Cambuur v RKC Waalwijk
Before their 3-3 draw with Heerenveen in the Eredivisie, Cambuur enjoyed a lift from supporters, who appeared at their last training before the Friesland derby. I think the magnitude of the derby in the stadium and the visiting fans at training helped them to look revitalised.
Lately, Cambuur have struggled to create many opportunities in games, mustering only one shot on target in their three matches (and scoring no goals). But then they went to scoring three goals (from only three shots on target) last Sunday. They caused their opponents lots of trouble with Roberts Uldrikis’s height from crosses.
RKC have been tough to beat away from home and they will be full of confidence after their 3-1 win over Groningen, effectively sealing their safety for another season. Will it mean they are as focussed now they are five points clear with three games to go?
I think Cambuur will certainly score as they look to play on the front foot, but they won’t find it easy to beat Joseph Oosting’s side.
FC Twente v Fortuna Sittard
Twente survived a feisty atmosphere at Heracles with a point. The draw keeps their great run going but they needed to win to stay in touch with Feyenoord for third – they’re now five points off third with three games to go. I would have thought fourth place would now be their aim, which still gives them Europa Conference League football next season.
Fortuna gave their all at home to Feyenoord last time out. The quality difference between those at the bottom at the ones chasing European football is very big. Twente will create a lot of opportunities against Fortuna. I do fancy Sjors Ultee’s men to score as they chase their own ambitions at the business end of the season, so Twente will need to take their chances.
Predicting a home win isn’t straight forward here. Twente might wobble with Fortuna also desperate for points. Both teams to score or over 2.5 goals would be good choices here, and the mix of Fortuna’s leaky defence with difference-makers in attack (such as Mats Seuntjens who had his contract extended this week) makes me want to go for the former.
Willem II v Heracles Almelo
Willem II had tonnes of endeavour in their 4-2 defeat away at PSV. The players are definitely trying their best to get out of the bottom three, but I have long doubted the quality of some of their squad, which is why they have only won two from their last 25.
This is a massively winnable home game; however, Heracles went from not winning away from home at all, to winning their last two back to back on the road. Frank Wormuth’s team even have an outside chance of the end-of-season play-offs.
I reckon the Tilburgers will put on a fantastic showing and grab a goal or two, which will put pressure on Heracles to find the same fight that got them a point with only ten men last weekend. A home win is great odds at 2.2, but a double chance for Willem II seems to be quite expected at 1.3. Therefore a draw no bet seems the best option which denies Heracles an unlikely third win in a row away from home, and gives the most likely outcome that Willem II pull out a victory at such a crucial time.
PEC Zwolle v FC Utrecht
PEC Zwolle did their best at Ajax last time out and they couldn’t expect to get any points at Ajax, something which manager Dick Schreuder pointed out at the end of the match. Before that 3-0 defeat, PEC had won their previous two matches, and they will be eyeing up a good home crowd and a battling performance to beat middling Utrecht, who did at least win only their second game in ten last time at home to NEC.
De Blauwvingers have lacked attacking quality for much of the campaign – that would be my worry for them against a relatively strong Utrecht defence. Do they have enough to win the battles at both ends? Utrecht fans will be delighted to see youth players Fabian de Keijzer (goalkeeper) and Djevencio van der Kust (left-back) given opportunities in the first team. I think it’s fair to say that they have both impressed.
I think this will be a hard-fought game, which will be low on goals and with Utrecht providing a stern test.
FC Groningen v Sparta Rotterdam
There is a bizarre lack of ambition amongst the clubs fighting it out for eighth spot in the Eredivisie, which provides the final Europa Conference League play-off ticket. We’re on course for the lowest points tally for eighth place in many years in the Dutch top flight. Groningen, who currently occupy that spot, have lost their last four games! They have a good opportunity to put that right against Sparta, but it seems that the sides who are fighting relegation are winning all of those points from the mid-table bunch.
Groningen forward Jorgen Strand Larsen was animated after his side’s 3-1 loss at RKC, saying that “all was terrible” in their first-half performance that saw them go three goals down. They need a response.
After sacking assistant coach Aleksandar Rankovic, Henk Fraser left the club in dramatic fashion as well, which ushered in Maurice Steijn’s early appointment as manager before he was due to start next season. Steijn provided supporters with a slightly more attacking approach as they got a last-minute draw with AZ last weekend.
Sparta should stick to what they’re good at, which is stifling opponents’ attacking play. Groningen don’t have much of a Plan B.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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