FC Eindhoven v VVV Venlo
FC Eindhoven looked like they could do with a break a month ago as the results were slowly dropping, but upon return they booked a decent victory over De Graafschap. They were the better side for most of the game and showed once again that they are a contender for the promotion spots. Canadian international Charles-Andreas Brym was in great form again, he was a constant threat for the De Graafschap defence and got both assists behind his name.
VVV returned to football with a victory over this season’s biggest surprise side, MVV Maastricht. VVV dominated most of the game and came back from behind to win it. Like before the break, Robert Klaasen was one of their best players, bossing the midfield and in this game he got the equaliser as well.
The victory over MVV was the first win in their own stadium since the start of September. Interestingly, VVV have performed much better away from home and that should bid well for this away game against Eindhoven. The home side are still without centre back Maarten Peijnenburg, who is injured, but should be complete for the rest. Nevertheless, I reckon VVV should have a decent chance of getting a result in this game.
Roda JC v PEC Zwolle
PEC Zwolle returned from the break with a hard fought victory over Helmond Sport. PEC Zwolle were the better side the entire game, but failed to put the game to bed after taking an early lead. It hasn’t been quiet in Zwolle in the break, because there were rumours that manager Dick Schreuder might leave. The manager wasn’t that happy with fans invading the training a few months ago after a couple of bad results and FC Groningen seemed to be in the market for him, but he is still around. Schreuder has been very good for Zwolle and I reckon, losing him halfway the season would be a blow to their promotion chances.
This game they’ll have a tougher job than last week against fellow promotion contender Roda JC. Roda has had some seasons with very limited financial possibilities, but the biggest financial issues seem to be behind them. The side returned to football with a 3-1 home defeat against league leader Heracles Almelo, so it isn’t an easy stretch of games for them. Manager Jurgen Streppel has come under a bit of pressure as the expectations are higher than the current ninth place. With Dylan Vente, Roda have one of the most prolific strikers in the league, but they don’t have that much more in the side. Vente will struggle against the top flight defence that Zwolle have, so I expect Zwolle to get the three points here.
De Graafschap v Willem II
Willem II are in crisis after another defeat last week and this time it was in the spicy derby against NAC Breda. It meant the end for manager Kevin Hofland. The fans never really took to him because of a ridiculously defensive style of play, but he had some other weird moves and seemed to have lost the changing room. For now, they stick to assistant-manager Reinier Robbemond in charge and he seems a decent manager for a second division side.
Robbemond first game is an interesting one, because it is against ‘his’ side De Graafschap. The manager played there several years and was the manager at De Graafschap last season. He did relatively well until a bad stretch of five games got him the sack. Robbemond won’t play as defensive as Hofland and won’t have such a bad relation with his main strikers Michael de Leeuw and Jizz Hornkamp. It is common knowledge that neither of them really got along with Hofland and with those ties gone, that could be positive for Willem II’s scoring chances.
De Graafschap struggled badly at the start of the season, but improved since October. They should have a shout at the victory, but mostly their attack isn’t as clunky as the start of the season. With Hofland in charge at Willem II, I would never have gone for overs in this game, but with the manager out of the way, I think overs is a good shout.
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