Stade Municipal de la Ville de Differdange | Wednesday 16th September | 17:30 GMT
After a twenty-year absence Willem II look to enter European competition this time round however, they have Luxembourg side FC Progres Niederkorn standing in their way on the road to the Europa League writes Will Burns.
Adrie Koster’s Willem II surprised a lot of pundits last year firing their way up to fifth in the Eredivisie, their highest finish since their runner-up place in 1998/99. One of the main reasons for the rapid progression was the goals of Vangelis Pavlidis.
The Greek striker notched 13 goals in 28 games in all competitions last season before the Eredivisie were forced to curtail the campaign due to the global pandemic. If Koster’s men are to replicate the efforts of last year, then he will have to be on top form.
Of course, a striker cannot score goals on his own and the help he received from fellow attacking players Mats Kohlert, Che Nunnely and Mike Tresor does not go uncounted. Each guy took the burden off the striker scoring goals (6, 5 and 9 respectively) and provided a total of 17 assists between them.
Some more aid was inputted into the squad squad this week as Ghanaian winger John Yeboah arrived on a three-year deal from VfL Wolfsburg.
Unfortunately, I don’t think we will see goalscorer markets in the UK but Pavlidis to score anytime would have been my best bet in this one.
The Tilburgers’ opponents tomorrow evening will be Luxembourg side FC Progres Niederkorn, who people in the UK may remember held Steven Gerrard’s Rangers to a goal-less draw in last season’s second qualifying round and knocked the Scottish giants out of the competition in 2017-18.
This will indeed be the fourth years in a row that Niederkorn attempt to qualify for the Europa League group stages. In 2017-18, after shocking Rangers, the Luxembourgers fell to AEL Limassol. They went one better the year after falling at the third hurdle after defeating Azerbaijani outfit Gabala and Hungarians’ Honved, they were narrowily defeated 4-3 on aggrerate against Russians FC Ufa.
Last year, they emerged victors against Cardiff Metropolitian University on away goals rules in the first round then beat Cork City from Ireland by 3-2 before Rangers got revenge at Ibrox.
They are certainly no slouches at this stage in the tournament and easily defeated FK Zeta of Albania by 3-0 in the one-legged ties that have been introduced this year, which changes the perception of the games.
In a two-leg affair, it is less likely to cause a shock. If you win one game, the likelihood of upsetting the favourites twice is doubtful. This time round, Willem II will need to be wary of that.
I do not think this match as easy as a lot of people think and I think this could be a close one with the hosts getting a goal.
Willem II should have enough quality to see their opponents off (then again so did the 2017 Rangers side) but I feel the underdogs will definitely get a goal. Niederkorn has scored in every game since October 2019 so they are surely good for a goal here.
Willem II win with Both Teams to Score (3.00 at bet365)
Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex | Tuesday 15th September | 18:00 GMT
In the biggest game for the club in recent history, AZ Alkmaar travel to the Ukraine to face Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League Third Round of Qualifying. Will Burns feels like AZ may not have what it takes to beat the Ukrainian giants… unfortunately.
After the disappointment of calling the season off early last March, when AZ looked to becoming the champions of Eredivisie, Arne Slot’s men had the prospect of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League to pick them back up.
However, on Tuesday night, they travel to the Ukraine to face Dynamo Kiev, a true force for decades in this home country and European competitions. This is the third round of qualifying and it’s certainly not easy.
AZ were given a reprieve this weekend as the KNVB, committed to aiding their clubs in European tournaments, cancelled their opening game to FC Utrecht, so that Slot and his team can concentrate on this one legged fixture.
In the last round, AZ made hard work of their home tie against Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen. A 95th minute penalty which was scored by Teun Koopmeiners, saved their blushes and took the game into extra time at the 1-1 scoreline. Two extra time goals by Albert Gudmundsson saw Alkmaar send the Czech home unhappy but it was far from convincing. If they have any chance on Tuesday, they will need to vastly improve.
We asked Zorya Londonsk’s Andrew Todos about AZ’s opponents on Tuesday and he gave us a tremendous insight into their recent form, tactics and star players. Well worth a read.
