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EREDIVISIE WEEK 2: Saturday’s Preview & Betting Tips


Saturday brings four more games in the Eredivisie Week 2. Will Burns provides his betting tips with Bet Victor providing the prices.




PSV vs. NAC BREDA (17:30 BST)

Karim Rekik is back in Eindhoven and although PSV have missed out on signing Belgian midfielder Stefan Defour, they have a squad packed full of talent to make a charge for the Eredivisie title. This week, relegation contenders NAC Breda arrive in Eindhoven to try and halt Philip Cocu’s men, Will Burns seems to think De Boeren will not have much trouble on Saturday night.

PSV’s are Ajax main challengers and the signing of Rekik is a welcome addition in the defence. In more good news for Cocu, morale was boosted by skipper Georginio Wijnaldum penning an extension to his contract until 2018. Club officials are hoping the most-wanted winger Memphis Depay follows suit.

Historically, the odds way in the favour of PSV against NAC at the Philips Stadion. The Eindhoven side have been winning at both half time and full time in six of their last eight home matches against Breda in all competitions. In recent times, to stack the odds against Nebojša Gudelj’s side further, NAC have failed to find all three points in their last 12 league games, and with only two wins away all last season, leaving Eindhoven with anything looks highly unlikely.

With Stijn Schaars and Jetro Willems still not fit, expect Cocu to stick with the majority of the same team that defeated ten-man Willem II 3-1 last Sunday. Rekik may replace Jorrit Hendrix in defence alongside Jeffrey Bruma. Although, the performance was the greatest in the Koning Willem II Stadion, PSV will be out to impress in front of their own fans in the first home game of the season. Expect a convincing win for De Boeren and with the returning partnership of Bruma and Rekik, a clean sheet too. PSV to win to nil is valued at 23/20 at Bet Victor and that is our recommended bet in this one.


PSV to win to nil (23/20 – Bet Victor)



FC Dordrecht host PEC Zwolle and the Eredivisie newcomers will look up to Ron Jans’ side as a prime example of a promoted side who can make a success of staying up and progressing. Will Burns predicts Zwolle easily overcoming Dordrecht in an entertaining goal-fest.

With attacking midfielder Stef Nijland playing on his own upfront the last two weeks, Ron Jans added a bit of quality in attack this week with Czech international striker Tomáš Necid joining on a loan deal from CSKA Moscow. Once proclaimed a young prodigy by the experts in his homeland, Necid has struggled in Moscow and was farmed out to PAOK and Slavia Prague the past two seasons. Jans will look to last week’s star man Jody Lukoki to supply the balls for the massive 6ft 3inch hitman if he decides to play the Czech up front.

Dordrecht pulled off the shock result of last weekend, turning over Heerenveen on their own patch, so coach Ernie Brandts should employ the same eleven. Though Rick ten Voorde, Rihairo Meulens and Mohamed Hamdaoui will be itching to get on the pitch and may push for a starting place.

I cannot see anything else but a PEC Zwolle win. A team in form after defeating Ajax and FC Utrecht in recent weeks, I see a resounding triumph for Jans’ men with plenty of goals on show. Bet Victor offer 13/8 for the PEC Zwolle victory but I see PEC Zwolle -1 in the Handicap market at a massive 4/1 at our best value bet.


PEC Zwolle -1 (4/1 – Bet Victor)



An unimpressive Twente grabbed a late point last week against Cambuur, but they will have to perform much better against Henk Fraser’s ADO who suffered a late goal themselves last weekend in the 1-0 defeat to Feyenoord.

Playing the majority of the game with ten-men, ADO were incredibly unfortunate not to salvage a point against Feyenoord on Sunday. The game was a testament of all the hard work Henk Fraser has achieved with the team and ADO will head to Enschede looking to get the season back on track.

Twente could be too strong for ADO in this one and could become a real contender this year with the signing of Kamohelo Mokotjo last Friday for a snip at €1.5m. Mokotjo will be pushing for a start in this one and the South African combining with Kasper Kusk, Kyle Ebecilio and Youness Mokhtar is a mouth-watering prospect for striker Luc Castaignos, who should be eating up the chances created.

