PSV v FC Volendam
Despite their Champions League disappointment, PSV are going strong in the league. Their 1-6 win a Excelsior oozed goals and creativity. PSV have the players to pull apart a newly promoted team, and now they face another one in Volendam on Wednesday – one of three mid-week Eredivisie fixtures to be moved from a previous gameweek.
At the time of writing, Cody Gakpo remains with PSV. His importance in an attacking sense for the Eindhoven club is undoubted, especially in the Eredivisie where he thrives. PSV are to be without the injured striker Luuk de Jong for this one, meaning they will give Xavi Simons another run in the 10 position behind a mobile forward who is not an out-and-out striker.
Volendam beat sub-toppers Twente on Sunday, which will be a stand-out moment for the club come the end of the season. They were thankful to goalkeeper Filip Stankovic for his saves that saw out a 1-0 victory. The ‘Other Oranje’ are a side that can easily be got at though, and I see them conceding a lot of early chances to PSV, yielding early goals.
That’s why I’m backing a comprehensive PSV win and over 3.5 goals to be scored
FC Twente v Excelsior
Twente have had a rollercoaster start to the season. They impressed massively in pre-season, beating the likes of Schalke and Bologna. They then went on to secure early wins in the Eredivisie and in Europa Conference League qualifying, before they met their match in Italians Fiorentina in the play-off for European football. After an unlucky yet entertaining 0-0 draw, Twente were knocked out of Europe on Thursday last week before they then went down 1-0 at Volendam.
Striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel was very vocal about his frustration with Twente’s performance on Sunday. He gave an example of a substitute not getting back to help defend. Van Wolfswinkel was also guilty of missing a few very good chances in that game.
Will that frustrated mentality continue in this very winnable home game? Exelsior may have the same record as Twente so far in this campaign of two wins from three, but don’t let that fool you that the Rotterdam side are a very open side.
I predict a fired-up Twente response and a comfortable win. Their attacking players have been rotated a lot so far this season as Ron Jans begins to find who his best eleven is. They are all chomping at the bit to get minutes.
AZ Alkmaar v NEC Nijmegen
AZ are that little bit better than most sides in the Eredivisie, but they’re not as deadly as Ajax or PSV. Because of that, they will always be embroiled in tighter games against mid-table opposition, like their 2-3 win at Sparta and the 0-1 win at Cambuur (which somehow only had one goal in it!).
Recently, I wrote about NEC’s attacking midfielders and how they have the magic to open up games. They will have moments again where AZ will be threatened, but Alkmaar have this edge about them at the moment where their midfielders are also producing the goods. I think they will pressure a mediocre back four of NEC and score enough goals to win.
Playing at home, I think AZ will make it four wins from four, and that is still without star winger Jesper Karlsson! Amongst their next six league games, AZ will face Twente, Ajax, Utrecht and Feyenoord. This will be a real test of their credentials to finish at least fourth this season.
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