Recently Dynamo has embarked on their new Ukrainian Premier League campaign and are undefeated in three games since the season kicked off. The opening day of the league saw Kiev easily defeating Olimpik Donetsk by a 4-1 scoreline. Then they lifted the domestic Super Cup beating rivals Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 before drawing a 0-0 blank against title challengers Desna.
In addition, we heard (below) that Kiev’s star player Viktor Tsyhakov did not train on Monday and that could spell that he will be unavailable.
We all know there is a four tremendous goal threats at Slot’s disposal with Myron Boadu, Oussama Idrissi, Teun Koopmeiners and Calvin Stengs were all capable of double figures last season.
I think it is a big ask to say that AZ will win on Tuesday, and don’t get me wrong, they could, but Kiev are a strong team. One thing I am sure of, is that I feel AZ could get a goal. Our colleague Andrew Todos wrote: “Dynamo have serious defensive issues. First choice right back – Oleksandr Tymchyk was subbed off inside 35 minutes vs Desna with a groin injury. He will be out for a while. Similarly, centre backs Mykyta Burda and Denys Popov are also unavailable for a prolonged amount of time.”
AZ captain Teun Koopmeiners is always good for a goal notching 16 in all competitions last year and he takes AZ’ spot kicks too. For a high pressure match like this, we could see one of Kyiv’s defenders go in the tricky feet of Boadu, Stengs or Idrissi allowing Koopmeiners a chance to notch
So I have selected two bets for Tuesday night’s big game. Both Teams to Score is best priced at 1.80 at bet365 and if we see an AZ penalty, like the last round, Koopmeiners will score it. He is a HUGE price of 5.60 at Unibet but keep an eye out any other bookies pricing this up before kick off – just in case we see a higher price. The bookies struggle with these games.
Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex | Tuesday 15th September | 18:00 GMT
Dynamo Kyiv are currently experiencing their longest drought without Champions League football since Ukraine’s independence in 1991 writes Zorya Londonsk’s Andrew Todos.
The last time they made the Group Stages was the 15/16 season. Ever since, hopes have been dashed in the Qualifying rounds – resulting in Europa League campaigns as the fallbacks instead. This failure to qualify for the UCL Group Stages has coincided with the club’s recent decline. Whilst they’ve still been able to finish second domestically in all these years, the gap between themselves and Champions Shakhtar has grown exponentially due to poor managerial appointments and player recruitment.
This led the owner to appoint former Shakhtar manager and one of the most decorated managers of all time – Mircea Lucescu to steer the ship at the old age of seventy five!
The club’s Ultras have reacted with great animosity to the decision due to a long history of Lucescu being controversial in regards to their club and even to Ukraine as a whole.
The 20/21 UPL kicked off ahead of the recent international break. Dynamo got off to a winning start under Lucescu – convincingly hammering lowly Olimpik Donetsk on the opening day 4-1.
Following this, Lucescu and his new side faced his old club in the Ukrainian Super Cup. Dynamo defeated Shakhtar 3-1 and picked up the first ‘trophy’ of the season.
Ahead of the UCL 3rd Qualifying round, Dynamo faced fellow medal place challengers Desna. Their opponents ran them close in the league last season and shut Dynamo out by parking the bus, despite the Kyiv side’s relentless attacking efforts. The game ended 0-0.
Formation and Tactics
It’s still quite difficult to work out exactly how Mircea Lucescu wants his new side to play. Dynamo were very secretive in their short pre season – providing no ‘live’ coverage of any of their friendlies. With the few competitive games we have seen thus far – it looks like Dynamo are aiming to play a possession based style with the steady introduction of a high press.
However, the club is currently in the midst of an injury crisis – which has likely prevented Lucescu in showcasing exactly the type of philosophy he wants to move forward with.
Dynamo have serious defensive issues. First choice right back – Oleksandr Tymchyk was subbed off inside 35 minutes v Desna with a groin injury. He will be out for a while. Similarly, centre backs Mykyta Burda and Denys Popov are also unavailable for a prolonged amount of time.
This has forced Lucescu to play Tomasz Kedziora, a natural full back in the heart of his defence alongside usual left back Vitaly Mykolenko in the most recent league match.
Artem Shabanov, who is a centre back by trade may return to the starting XI for the AZ tie, following rehabilitation from his own injury.