It was a valiant performance from ADO last weekend, however I see Twente far too strong for Fraser men on Saturday night. A Twente win gives you a short 2/5 at Bet Victor, however for them to win and keep a clean sheet in the process is a healthy 6/4.


Twente to win to nil (6/4 – Bet Victor)



Cambuur grabbed a great point at home to Twente last weekend, however this weekend they travel to Arnhem for a tough test against Vitesse. Will Burns thinks Cambuur will be overpowered by the Vitesse attack.

Finishing must improve from the home side after missing chance after chance in the first-half away to Ajax last weekend.  Anyone watching would have thought how Vitesse had not scored three or four before the half-time whistle. This weekend, that must change and if Peter Bosz’s side can create the same amount of opportunities, they should be home and dry against Cambuur in Saturday’s late game.

The home side will have to watch out for Albert Rusnak, star of the show in Cambuur’s 1-1 draw with Twente. The young Slovak on loan from Manchester City stole the headlines with a great performance last weekend, topped off with a wonderful free-kick goal. Unfortunately for Cambuur, Rusnak was the only real threat and I cannot see Vitesse conceding many in this one.

For a Vitesse victory, Bet Victor offer 4/7 although for true value for Vitesse to win by two goals (-1) is at 11/8 which gives us some decent money back.


Vitesse -1 (11/8 – Bet Victor)

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EREDIVISIE: Heerenveen 1-2 FC Dordrecht





Ernie Brandts and his FC Dordrecht side pulled off a shock 2-1 win against a poor Heerenveen side that seemed to be lacking something going forward.

The hosts got off to a great start with an opening goal within 13 minutes. Jordy Buijs bombed down the right wing and despite the efforts of Dordrecht defender Sem de Wit, Buijs got a cross in towards the back post. Arriving late was Hakim Ziyech, who rose above the challenge of Marvin Peersman to nod towards goal. Polish goalkeeper Filip Kurto tried relentlessly to stop the header but to no avail.

Heerenveen pressed for a second with Daley Sinkgraven, just aged 19, looking the most likely to make something happen, however Kurto was rarely tested. The youngster came off worse in a challenge with the big goalkeeper before half-time and was bleeding from the top of his head throughout the game.

A minute before the break, Dordrecht found themselves level with a fortunate goal. Former PSV youth player Funso Ojo whipped a free-kick into the area and what should have been an easy catch for Heerenveen stopper Kristoffer Nordfeldt, the big Swede flapped when De Wit jumped with him. Then when Luciano Slagveer botched a clearance, Giovanni Korte was on home to drive the ball home.

Ten minutes to go, the Eredivisie new boys sealed all three points. A mix-up between Nordfledt and young defender Joost van Aken allowed Joris van Overeem steal the ball and slot home to take the win.

Selling Alfred Finnbogason in the summer, new coach Dwight Lodeweges knew it was going to be a massive task replacing him. Aside of Sinkgraven and Ziyech, Heerenveen was missing the attacking threats that we are used to seeing. On the right wing, Slagveer was ineffective and lone striker Mark Uth never got going. New Danish signing Thomas Dalgaard replaced Uth after 55 minutes but himself failed to inspire.

The home side were booed off by their fans inside the Abe Lenstra Stadion as Brandts and his coaching staff jumped up and down in a circle celebrating on the final whistle. Lodeweges will have to pick his players up, as on Friday night they travel to De Kuip to face Feyenoord.


HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Buijs, Van Aken, Raitala, Van den Berg, Ziyech, De Roon, Slagveer (Wildschut 54), Uth (Dalgaard 55), Sinkgraven (Thorsby 75).

SUBS NOT USED: De Fockert, Otigba, Schmidt, Varga.

GOALS: Ziyech 14.

BOOKINGS: De Roon 37, Ziyech 75.

DORDRECHT: Kurto, Fortes, Troost-Ekong, Haddad, Peersman, Ojo, Gosens, Van Overeem (Vet 90), Korte (Meulens 70), Lieder (Ten Voorde 82), Pisas.

