FC Den Bosch v MVV Maastricht
It’s a clash between too poor, struggling sides, although I think FC Den Bosch can finally book a win here and end their poor streak. Den Bosch fell to a heavy 4-0 away defeat against Excelsior, and now sit in sixteenth. They have failed to score in their past four and have failed to win their last twelve matches. That sounds bad, and it is, but they face off against a weak opponent as well.
MVV Maastricht’s most recent result is a 2-1 home loss to NAC Breda. They beat ADO Den Haag two match rounds ago, but that was their only win in the last thirteen league games played. They booked one win, two draws and ten losses and find themselves below FC Den Bosch in the table. They trail the home side by one point.
Teun van Grunsven (25 apps) is suspended for FC Den Bosch, Mike van Beijnen will likely replace him. Jorn van Hedel is also out. Clint Essers (15 apps, 1 goal) is out for MVV. Backups Thomas van Bommel and Marko Kleinen are also unlikely to play. Defender and leader Clint Essers will be missed.
Despite FC Den Bosch’s goal scoring woes, I do believe they can get something going here. We may still not see many goals, but I can picture them winning here. They have recently landed Arsenal loanee Nikolaj Möller, and with some experience coming off the wings from Torino Hunte and Jeremy Cijntje, I believe they can trouble MVV Maastricht.
FC Volendam v Excelsior
With nine games to be played in the Eerste Divisie this Friday, there is a lot to choose from, including the biggest match of this round, important for direct promotion, between FC Volendam and Excelsior.
The home side are still well in the lead in the charge for a spot in the Eredivisie next season and their lead over number three Excelsior (8 points plus a game in hand) and number four FC Eindhoven (10 points) is substantial, but with only 10 matches to go the tension is rising. Last week, Volendam failed to go past VVV Venlo and saw their lead drop as all the rivals for direct promotion won. Excelsior are back on track with four victories in a row, after they’d started 2022 in bad fashion, with five games in a row without a win.
League top goalscorer Thijs Dallinga played an important role in Excelsior’s turnaround. The 21-year-old striker failed to score in the five games they didn’t win, but with four goals in the last four he seems back to form and in a match that also holds number two on the top goalscorer ranking Robert Mühren you’d think there would be goals. However, given the importance of the game, I expect both teams to hold back a bit on their attacking intentions and shift their focus a bit more than usual towards not conceding rather than finding goals.
Volendam manager Wim Jonk likes the possession game, but also knows that Excelsior is comfortable without possession and deadly on the counter-attack, so I think he’ll push his players to be wary of Excelsior’s quick transitions.
FC Dordrecht v Jong Ajax
Goals galore involving these teams. Dordrecht have not always been at the good end of the goals, but there were plenty of them flying into the net. Their most recent result was a 4-0 loss to Roda JC away from home.
They have now been involved in games with exactly four goals scored in their last six meetings. Dordrecht are second bottom, and have also allowed a league worst 63 goals against in their 28 games played. If we look at their last eight home games, they have scored 15 and allowed 17, so if we combine these two it’s an average of exactly four goals per game.
Did we say goals? Jong Ajax crushed ADO Den Haag in style, beating them 6-3 in the last match round. Mohammed Kudus scored a hattrick, and Naci Ünüvar also improved to 13 goals in 26 games played. Jong Ajax have scored 63 goals, one shy of Excelsior… and have also allowed a heavy amount of goals against, 49 in their 29 games played. Jong Ajax have allowed goals against in every single away game they played this season, except for one.
There are no major injuries for FC Dordrecht, although Jurriën Hobbel has been injured for quite a while. Jong Ajax are without Jay Gorter and Amourricho van Axel Dongen. There’s plenty of rotation to replace the latter. Jong Ajax will have to play a very young goalkeeper though, and will likely go for seventeen year old Charlie Setford again, whilst talented this could be another reason for a goal here and there.
ADO Den Haag v Jong PSV
This Friday, ADO Den Haag will play in their own stadium against Jong PSV and the fans will be happy with that. Since the Covid measures were eased, ADO haven’t had a chance yet to play in front of a full stadium, as storm Eunice blew off a part of the stadium roof and the previous home game had to be postponed.
ADO went almost four weeks without an official match and a lot changed in that time. The club was taken over by an American investment company, bringing an end to the direct threat that ADO would cease to exist. The new owners immediately showed their intentions with a surprise move by sacking manager Ruud Brood. Brood kept ADO close to the top of the league despite a 6-point deduction due to the financial problems, but the new owners want to follow a different path.
Assistant manager Giovanni Franken was appointed as interim manager to take over and the first game under Franken, last Monday, ended in a disappointing 6-3 defeat against Jong Ajax. Ajax’s academy team, however, was heavily strengthened by several first team players, and against Jong PSV that won’t be the case. PSV’s first team plays on Thursday and on Sunday this week, so manager Ruud van Nistelrooij won’t get any reinforcement from the first team and may even see some of his regulars be pushed to the first team. Playing for the first time in a packed stadium since October, I think ADO Den Haag are massive favourites for the three points.
TOP Oss v Roda JC
On the back of a 4-0 victory over FC Dordrecht, Roda JC will now visit TOP Oss. Against Dordrecht, Roda overran their opponents and showed that they’d completely recovered from the Covid outbreak that hit them in the weeks before. Apart from the Covid ridden game against Excelsior, Roda’s form has generally been spot on in 2022. TOP Oss on the other hand struggled their way through the league this season with 31 points in 28 games.
TOP Oss’ form improved a bit in 2022 and they were even in the running to win the title for being the best team in the third phase of the season, which guarantees a promotion/relegation play-off spot, but two defeats in a row ended that quest. The side from Brabant pretty much need a miracle to qualify for those play-offs, with a tough schedule ahead of them.
It was also Carnival last week in the South of the country, with a massive spike in Covid cases. Both teams are situated in the Carnival area, but where Roda should be mostly protected due to the outbreak weeks earlier, there is a chance it could have hit TOP ahead of this game. It is not clear whether players were allowed to join festivities, but given the side don’t have that much to play for, that could have an influence on the match.
Roda’s surplus in quality, form and the fact that they still have everything to play for in this league, should make them favourites in this away game against an average TOP Oss side.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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