Willem II v Telstar
In the third round of the Dutch Eerste Divisie, Willem II might get one of the easiest games of the season, home against Telstar. Willem II has had a false start in their return to the second division with a draw against Jong PSV and a defeat at the hands of FC Eindhoven, but the club hit the transfer market and signed Michael de Leeuw. The striker has always been a quality player for any team from the bottom half of the top flight, at 35 years old he still looks, but FC Groningen wanted to get rid of him.
De Leeuw started his career at Willem II, so decided to return to his old home and Willem II can use his goals and experience to get back to winning ways. Telstar finished close to bottom in the majority of the last ten seasons and last season was no different with a 19th position. They don’t really have money and don’t look like they have any exciting players coming up this season, so there is little reason to believe they’d improve much on that 19th spot. The 5-0 home defeat against PEC Zwolle last Friday only proved that.
They couldn’t do it at home to PEC Zwolle, so I have no faith in them getting even close to a result away at Willem II, that’s why I’d put my money on the home side.
MVV Maastricht v ADO Den Haag
ADO Den Haag has had an absolutely shocking start to the season, but it wasn’t entirely unexpected. The club just missed out on promotion last season, losing to Excelsior in the deciding penalties of the play-off final. ADO didn’t want to continue with extravagant manager Giovanni Franken and signed former Liverpool winger Dirk Kuyt to guide them back to the top flight, but it seemed a risky choice as Kuyt’s reputation as a manager had already taken some hits before he even started.
ADO gave him the job anyway, and the start has been awful. In the opening game of the season, ADO were 4-0 down at half-time to Heracles Almelo and despite creating more chances than FC Den Bosch in the second game, they stayed empty-handed in their own stadium. After that match, Kuyt publicly criticised his own players and that can’t be good for motivation.
MVV could be looking at a bottom of the table season again, but they surprised by claiming a decent victory over NAC Breda last game. Since manager Maurice Verberne took over at the end of last season, they’ve performed well, play attacking football and they’ve claimed more points than expected, so I think they can push ADO and Kuyt even further into trouble. I don’t see them as the clear favourites either, so I’d go on the double chance.
Helmond Sport v FC Eindhoven
Helmond Sport didn’t start the season that well with two defeats from the first two games, but that has been a bit harsh, because in both matches they doubled the opponent’s xG. In other words, they do create the chances, play relatively well, but struggle to convert. Manager Sven Swinnen wants to play attacking football with the ambitious club and though his football looks good, the results haven’t gone his way yet. With Martijn Kaars as number nine, they should have the quality up front, so I suspect it’ll only be a matter of time before the goals will come.
FC Eindhoven claimed six points from the first two games and continued where they left off last season, with winning. Their defence looks steady, and despite losing two important attacking players with Joey Sleegers and Charles-Andreas Brym, the goals haven’t dried up. In fact, the talented Feyenoord loanee Naoufal Bannis has flawlessly taken that role. Eindhoven are already on five goals and their xG suggests that isn’t flattered.
With two teams facing each other who play good positive football and create the chances, I suspect there will be plenty of goals. Especially when Helmond Sport finally start finishing their chances.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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