Predicted Line up (4-3-3)
(LW) De Pena
Players to Watch
Dynamo’s key man. The winger has become the side’s leading light in recent seasons, stepping into the large hole left by Andriy Yarmolenko’s departure. Tsyhankov is Dynamo’s primary outlet for creativity and goals despite him playing out wide on the right. He’s pacey and possesses a very decent vision and delivery. Due to the inverted nature of his position, the left footed player is able to cut inside – however he is far less reliant on this compared to his predecessor – Yarmolenko. He will be the channel through which most dangerous attacks go through and if not – he will be trying to be on the end of them to finish the chances off.
The Luxembourg international is another dangerous winger that Lucescu has under his disposal. He is unlikely to start but should he come off the bench – he will be sure to bolster the attack as he has done in Dynamo’s matches prior to the international break. The forward, who had fallen out of favour with the previous manager and was sent on loan last season as a result, is having a revival under the current one. He scored a magnificent lobbed winner in the Super Cup and had an influential 45 minute cameo in the 4-1 Olimpik match. He will be able to provide that creative spark should it be needed in the later stages of the game.
Welcome to Total Dutch Football’s Team of the Week which leads into our 2020/21 Eredivisie Player of the Season Tournament.
Each player that is selected for the Team of the Week receives a point and the Player of the Week receives two more points. We count these up over the season and then award the player with the most points as the Player of the Season.
Read on to see who has been awarded the points for this week.
GOALKEEPER: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord)
The Rotterdammers young stopper kept a clean sheet away to a plucky PEC Zwolle side. He was forced to pull of a total of five saves in the 2-0 win.
DEFENDER: Tim Breukers (Heracles)
With two tackles and six interceptions, Breukers earn his place at right-back in our team. Heracles went onto to defeated ADO 2-0 on Sunday and he was a rock at the back.
DEFENDER: Pawel Bochniewicz (Heerenveen)
The big Polish defender polish off a fine performance on his debut with a headed goal from a Joey Veerman free-kick in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Willem II.
DEFENDER: Robin Propper (Heracles)
For a centre-back, his passing was a joy to behold against ADO. He completed 70 successful passes out of 73 as well as held his own at the back.
DEFENDER: Jayden Oosterwolde (FC Twente)
Little was known about 19-year-old Oosterwolde at kick-off time, but boy did he introduce himself. The attacking left-back created Queensy Menig’s goal and supplied his team with three tackles and three interceptions.
MIDFIELDER: Pablo Rosario (PSV)
With three successful dribbles, Rosario assisted PSV’s second goal and stuck in his foot when needed with three tackles and a interception. The prime example of a box-to-box midfielder.
MIDFIELDER: Joey Veerman (Heerenveen)
Close to being Player of the Week, Veerman created one and played a major part in both of Heerenveen’s goals with a 83% pass accuracy rate including 10 out of 13 long balls hitting the target. Joey cpuld be the next big transfer out of the Friesland.
MIDFIELDER: Sylvester van der Water (Heracles)
The 23-year-old certainly had his shooting boots on in yesterday 2-0 win over ADO. Van de Water fired three shots off and landed with one, his teams second goal. The winger created the other and churned out three big chances to extend the lead.
FORWARD: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord)
Picking up where he left off last season, and the season before, Berghuis notched twice in a 2-0 win for Feyenoord away to PEC Zwolle.
FORWARD: Cody Gakpo (PSV)
The young left-winger notched a brace in the 3-1 win over FC Groningen. His electric pace and composed finishing was on display and he could be ready for a big season.
FORWARD: Giorgios Giakoumakis (VVV-Venlo)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Three goals in the big 5-3 win over FC Emmen means that VVV’s summer signing from AEK Athens receives out three points this week.
Cody Gakpo double makes Robben return an unhappy one
The opening week of the new season got underway at the Abe Lenstra Stadion as Heerenveen dispatched Willem II 2-0 on Saturday afternoon. The scoring was opened on 22 minutes by left-back Lucas Woudenberg after a great counter attack move by the hosts. After the man of the match, Joey Veerman played a delicate ball through the left-back on the edge of their other box, Woudenberg stormed up the field until he played a one-two with the ball to young winger Arjen van der Heide. Upon receiving the ball back, Woudenberg continued into the area to slot it past new Tilburg goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter.
