Go Ahead Eagles v Heerenveen
Go Ahead Eagles had the better of the chances in their 0-0 draw with Cambuur, but it is still looking positive for them with eight points taken from the previous four matches.
I have doubted Rene Haké this season, but these good results have shown that they have that bit of quality to put points on the board as the season progresses.
Admittedly, I was a little disappointed in Heerenveen’s 0-1 defeat to PSV. Whilst the defence looked solid again, they created very little. The midfield seemed to be bypassed, leaving strikers Amin Sarr and Sydney van Hooijdonk to feed on scraps. Another performance like that will lead to another defeat.
What is likely is that Kees van Wonderen’s safety-first tactics will persist for the visitors against his former club. It has helped keep his side in games even when attacking players are struggling to perform. Conceding only eight goals from nine games is one of the best defences in the Eredivisie; however, they are the second lowest scorers in the division, too.
A game that could be a draw or decided by one goal either way.
Cambuur v Vitesse Arnhem
Cambuur have had a strange first quarter of the season. Usually such an open side, Henk de Jong’s men have failed to score in six out of nine matches so far. In their last home match, Cambuur beat PSV 3-0, but they couldn’t quite follow that up after a 0-0 draw with Go Ahead Eagles – possibly one of their bottom-half-of-the-table rivals this season.
Speaking of potential relegation candidates, Phillip Cocu’s start to life as boss of Vitesse has not been positive (two defeats from two); the same issues persist that they cannot compete at all with the tougher sides in the league this season, and attacking quality is sparse.
I think Cocu will set up rigidly in the hope of a point to stop the rot. Whilst Vitesse have taken a couple of steps back this season, they do have quality in midfield, though a flair player is missing.
Neither side is playing particularly well. Vitesse could sneak this and put a valuable three points on the board. Under 3.5 goals seems a steal when you consider how Vitesse have played and how Cambuur have largely struggled in front of goal up until now.
FC Twente v FC Groningen
A red card spoilt Twente’s chances of getting a result at Feyenoord last weekend. Fortunately they are back at home on Sunday, where they have won all four of their league games thus far.
Having watched both of these sides this season, I can’t see anything other than a home win. Twente are without the suspended Vaclav Cerny, yet they will have enough without him.
Pressure continues to mount on Frank Wormuth because Groningen have lost their last three. With four goals now, striker Ricardo Pepi is finally settling into life in the Netherlands, but the defending was so poor (albeit with defenders out injured at the moment).
Unfortunately for Groningen, Twente have a fantastic defensive record up to now. Unless the away side pull out one of their best performances of the season, I just don’t see how Twente fail to get back in touch with the top four with three points.
AZ Alkmaar v Feyenoord
League leaders AZ are beginning to turn a few heads. Jesper Karlsson is slowly making his return to full fitness, and I strongly suspect that he will start here to add an extra spark to an already magical start to the season for Alkmaar.
In mid-week, Pascal Jansen’s men lost in Cyprus. A promising first half was followed by a disappointing second one. Although there are a few players out injured for AZ, fans surely will be frustrated their couldn’t keep their proud Europa Conference League record going.
Feyenoord have looked good at points in Europe and in the Eredivisie. It is only recently where people have called into question individual performances of more established players such as Justin Bijlow and Orkun Kokcu. On Thursday, Arne Slot saw his side draw with Midtjylland again, with striker Santiago Gimenez given a game.
Whilst hopefully a memorable game, this is an incredibly tough one to predict. AZ have the confidence of being currently in first place, and home advantage, yet there is a part of me that thinks Feyenoord have that edge and experience that being Europa Conference League finalists brings. Good runs don’t last forever. Feyenoord are also due a good result, and if they play well, then they can show they have an extra gear over the likes of AZ, who will also be chasing a European spot in this campaign.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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