectacular football last week against AZ who are among the league title contenders, beating them 2-0 in their own backyard. Both goals came from penalties but the team made their own luck by keeping their opponents on the back foot and forcing those errors out of them. Venlo have drawn all their previous three games 1-1 and that should show they’re content with being a mid-table side that is happy with a point than risking to lose all three. They’ll be wary of Excelsior who come into this match off the back of a remarkable win over the defending champions. Current form and home-ground advantage favours Excelsior, so why not back them?

Sunday 1 October

2/1 AZ Alkmaar | 49/20 | Feyenoord 5/4 (12:30)

The current league’s leading goalscorer Wout Weghorst belongs to AZ and he has stood head and shoulders for the team. They, however, suffered a huge setback last week when Excelsior gave them a shock of their lives. They go toe-to-toe with another wounded giant. Feyenoord have uncharacteristically lost back-to-back matches and this will be a very tough task for them against other league title contenders.  It’s a test of talent and character. I think the visitors will throw caution to the wind and that will help them edge the hosts.

38/10 Heerenveen | 3/1 | Ajax 13/20 (14:30)

Heerenveen are the only undefeated side in the Eredivisie with four wins and two draws. They lie second on the log with only one point being the difference between them and the summit. They come into this one off the back of four consecutive wins. By their standards, Ajax have had a modest start to the campaign. They now find themselves in seventh place. Last week’s 2-1 loss at home to Vitesse once again magnified their inability to hold their own against the big guns this season. I say Heerenveen win this one convincingly.

23/20 Vitesse | 49/20 | FC Utrecht 43/20 (14:30)

Vitesse are currently third on the log and they are a team oozing with confidence after their emphatic 2-1 win away at Ajax last week. They will be hoping to capitalize on Utrecht’s low confidence after that 7-1 drubbing they suffered against PSV. Utrecht will be hoping to bounce back from that 7-1 embarrassment. They are without midfielder Zakaria Labyad who got sent off towards the end of the previous game. I reckon this will be an easy victory for Vitesse.

17/20 Sparta Rotterdam | 51/20| Roda JC 31/10 (16:45)

Sparta Rotterdam have been struggling this season but they will be hoping to collect all three points against a team that has lost all its first six games. The Castle Lords have only managed one win and two draws so far and they are just above the relegation zone. Roda are the whipping boys of the league, having lost all their matches played. They need something extraordinary. I foresee Sparta winning this one.

TREBLE @ 11/1
PSV (-1) Handicap 5/10
Heracles Win 29/10
Vitesse Win 23/20

Written by Benedict Ngwenya