SUBS NOT USED: Te Loeke, De Wit, Hamdaoui, Van Haaren.

GOALS: Korte 44, Van Overeem 81.

BOOKINGS: Haddad 21, Meulens 84, Kurto 90+4.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Marvin Peersman (FC Dordrecht)


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Week one in the Eredivisie continues with four cracking games on Saturday, Will Burns is back with some recommended bets, good luck.





FC Dordrecht return to the Eredivisie after 19 years, their last top-flight visit to Saturday’s opponents Heerenveen ended in a 1-1 draw, a result which the league newcomers would welcome in the opening week of fixtures.

Leading Dordrecht into the new campaign is Ernie Brandts, who competed in the 1978 World Cup final for Holland. The 58-year-old is a winner and likes to play attacking football, however this make work against him if he heads into the Abe Lenstra Stadion with that game plan. Heerenveen coach Dwight Lodeweges has a fast attack at his disposal, with the speed of Daley Sinkgraven, Hakim Ziyech and Luciano Slagveer sitting behind new striker Martin Dalgaard, this may be too much for Brandts’ men.

Six-foot two-inch Danish striker Dalgaard has the complicated task of filling the boots of Heerenveen’s all time top scorer Alfred Finnbogason who after two successful years left De Superfriezen to join La Liga side Real Sociedad in the summer. Dalgaard has the credentials with great scoring record of his own, notching 50 times in 75 appearances for Danish Superligaen side Viborg FF over the last two campaigns. Although, he will be tussling with Mark Uth for a starting spot on Saturday, with Uth returning from a season on-loan to Heracles.

Heerenveen are heavy favourites in this game and rightly so. I feel the hosts will be too much for the Eredivisie new boys but Bet Victor’s price of 1/2 is very short to get any value. I recommend looking at Heerenveen -1 which means the home side need to win by two clear goals to land the bet.

BEST BET: Heerenveen -1 (11/10 – Bet Victor)



In a potential relegation match-up already on day one of the Eredivisie, NAC Breda play host to another newcomer Excelsior.

Breda just scraped through the relegation battle last year as Serbian coach Nebojsa Gudelj failed to find a win in NAC’s last 11 matches of the season. Excelsior finished third in Eerste Divisie last year and their squad does not look as strong as did, mainly after the loss of 30-goal striker Lars Veldwijk to Nottingham Forest.

NAC do seem to have a real talent on their hands with Kingsley Boateng. The 20-year-old Ghanaian winger is being tipped to be one of the stars of the Eredivisie this season, and we might see a glimpse of that on Saturday against one of the only underdog opponents that Breda may face this season. Signed on a free from AC Milan, Boateng has already made waves with the NAC fans scoring four goals in three pre-season outings.

I feel this will be a low scoring affair with NAC maybe coming out 1-0 winners (available at 17/2 with Bet Victor) but once again, with it being the opening day and game neither will see they can afford to lose, our best bet and safest is in the Both Teams To Score market. Selecting No gives you a decent price of 11/10 and I recommend this in case Excelsior shut out NAC.

BEST BET: Both Teams to Score – NO (11/10 – Bet Victor)



FC Twente travel to Cambuur with new signing Kamohelo Mokotjo in tow but without two stars from last year, Quincy Promes and Dušan Tadić, who were sold on in the summer. Cambuur themselves have gone under major chance over the last few months with coach Henk de Jong boasting 11 new bodies in his squad.

Losing Promes and Tadić could hit Twente hard but coach Alfred Schreuder has replaced well bringing in Mokotjo from PEC Zwolle and importing highly-rated Dane Kasper Kusk from Aalborg. Both will give attacking support to lone striker Luc Castaignos. Hopes are high this year and they will look to get off to a good start with a win away in Leeuwarden. Youness Mokhtar, former team-mate of Mokotjo at Zwolle, which also be on hand to support but Felipe Gutiérrez and Shadrach Eghan are ruled out with injuries.