The visitors pressed high in the second half thought they had equalized by danger man Vangelis Pavlidis smashed a ball home but he was deemed offside. However, both sides had chances to build on the score but it was Heerenveen that shut the door on their opponents by notching the second decisive goal. Within 15 minutes of time remaining, that man again, Joey Veerman whipped in a free-kick to be headed home by debutant Pawel Bochniewicz. The Polish centre-back was signed earlier this week from Gornik Zabrze for around €1.4m. A great opening day win for Johnny Jansen’s men that brought smiles on the faces of those that were lucky to attend, with only minimal crowds allowed into the grounds due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Feyenoord began their campaign with a relatively easy win away to John Stegeman’s PEC Zwolle. Continuing his great goalscoring from last season, Steven Berghuis notched twice in a 2-0 win for the Rotterdammers. It didn’t take long to open the scoring with Berghuis hitting a low drive from outside the box past Zwolle stopper Michael Zetterer after just 5 minutes of play. The win was cemented with Berghuis penalty kick on 68 minutes after Orkan Kocku was fouled in the area by Thomas Lam.
The remaining game on Saturday was another 2-0 score line with Ron Jans’ FC Twente defeating Fortuna Sittard. As mentioned in our season preview, it was yet another summer of all change in Enschede as Twente hired a whole new staff and technical director with many changes on the pitch too. Meanwhile, the team seemed to gel and took the lead after ten minutes through former Ajax youth Queensy Menig. It was some good work on the left for Menig who played a quick pass exchange with impressive young left-back Jayden Oosterwolde and then cut inside to fire home for the lead.
Soon after the half-time break, Brazilian signing Danilo, a summer loan signing from Ajax, made it 2-0 converting a penalty after Branislav Nihaj dragged Jesse Bosch down in the box. Twente looked more likely to add to their score than any chance of a Sittard comeback. A great start for Jans in his new role with his youthful squad with an average age of 23.6 years, third youngest only to Heerenveen (22.5) and Groningen (23.3).
Sunday opened up with a wild game in Emmen as VVV-Venlo came back from two goals down to end up winning 5-3 against FC Emmen. The hosts took the lead early on with a fourth minute strike from Robbert de Vos before Croatian striker Marko Kolar added a second after the break to extend the lead to 2-0.
However, Greek striker Georgios Giakoumakis, a free agent signing in the summer from AEK Athens, notched a 22-minute hat-trick to take the game to 3-2. Nicolas Laursen levelled the game in the 76th minute before an own goal from debutant Caner Cavlan gave VVV the 4-3 lead. Emmen searched for an injury time equalizer but Jafar Arias put the nail in the coffin for Emmen making it 5-3 four minutes into stoppage time.
Frank Wormuth’s Heracles defeated the new-look ADO Den Haag side 2-0 on Sunday afternoon. ADO is now managed by former midfielder Aleksandr Rankovic but the beginning to his new career did not go to plan when former PSV youth Rai Vloet gave Wormuth’s men the lead just after the break. The very impressive Sylvester van de Water finished the scoring adding a second on 70 minutes. The 23-year-old carried the ball through the midfield before dishing the ball to Luca de la Torre on the left of the area, before getting on the end of the return ball to poke the ball past Luuk Koopmans in goal. To make matters worse for Rankovic, he saw defender Boy Kemper (on loan from Ajax) sent off soon after.
Ajax got their title challenge underway with a narrow 1-0 win away to Sparta Rotterdam with some great difficulty. Erik ten Hag’s side played the majority of the match with just ten men after Nicolas Tagliafico was dismissed by referee Jochem Kamphuis, however it looked a harsh decision as the Argentine was deemed to purposely handball an attempt to put through Mohamed Rayhi on goal.
Despite the setback, debutant Antony who was lively throughout, scored from a bouncing drive outside the area just before half-time. It was a goal that Sparta stopper Benjamin van Leer, playing against his old club, should be possibly stopped.
Henk Fraser’s men pressed the Amsterdammers but it was to no avail, Ajax grabbed their first win however, it was too close for comfort.
Arjen Robben did not experience a good return to FC Groningen as suffered an injury before the half-hour mark in his side’s 3-1 defeat to PSV. Over 6,000 disappointed fans attended as the 36-year-old winger, who retired last July after a hugely successful career, returned to where it all began.
