Sparta Rotterdam v Willem II
Sunday 13th February – 11:15AM KO
It is now nine matches without a win for Sparta in the Eredivisie. Manager Henk Fraser is being criticised for losing his touch. The new signings were thrown in against Feyenoord, but they were defensively pulled all over the place in a back five including three players played out of position. Fraser tried to change his tactics during the match, but new signing Adrian Dalmau cut a frustrated figure having to feed off next to nothing in forward areas.
Meanwhile, Willem II finally won a game of football following eleven defeats in a row in all competitions – the 3-1 win over RKC was a good one. Thijs Oosting, signed from AZ, will prove to be a good signing; he played last weekend behind new striker Jizz Hornkamp and the pair were responsible for Willem II’s three goals. Will that confidence be enough for another success away from home? The Tilburgers were unexpectedly entertaining to watch last weekend, and the absence of goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther turned out not to be an important one. Things are looking up.
Sparta are extremely low on confidence and I think this new-found cutting edge from the visitors will see them take another positive result
Prediction: Willem II Double Chance, 1.73 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Go Ahead Eagles v AZ Alkmaar
Sunday 13th February – 11:15AM KO
Go Ahead certainly can’t fill the rest of their season with draws and defeats. They are slipping down the table, but they should still be OK. That said, it may get worse before it gets better, with games to come against AZ, Twente, Ajax and Utrecht. On a positive note, they managed to beat NEC away from home in the Dutch Cup quarter finals on Thursday. AZ too managed to reach the last four, easing past RKC Waalwijk by four goals to nil.
AZ know that it can be very difficult to break down the Eagles’ defence, so it could be a tight game on Sunday, but one that in-form AZ should still win.
The Alkmaar side, coached by Pascal Jansen, are proving doubters wrong with their current run of sixteen matches unbeaten. They have flown up the table following a wobbly start and now only sit six points off third. I see AZ continuing to improve as the season wears on. Their midfield has been very consistent with experienced heads in the spine of the team. They’re not as free-flowing as Feyenoord or Ajax, but they are getting the job done.
Prediction: AZ Win, 1.47 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Heerenveen v NEC Nijmegen
Sunday 13th February – 1:30PM KO
Two sides in mid-table who may both be pondering a run for the final Europa Conference League play-off ticket – that will be the highest achievable outcome for both of these sides for this season. I believe that NEC, who sit ninth, have the better chance of reaching that podium; their team is more settled.
Heerenveen on the other hand have gone with Ole Tobiasen as their interim manager until the end of the campaign. For me, it would have been great to see them go more ambitious and bring in their manager they wanted for next season already. What we do have to enjoy in Heerenveen though are several new signings who will be key in 2022/23: Amin Sarr came off the bench for his debut last weekend, plus Thom Haye will be influential in the middle of the park. You can see that they will improve with this added quality as the weeks go on.
With NEC in action losing on Thursday night in their cup quarter final, I think Heerenveen will have the legs to win a tight game late on. NEC also play a back five so a bet for few goals is a wise one
Prediction: Under 3.5 Goals, 1.36 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Ajax v FC Twente
Sunday 13th February – 3:45PM KO
Undoubtedly, Ajax playing fourth-placed Twente is a big test, especially after an extra mid-week fixture which Twente did not have. Ajax went full strength against Vitesse on Wednesday; however, they found it a very easy evening, winning 5-0 to make it a century of goals in all competitions this season already.
Twente will have the bounce from their great run leading to a top three charge, but it is their higher quality opponents who will have most of the ball on Sunday.
In this fixture last season, the Tukkers sprang a surprise and beat Ajax in Amsterdam, and despite their juggernaut ability to pulverise their visitors almost at will, Ajax have dropped points at home this season already – drawing with Go Ahead Eagles, Heracles, and even Twente in the reverse fixture, plus they have lost to Utrecht and AZ. Ajax aren’t invincible, but there have been times this season where they have been their own worst enemy and dropped points.
Do I think Twente will be strong enough to earn a result on Sunday afternoon? No, I think Ajax will have a 2-0 type victory, where they’ll get a decent game from the visitors to Amsterdam, but they’ll still dominate possession and that will tell.
Prediction: Exactly 2 or 3 Goals to be Scored, 2.10 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
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