Cambuur may have brought in eleven new faces however, they do not look as sturdy as last term. Defender Ramon Leeuwin left for Utrecht and impressive loanees Elvis Manu (Feyenoord), Jody Lukoki (Ajax, but now signed for Zwolle) and Marcel Ritzmaier (PSV) have not returned. Replacements include young loanees midfielder Albert Rusnak from Manchester City and Delan Meleg from Ajax.

Twente should blow Cambuur away but the Cambuurstadion is a raucous arena that can get to the opposition. I see a narrow win for Twente but not without some scares. Twente to win with Both Teams To Score is a massive 12/5 at Bet Victor.

BEST BET: Twente to win with Both Teams To Score (12/5 – Bet Victor)



Marco van Basten has returned to Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar after leaving Heerenveen at the end of the season as he takes the Cheese Farmers to Almelo to face Heracles.

AZ have slight changes from last season’s team that finished 8th last year in the league. They will miss striker Roy Beerens after he moved to Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin, as well as scoring five times last year he also managed five assists. The club are hoping that his loss will be covered by the arrival of the dynamic Guus Hupperts from relegated Roda JC. The golden-haired youngster scored nine goals from right-wing and if he can replicate that form at AZ then he should help propel them higher this season.

Heracles’ success will feature heavily with the performances of Bryan Linssen. A very direct, pacy and technically gifted wide midfielder, Linssen was the Almelo side’s top scorer last season with 11 goals. Now that Mark Uth has returned to parent club Heerenveen, Linssen will have to develop a quick understanding with the likes of new signing Mark-Jan Fledderus from Roda for Heracles to get off to a good start.

Unfortunately for Henk de Jong’s men I see AZ being too strong as they always seem to Heracles’ number. AZ are undefeated in nine of their last ten matches against Heracles in all competitions and I see that run continuing in Saturday’s late game. AZ to win is 17/10 at Bet Victor and the price is very tempting to have a punt on it.

BEST BET: AZ to win (17/10 – Bet Victor)

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The waiting is over and the Eredivisie returns tonight as Ron Jans’ PEC Zwolle host FC Utrecht, hot off the heels of their Johan Cruijff Schaal win over Ajax on Sunday. Will Burns says backing Zwolle to claim victory is how to get the new season underway with a winner.





The Eredivisie returns tonight as Ron Jans’ PEC Zwolle host FC Utrecht, hot off the heels of their Johan Cruijff Schaal win over Ajax on Sunday and Will Burns says that backing Zwolle to claim victory is the way to start the new season with a winner.


PEC Zwolle head into this opening day full of confidence after claiming their second trophy in 105 days. The Blauwvingers defeated Ajax by the solitary Stef Nijland goal last Sunday at the Amsterdam ArenA. Head coach Ron Jans suffered a blow to his season preparations earlier this morning losing arguably his best player last term, Kamohelo Mokotjo to FC Twente for a meagre €1.5m fee. However, it’s not all doom and gloom as earlier in the week, speedy winger Jody Lukoki arrived on a three-year deal from Amsterdam, the 21-year-old spent last season at Cambuur and should be a great addition to Jans’ selection. The winger should get a start on the right this evening with 19-year-old New Zealander Ryan Thomas on the left. On Sunday, Zwolle lined up with Nijland alone up front, however, Jans has added two Greek strikers to his ranks, Dimitrios Ferfelis (TuS Koblenz) and Nikos Ioannidis (Olympiakos) to help in front of goal, but may start on the bench this evening.  Losing defensive rock Darryl Lachman to Twente earlier in the summer was disappointing, although the central defensive pairing Trent Sainsbury and Joost Broerse held well against Ajax on Sunday and should retain their place. In midfield, the defensive Ben Rienstra has arrived from Heracles this window and should protect the back four.