Soon after Robben’s substitution, Cody Gakpo showed great power to shrug off the challenge of Azor Matusiwa and finishing prowess to grab his first of the day to put Roger Schmidt’s side ahead. Howeve, it was not all plain sailing for Schmidt as an error from new goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo allowed Tomas Suslov level it up at 1-1. The Swiss international and Jordan Teze were caught out playing the ball to each other in their own area and new Norwegian striker Jorgen Strand Larsen incepted a pass which landed at Suslov’s feet for the equalizer.
Soon after, PSV regained the lead as Donyell Malen was put through by Noni Madueke and finished past Sergio Padt. PSV were given a harsh penalty on 82 minutes which Padt saved from Malen and despite, Groningen having their chances to level the game up, PSV emerged as the victors with Gakpo’s second goal on three minutes from time. Notwithstanding, the horrendous error in defence for the hosts goals, Schmidt experienced a good start to his new head coach role at PSV.
The final game of the weekend saw RKC Waalwijk fall to Vitesse by the single goal thanks to a Oussama Darfalou effort in first half stoppage time.
It’s finally here! The new Eredivisie is set to get underway this afternoon with a barnburner at the Abe Lenstra Stadion as Heerenveen take on last years’ highflyers Willem II. Will Burns has picked his ‘Double Dutch’ bet for tonights game.
SC HEERENVEEN vs. WILLEM II
Abe Lenstra Stadion | Saturday 12th September | 17:45 GMT
Ahhh yes, we have football back and I see Heerenveen-Willem II meeting as a good start to the affairs.
Heerenveen have strengthened this week by bringing in Polish centre-back Pawel Bochniewicz from Gornik Zabrze for around £1.26m, using some of the funds that CSKA Moscow provided for Chidere Ejuke earlier this summer. Additionally, they brought in German-Brazilian left-winger Oliver Batista Meier on loan from Bayern Munich to fill Ejuke’s boots.
Bringing back Henk Veerman to the club is a bonus for Johnny Jansen’s side. Last season, he notched 11 goals in 22 games last year for St. Pauli in the 2. Bundesliga. Standing at 6ft 5inches, he is a handful to defenders and won an average of 3.6 headed duels per game. With Mitchell van Bergen (profiled in our season preview) on the wing, big Henk should see some crosses coming his way often.
Willem II powered up to fifth in the division last year under Adrie Koster mainly due to the success of Greek striker Vangelis Pavilidis. He bagged in 11 goals in the 2019-20 curtailed season and is always worth a shout to get a goal for the Tilburgers.
Koster’s mind in this match may be elsewhere as on Wednesday evening, they have a tricky Europa League qualifying tie at home to Progress Niedercorn of Luxembourg. Koster stated earlier this week that his side were “ready for competition” but his treatment table is full with wounded players at this time.
New signings, Kwasi Okyere Wriedt and Leeroy Owusu both nursing long-term injuries and Driess Saddiki only returned to training this week. Koster has also declared to the press this week that Justin Ogenia, Rick Zuijderwijk and Dylan Ryan are not match-fit and may miss todays’ game.
This leaves his side depleted in a game I would have possibly predicted them to win.
Pre-season did not look good for sc Heerenveen losing all six of their warm-up games, however they were lacking defenders and now they have them installed into their squad. But the new central defensive partnership will take time to gel so I do see Johnny Jansen’s men conceding. In attack, with van Bergen, van der Heide, Batista Meier and big Henk Veermen they have the talent to score. Let’s add Both Teams to Score to our Double Dutch bet.
Both Teams to Score (1.67 at Bet365)
PEC ZWOLLE vs. FEYENOORD
MAC³PARK stadium | Saturday 12th September | 19:00 GMT
I talked in the season preview about how I think PEC Zwolle could do with some bodies to help their campaign this year. Especially at the back, I think they look weak and well underprepared.
Some business has been completed during the summer with attacking midfielder Jesper Drost came home after a spell at Heracles. He will be joined in the middle of the park by Rico Strieder who arrived from FC Twente and the highly-rated Slobodan Tedic was borrowed from Manchester City to take the burden off Mike van Duinen and Reza Ghoonchannejhad in attack.
