MVV Maastricht v Helmond Sport
There are seven matches in the Eerste Divisie this Friday and we start with the biggest surprise of this season, MVV Maastricht. MVV has been playing well all season and it brought them to second place after 13 games. They have been one of the most stable teams of the second division this season. They are playing a carefully crafted style, playing out from the back and trying to avoid the long ball at all times. It started from the moment that Maurice Verberne took over towards the end of last season and got even better this season on a direct play-off spot.
Away at PEC last week they were mostly on the back foot, but one decent attack that flew in was enough to take the victory. The defence has been solid last month and they only conceded more than one goal in the cup match against top flight side Excelsior.
Helmond Sport are starting a new chapter, they sacked manager Sven Swinnen last week and the group immediately responded. Under interim-manager Tim Bakens, who is on his first ever managing job at a professional side, they claimed a victory over ADO Den Haag. This season, beating ADO isn’t a representative result to say you have a good season, so, though I do expect them to improve further, I doubt it’ll be good enough to keep MVV from victory in their own stadium.
Willem II v Heracles Almelo
Willem II manager Kevin Hofland shocked everyone last week by taking striker Jizz Hornkamp off after 27 minutes last week against Jong Ajax. A tricky move as the player went straight for the changing room, but it paid off. Willem II turned 1-0 into a 1-2 victory and Jeremy Bokila, Hornkamp’s replacement, scored the equaliser.
Willem II are generally doing pretty average this season. Hofland has proven once again to be a very defensive manager, which makes Willem II the least conceding team of the league. They have a lot of quality up front with Hornkamp but also Michael de Leeuw, but it hasn’t stopped them from being one of the least scoring teams in the top half of the table.
Heracles Almelo are top of the league, but conceded some blows recently. They lost the matches against PEC Zwolle and Almere City and while they are still in the lead, they saw that shrink to one and two points on their rivals. Heracles have recently been decent going forward and scored at least twice in all the league games they played this season except for one match against Jong Ajax. Willem II are decent in defence, but I doubt they’ll be good enough to stop Heracles from scoring, so I suspect there will be goals in this game.
NAC Breda v Telstar
NAC Breda are in a free fall at the moment. They started the season well, but five defeats in the last seven games saw them drop to the bottom half of the table. It was always expected that they weren’t going to compete for promotion this season, as the fans kept the big money from the City Group out. The small investors, who stepped in, don’t have anywhere near the financial power, so they couldn’t really invest in the squad. That means that they had been overperforming and this is more like their usual level.
With Telstar, they are facing a tricky opponent. Telstar were expected to be one of the weakest teams, but recently they have switched things on and started winning. They are on a six-match streak without defeat, and although the opponents haven’t been the promotion candidates, it catapulted them up the table to even points with NAC.
Part of the reason Telstar have improved is David Min. The young striker joined on loan from RKC at the end of August and after a difficult start he has now firmly cemented himself in the starting line-up. Min is on three goals this season, but has been a constant threat for defenders. Against the struggling NAC Breda defence, that should give them a good chance on a result.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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