It is a new season and a new manager for Utrecht after a disappointing campaign last year. After working his way up the ranks at the club, Rob Alflen replaced Jan Wouters in May following Utrecht’s horrific campaign which almost saw them involved in the relegation battle towards the end of the season. Looking to rebuild the team, Alflen brings a fresh approach and could hand lots of debuts to new signings tonight. A striker well known to watchers of the Eredivisie, Danny Verbeek arrived on loan from Belgian Pro League side Standard Liège after spending the last two years loaned out to NAC Breda. 24-year-old Dutchman and former Arsenal youth Nacer Barazite joined from Monaco and could line up in midfield. New defensive duo could start Christian Kum (Heerenveen) and Ramon Leeuwin (Cambuur) and Anouar Kali could make a return in the red shirt after a year at Roda. Alflen however, will be missing up to five first-teamers as midfielders Édouard Duplan and Willem Jansen, goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter, centre-forward Ruud Boymans and left-back Michael Zullo all miss out with injuries.


After last weekend’s exploits, PEC Zwolle head into the game as favourites with evens being offered at Bet Victor and due to amount of talent that Utrecht is missing, I recommend this to be a great bet. With it being the opening game, it could be a cautious affair and a narrow Zwolle win could be the outcome, the scoreline of 2-1 to Zwolle at 8/1 looks very tempting. Ron Jans’ tactics may be more productive going forward than defensively this season and his side, as always will be an entertaining one to watch. If Zwolle do attack then Utrecht could do some damage on the counter with Jens Toornstra being the main threat scoring 19 goals in his total 48 appearances for the club from midfield. Toornstra is a menace from set-pieces also and is valued at 23/10 for anytime goalscorer. We all know how the goals can flow in the Eredivisie and both teams to score is an interesting but short price of 8/13, nevertheless, if combine that with a PEC Zwolle win and you can nail a great price of 5/2.


PEC Zwolle to win with Both Teams to Score – 5/2

Jens Toornstra to score anytime – 23/10


PEC Zwolle to win – Evens

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Total Dutch Football previews all 18 teams ahead of the new Eredivisie season beginning this Friday night. Click on a club’s badge below to view their extensive preview and how our team think they will fare in the upcoming 2014/15 season.

The Eredivisie is back and for viewers based in the United Kingdom, it is an exciting time. As of this season, Sky Sports have signed a four-year deal to show the Dutch top flight, so we will the breeding ground for some many playing and coaching talent right in front of our eyes. Lots of changes as per usual in the Eredivisie, as is every year when the vast amount of talent the season before, have moved onto bigger clubs across Europe. It is very apt that the league does get named ‘The Stepping Stone’ division as many stars like Luis Suarez, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie honed their skills in Holland before moving on to the big time. In recent times, we have saw Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Siem de Jong all leave the Amsterdam Arena for the dizzy heights of the Premier League.

Could Ajax win an unprecedented fifth title in a row or could we see a new winner of the Eredivisie?

Well what are you watching for?

Click on a club badge below and find out who we think will be holding aloft the Eredivisie shield in May.

SC Cambuur FC Dordrecht Excelsior
Feyenoord Go Ahead Eagles FC Groningen
Heerenveen Heracles Almelo NAC Breda
PEC Zwolle PSV Eindhoven FC Twente
FC Utrecht Vitesse Arnhem Willem II



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A long season awaits for these five Eredivisie goalkeepers

I expect it to be a busy season for many goalkeepers in the Eredivisie, but no other number ones will feel the pressure quite like the following keepers mentioned in this piece. I can only imagine that the 2014/15 campaign will be remembered for either all the right or wrong reasons for these five men writes Kalkeren Kieran.


It is never easy being a keeper in these times but being captain of the club along with the responsibility of holding the goal really brings it into a different level of pressure. In which NAC Breda’s first choice stopper this season will be once again the 33 year-old Jelle ten Rouwelaar.

Already appearing a remarkable 236 times for the club, Ten Rouwelaar has spent virtually all of his livelihood in the Netherlands, appearing for Austria Wien for one year out of his fifteen-year long career.