Their opponents, Feyenoord still have 72-year-old Dick Advocaat at the helm, in which should be his last season… possibly. The Rotterdammers are well equipped to mount a serious title challenge and in the pre-season games they looked incredibly impressed defeating a strong Borussia Dortmund side 3-1.
The addition of Bryan Linssen is a great one for Advocaat. Linssen is an experienced goalscoring stalwart, scoring 88 goals in 278 Eredivisie games, he knows where the net is and he could very well beat last year’s total of 14.
PEC Zwolle are too weak. I see nothing but a Feyenoord win. Enough said.
Feyenoord to win (1.70 at Bet365)
So our first official bet of the season is here and it’s the first Double Dutch of year. Take the below two picks in a double (best priced at bet365) and enjoy the games.
Heerenveen-Willem Both Teams to Score and Feyenoord to win (2.67 at Bet365)
Sorry for the Communards reference but Will Burns thinks given time, young winger Crysencio Summerville could be a big hit at Elland Road.
Leeds United’s new winger Summerville is an 18-year-old (19 in October) who was born and raised in Rotterdam, and he started at local amateur club R.V.V. Noorderkwatier. It was not long before scouts were buzzing round him for his signature and he opted to sign Feyenoord in 2008 at a young age of seven years old.
Appearing at international youth level for Holland, Summerville moved through the ranks and stayed in the headlines for all the right reasons, until December 2018. He was involved in a training ground bust-up that ended up in a locker room fight with teammate Mats Knoester. Although he apologised publicly, Feyenoord punished Summerville by suspending him and sent him on loan to Eerste Divisie side FC Dordrecht.
Despite the setback, on the pitch Summerville knuckled down and appeared 18 times for Dordrecht grabbing five goals and one assist. Dordrecht fans were buoyed by his fierce pace and cleverness with the ball at his feet.
He returned to Rotterdam in the summer of 2019 but was loaned out to ADO Den Haag last season due to the global pandemic. At only 17, he gained some great experience of Eredivisie football and managed to create three goals and scored twice in 21 outings in a struggling ADO side.
Pundits tipped him to go out on loan again this year before potentially making his mark in Feyenoord but Marcelo Biesla’s Leeds United have stormed in for his signature. Reports emerged earlier this week that a fee of £1 million had been agreed between the two clubs, after Summerville rejected a new contract offer at De Kuip.
Fans of the newly promoted Leeds need not to think that Summerville will be able to step into the first team, he is at least a year away for being a consistent Premier League player. With his lean build, he is comfortable on either wing but not the strongest player. However, along with his tricky feet, he uses this to his advantage and wins free-kicks in abundance.
He will be a dangerous player for The Whites and under a top coach like Biesla, he will progress at a rapid rate but give him a year to settle and learn the English game. Then you will see the impact of this talented youngster.
With 36 goals banged in last week, we saw 31 this week in just six games. As always, Will Burns is here with all the action.
Excelsior and Almere City played out an amazing ten-goal game on Sunday morning but what was more amazing is that seven of those goals were scored in the first half… and three in three minutes at the end of the game.
Almere took a three minute lead through a Thomas Verheydt header although Excelsior responded in style with a Reuven Niemeijer goal just two minutes later. Last week’s player of the week Elias Mar Omarsson hit two first half goals on 16 and 18 minutes to give Excelsior a 3-1 lead.
However, we saw a first half comeback from Almere as Faris Hammouti and Jearl Margaritha notched in 24th and 25th to level the game up. Six goals before the half-hour mark – crazy.
The first-half action was not finished as Verheydt added his second to give Almere a 4-3 lead at the break. The goals dried up until five astonishing minutes at the end of the game.
Xian Emmers added a fifth in the 86th minute to drive the nail in the coffin for Excelsior but from the kick-off Omarsson grabbed his hat-trick to give the socially distanced home fans some hope.
However, from the resulting kick-off Almere finished the game off with their sixth goal from Tim Receveur. A truly crazy finish to a crazy game.
SC Cambuur experienced a huge 7-1 win away to MVV Maastricht on Saturday evening. Goals from Robin Maulun, Mees Hoedemakers, Robert Muhren (2), Jamie Jacobs and Jarchino Antonia handed Cambuur their biggest win since defeating Jong Ajax 6-0 in April 2019.
Full results below.