At the age of 33, there is no doubt that he will be depending on all of his experience this season to lead the side. His main objective will be to keep them out of any trouble and another season to look forward to in the top flight, however it will not be easy for this Dutch-born star, as the side conceded 54 goals last season finishing with a -11 goal difference. Considering 11 of the 54 were scored in the last ten minutes of the game, means that concentration will be key for the side staying out of trouble during the 2014/15 campaign.


SC Cambuur will be relying on 24-year-old Nienhuis to keep the goals out this season. Although he is currently recovering from a serious injury sustained from late last season, his return is unknown.  I am sure all the supporters of Cambuur will be hoping that he recovers in time for the first week of the season, as the team face an impressive FC Twente side at home in Leeuwarden.

I am sure if the Cambuur stand any chance of taking something out of the opening weekend they will need Nienhuis to be in tip-top shape. Mainly due to the fact, that the first choice stopper is recovering from injury, Cambuur have three keepers in their squad for this coming season, including Harm Zeinstra and Jurjan Wouda.

After winning the Eerste Divisie with the club in the 2011/12 season, Nienhuis knows what it is like to taste success. However, as everyone knows not all clubs are capable of continued success, and this upcoming campaign. I cannot imagine Cambuur’s expectations are higher than a play-off place into the Europa league qualifying round and this season could be a real battle for the club, to prove that they are worthy of a spot in the Eredivisie for the 2015/16 season.

Last season Cambuur’s opponents scored first 17 times out of a possible 34 matches, although the team only conceded a -10 goal difference, unlike other teams such as FC Utrecht or Go Ahead Eagles.

FILIP KURTO (FC Dordrecht)

Born on Olsztyn, Poland, Kurto could be the first name on the FC Dordrecht team sheet, as the side attempt to avoid the drop zone this season and resist exiting the Eredivisie in their first year back.

The 23-year-old may be remembered for his embarrassing own-goal last year during the 3-3 draw against FC Utrecht while keeping goal for Roda JC. He was released by the club and in July 2014, he signed a contract for the newly promoted FC Dordrecht.

I believe this will be a massive chance for the Pole to prove himself in the Dutch top flight and also to demonstrate to his old side that he should not have been let go so easily. Kurto is no stranger to Eredivisie football after appearing 65 times for Roda JC in the last two campaigns. As a relatively young keeper, I would love to see this number one at Dordrecht having the season of his life. I have high hopes for this club in general this coming season, however they will have to build from the back and no better way to do it than to start off with a keeper that has a safe pair of hands.


Deckers will be preparing for a busy season ahead as his club Excelsior Rotterdam in their fight to try to avoid the drop zone like so many other clubs this season.

The 6ft 3 inches goalkeeper has appeared 54 times prior for Excelsior. He was a large part of the Rotterdam side’s promotion success last year as Deckers went on to play 38 Eerste Divisie matches and appeared in the four play-off matches.

The Dutchman will be out to do his best this upcoming season and there is no doubt, that the pressure will be on. Hopefully he can return from his summer break with a smoking hot pair of gloves to keep this club in the league. Success could be discovered by the club by competing in the KNVB Beker and doing respectablely well. This would be a great positive for the club, which I believe can only go into this season with realistic views and not get too eager.

All eyes in the Woudestein will be on Deckers this coming season, as his inexperienced defence will come under immense strain from the attacking forces of several of the top sides.


Beginning his loan spell at Willem II for this campaign, Lamprou will be hoping he can show his parent club Feyenoord that he is worthy of a place in their starting eleven.

Born in Athens, Lamprou could be in the spotlight every weekend as his side attempt to fight for their lives in the Eredivisie. In 2012, he received the call from Greece national side, due to his consistency. However, his lack of height has continued to hinder his goalkeeping career, as he has received criticism from past stars of the game for only being 5ft 10. Which is a tad small for a regular keeper of this day and age, but this should not be too much of a factor for Lamprou this season.

Either way, the Greek keeper will have his work cut out for him this season and keeping a well mannered defence will be his main priority.


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Who are the Eredivisie new boys?


The North Brabant side of Willem II Tilburg, are a well known team in the Netherlands mainly for their appearances in the promotion/relegation play-offs as they to and fro from the Eredivisie to the Eerste Divisie each year.