Saturday 5th September
FC Eindhoven 2-3 SC Telstar
MVV Maastricht 1-7 SC Cambuur
Roda JC 3-0 TOP Oss
Sunday 6th September
Excelsior 4-6 Almere City
FC Den Bosch 2-1 FC Dordrecht
Helmond Sport 0-2 NAC Breda
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
So yeah let’s give him it again! Icelandic striker Elias Mar Omarsson added a hat-trick in the 6-4 loss to Almere City to the two goals he scored last week against Jong PSV. Five goals in the two games.
International football returns this week as Ronald Koeman’s Holland take on Poland in a UEFA Nations League Group 1 contest. Will Burns thinks despite the upheavel backstage, the Dutch can simply win this one.
Oranje’s caretaker manager Dwight Lodeweges takes control for the first time as the Nations League finalists began their journey against Poland, and the 62-year-old has inherited a side that were in impressive form during qualification for Euro 2020. The Dutch won six of their eight matches and suffered just one loss to finish as runners-up in Group C behind bitter rivals Germany.
Ronald Koeman left the national post to lead Barcelona next season but leaves the Oranje in a much better position than what he inherited from Danny Blind in 2018. Koeman guided his side to five wins from their final six Euro 2020 qualifiers to represent in next summer’s finals, having failed to qualify last time.
Lodeweges has an abundance of talent to pick from and could hand debuts to PSV wonderkid Mohamed Ihattaren, AZ’s Marco Bizot (GK) and Owen Wijndal (LB) or to Ajax’s central defender Perr Schuurs. Although Juventus defender Matthias de Ligt is missing, the usual suspects of Virgil van Dijk, Gini Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay will form a strong spine in the team with the likes Steven Bergwijn, Quincy Promes and new Manchester United signing Donny van de Beek all vying for a starting spot.
One major blow for Polish manager Jerzy Brzęczek is that arguably the best centre-forward in the world fails to join the squad for this set of games. Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is having an extended rest after scoring 61 goals in 56 games for club and country this past year, I think he deserves it.
The history buffs will want to know that the Dutch’s record in 15 games against Poland is won six, drawn six and lost three. The Oranje are unbeaten in last seven encounters (W4 D3) since 2-0 European championship qualifying loss in Chorzow in May 1979. Poland have yet to win in seven games against Oranje in Netherlands (D5 L2). However, history means nothing at all when the team’s line-up on Friday night. After all half of these lads were even born in 1979.
Although I think the game may be a sluggish one for all concerned, and with the Oranje being disrupted by Ronald Koeman’s packing of his bags, I still think the Dutch are capable of clinching the win with ease.
The main Polish threat, Robert Lewandowski will not play so I fail to see how Holland’s defence can be breached.
We will post preview/betting articles for the Eredivisie, Eerste Divisie, European and International competitions like this one throughout the year and we will keep track of our profits and losses for the whole 2020/21 season. This is not an official bet due to lack of football from the Dutch sides over the past few months. Official bets will be begin in September.
Ajax midfield maestro Donny van de Beek is on his way to Old Trafford to join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United on a five-year deal. Will Burns explains how Donny can improve the Red Devils.
The 23-year-old Van de Beek has been an influential figure over the last few years at the Johan Cruyff Arena and helped the Amsterdammers reach the semi-finals of the Champions League semi-finals and lift an Eredivisie title in 2018-19 season.
Manchester United have parted with a reported £40m to bring the young Dutchman to the Premier League but can he fit into a midfield which already boasts Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes – well yes, I believe he can.
Van de Beek rose through Ajax’s De Toekomst academy until he made his first team debut on 26th November 2015, as a substitute away to Celtic in a 2-1 Europa League victory. By the next season, he cemented his place in the Ajax midfield but it was the 2017-18 season where Donny started to shine.
Scoring eleven times in 34 Eredivisie appearances, Donny started to gain some serious plaudits and was tipped to move into the big leagues in the near future. He managed to supply a further six assists and primarily played as a box-to-box midfielder. Head coach Erik ten Hag then moved Donny further forward the season after, where the then-21-year-old played in an attacking midfielder role and scored 17 times, with 13 assists in 57 games in all competitions.