Despite never winning the Eredivisie, Willem II have had the guilty pleasure of having Jaap Stam, Marc Overmars and Sami Hyypia star for their side, with the latter making 100 appearances for the club.

Willem II were automatically promoted with 79 points last term finishing ahead of FC Dordrecht. They will be relying on their defensive captain Jordens Peters to keep them out of the relegation spot this season. The club will be managed by Jurgen Streppel, who has managed the club since 2011 and the boss is well known for his antics on the side line as he asks his players for nothing less than 101% on the pitch. The clubs colours have been adapted from the national flag, red, white and blue. The stadium, Koning Willem II holds over 14,000 people and getting bums on seats should not be a problem for the club this season.

The club has decided to loan in many players such as Goalkeeper Kostas Lamprou from Feyenoord, Thomas van Milert (NAC Breda) and brought in former Chelsea striker Ben Sahar from Hertha Berlin on a two year deal.  That is just to name a few, as the club are preparing to increase the squad size considering it could be a long season ahead for the newly promoted side attempting to resist the drop zone.

There is no doubt in my mind that this group of players will fight until the very end to stay up and with the type of coach like Streppel he will expect the very best from his players on and off the pitch. I am sure that Streppel will try to build a fortress at home and with such a strongly supported team the opposition will not enjoy coming to Tilburg. Although, I believe picking up points on the road will be a challenge for this side and collecting points against mid-table sides will decide whether they will stay up or not. Many Dutch fans will agree, it is too hard to call this one.


The side from Dordrecht were founded 130 years ago and they play their matches in the GN Bouw Stadium. The club is known as the ‘Sheep Heads’ or in Dutch ‘SchapenKoppen’.

The team will be managed by the former Dutch international Ernie Brandts who earned 28 caps for the national team and scored five times, also played in the great 1978 World Cup team. The last time he managed in the Dutch top flight was with NAC Breda from 2006-2008.

Brandts brought great success to the side finishing third in the Eredivisie and making it to the semi-finals of the KNVB Beker. That season was NAC’s greatest season in the clubs history. His skills and well mannered defence should be enough to keep Dordrecht up this season.

Finishing second, Dordrecht ended the season six points behind the Tilburg side after earning 73 points over the season including 21 wins out of a possible 38. The team scored 83 times (the most goals scored by a team that season in the Eerste Divisie.) The team qualified through the Eredivisie play-offs, beating VVV-Venlo 5-2 on aggregate, Dordrecht then went on to beat Sparta Rotterdam on aggregate 5-3 in the third round and secured promotion to the Eredivisie. The last time the club has been in the top flight was in 1994, when they finished bottom of the league with only 20 points. That season was one to forget after finishing with a minus 27 goal difference, although that year, they were called ‘Dordrecht ’90’.

I boldly believe that Dordrecht will be able to avoid relegation this season and for several reasons. The team have proven that they can score goals and having such an experienced manager will also be a big advantage to younger players. Although the gap between both divisions is rather immense, I still think that Dordrecht will be able to hold their nerve and survive the season.


The smaller team of the two Eredivisie sides from Rotterdam, Excelsior also reached the top flight through the promotion/relegation play-offs. Excelsior have returned after two seasons in the Eerste Divisie by overcoming FC Den Bosch 5-2 on aggregate they then went on to win a 4-2 battle over Erwin Koeman’s RKC Waalwijk.

Excelsior play their matches in the Woudestein stadium, which will be the smallest stadium in the league, only being able to hold a little over 3,500 fans. Their matches will also be played on an artificial turf which should give them an advantage over their opposition when they play their home matches.

The side will be managed by Marinus Dijkhuizen and it is his first professional managerial job and with little experience I cannot see the club staying up this season. The club acts as a satellite club of Feyenoord, and the Eredivisie giants give Excelsior a payment and loan youth players. So far this transfer window, there has been little or no movement at the club.