His goals and creativity helped Ajax win the league title and the Amsterdammers unexpectedly found themselves one win away from a UEFA Champions League final. Last season, which was abruptly ended due to ongoing global pandemic, Donny shared his time as a number ten role and back into the middle of midfield. He still managed to nab ten goals in 37 appearances with 11 assists before the season was cut short.
As mentioned above, Van de Beek possesses the ability to play as a perfect box-to-box midfielder but he can advance forward or sit in front of the defence. His versatility has proven that he can be the perfect link between the defence and the attack, and although he is more than adept at sticking a foot in to help out the defence, he is more comfortable going forward. However, defensively he is sound. He averaged 2.2 tackles per game in the Eredivisie last term.
Going forward, time and time again, he has shown that awareness that will see him arrive on the edge of the box late to surprise the opponents. Van de Beek shows a rare intellect with his capability to drift between the lines of the opposition, linking together team mates and finding dangerous space in the final third. The front three at Old Trafford are going to find Donny a joy to play with.
Now the deal has been confirmed, Manchester United fans can get excited that one of the best young midfielders in European football is going to be wearing their red shirt.
Van de Beek is suited to the English game and I can see him initially sitting in a deeper role than he usually used to for Solskjaer’s side. As experience and knowledge of the Premier League comes to him, then you will see Donny been given the green light to play more advanced.
In a 4-2-3-1 formation, van de Beek could be alongside either Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the middle and on paper, Man Utd have one of the strongest midfield’s in the league with an exciting young forward line ahead of them.
However, Donny will not be without a fight for places with Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay also competing for the central midfield role but long-term, the position will become his own.
Well, after a break of what feels like forever, football in the Netherlands returned this weekend and no less than a total of 36 goals were exchanged in the ten games in the opening matchday and Will Burns is here with all the action.
NAC Breda and Excelsior hit the most goals over the weekend in a pair of 6-1 wins on Saturday. Excelsior smashed a very inexperienced Jong PSV with first half goals from Ahmad Mendes Moreira and Joel Zwarts with a further four going past goalkeeper Maxime Delanghe in the second half. Thomas Oude Kotte added a goal just after the break, followed by an unfortunate own goal from Justin de Haas. A double from Icelandic centre forward Elias Mar Omarsson rounded out the scoring with PSV striker Damian Timan notching nothing but a consolation.
While NAC blew away Jong AZ by also hitting them for six. Breda exploded out of the blocks with goals from Huseyin Dogan, Mounir El Allouchi and Finn Stokkers before half-time. Spanish defender Roger Riera added a fourth before the hour mark and former Manchester United youth striker Joshua Bohui scored the fifth. AZ got a goal back through Thijs Oosting but Nick Venema scored NAC’s sixth and final goal.
It was a bad weekend all round for the Eredivisie reserve sides as Jong Ajax were thumped 4-0 by Roda JC on Sunday afternoon and Jong Utrecht saw defeat 2-1 to FC Eindhoven on opening night.
Robert Muhren continued his incredible scoring rate for SC Cambuur on Friday night in a 2-0 win at home to N.E.C. Nijmegen. His 75th minute penalty was Muhren’s 27th goal in just 30 games for The Yellow-Blues and Sven Nieuwpoort also notched in the opening day victory.
The unthinkable happened on Sunday as we saw a pair of goalless draws as FC Dordrecht held Go Ahead Eagles at home as Almere and MVV ended in a 0-0 stalement.
The weekend was rounded out on Monday with De Graafschap’s resounding 4-2 win over FC Den Bosch. Full results below.
Friday 28th August
Jong Utrecht 1-2 FC Eindhoven
SC Cambuur 2-0 N.E.C. Nijmegen
Saturday 29th August
Jong PSV 1-6 Excelsior
Top Oss 1-2 Helmond Sport
NAC Breda 6-1 Jong AZ Alkmaar
Sunday 30th August
SC Telstar 2-2 FC Volendam
Jong Ajax 0-4 Roda JC
FC Dordrecht 0-0 Go Ahead Eagles
Almere City 0-0 MVV Maastricht
Monday 31st August
De Graafschap 4-2 FC Den Bosch
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Elias Mar Omarsson for Excelsior wins our inaugural weekly award after notching two against Jong PSV in a masterful 6-1 away win. The Icelandic striker notched twelve in 28 outings last year and looks to be on course to smash that total this year already.