I believe that the club will need to bring new players into the squad including a forward that will be a treat to the top defences in the league. If not I think they will struggle to stay in the top flight, unless they take their few chances on goal and defend bravely. If not then sadly I cannot see the side remaining in the Eredivisie.

A lack of experience in the side will also be a factor while they battle relegation but hopefully this team will be able to prove all the experts wrong and survive the season.


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Week 34 Eerste Divisie Report: Willem II in pole position


Willem II are now the favourites to earn the automatic promotion spot to the Eredivisie after overcoming league leaders FC Dordrecht 3-1 on Friday night. The Tilburg side stay in second but are now just one point adrift from the top spot with a game in hand over their rivals.

Willem’s top scorer Ruud Boymans, on loan from AZ Alkmaar, lead his side to the all-important victory scoring a double including the opener after just three minutes. Brazilian forward Bruno Andrade got the second just after the half-hour mark to send the hosts in two goals to the good. As Dordrecht pressed for goals to try and get back into the game, Boymans hit his second on 68 minutes to cement all three points. The visitors got a last minute consolation goal through Paul Gladon but Dordrecht will be hoping that De Graafschap can do them a favour on Wednesday, when Willem II travel to Doetinchem in their game in hand.

The biggest win of the weekend was Excelsior 8-0 drubbing of Telstar in game which saw the Rotterdam side five goals up at half-time. Eerste Divisie top scorer Lars Veldwijk took his tally to 25 goals in 33 games with a hat-trick as fellow striker Kevin Vermeulen notched a brace. Scoring was complete by Moroccan midfielder Adil Auassar, Ricky Kruys and Lars Hutten netting the other three goals.

Third-placed VVV Venlo maintain their playoff position with a 2-1 home victory over FC Emmen, thanks to goals from Oguzhan Tuerk and Prince Rajcomar after Ronald Bergkamp had grabbed a equaliser for the away side.


Friday 4th April






Saturday 5th April

MVV 3 – 0 ACHILLES ‘29


Sunday 6th April


Monday 7th April




20140407 - Eerste Divisie

League table courtesy of WhoScored.com


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Week 32 Eerste Divisie Report: Four-point lead for Dordrecht


With only seven games taking place due to a large amount of police presence issued to work this week’s Nuclear Security Summit 2014 in Den Haag, only two of the top five played with both coming out on top.

Second-placed Willem II were not in action this past Friday evening which allowed FC Dordrecht to stretch their lead to four points on Friday night with a 3-1 victory over Jong Twente. Youri Leon put the league leaders ahead after 20 minutes but soon after the half-time break, Kristopher Vida equalised for the Twente reserve side. Two goals in the last six minutes courtesy of Paul Gladon and Genaro Snijders clinched the victory.

VVV-Venlo comfortably sit in third four points ahead of Excelsior in fourth with a hard-fought 3-2 win over FC Oss. Venlo took a first-half lead through a Leon de Kogel penalty, which was the strikers 11th goal of the campaign. After Jorzolino Falkenstein equalised just before the hour mark, VVV stepped it up a gear and regained the lead nine minutes later with Oguzhan Turk grabbing the goal. Dyon Gijzen looked to cement the points six minutes before time, but Johnatan Opuku Agyemang notched in the 90th minute to give Venlo an unnerved few minutes before the full-time whistle.

Jong PSV missed the opportunity to leapfrog into fifth when they fell 3-1 away to Volendam. The division’s top scorer Robert Mühren notched twice to take his tally to 23 in 27 games with a Ludcinio Marengo goal in injury time to seal the win. PSV’s young central defender Menno Koch scored a second-half penalty which proved to be nothing but a consolation.

Ronald Bergkamp scored the only goal of the game in FC Emmen’s win over FC Eindhoven as the highly-rated Abdelmalek El Hasnaout notched Jong Ajax’s only goal in their 1-0 away win to Fortuna Sittard.

Helmond Sport and Telstar cancelled each other in a 1-1 draw with an early Serhat Koç goal giving the hosts the leas but a late Toine van Huizen leveller meant the points were shared.

Down at the bottom, Achilles ’29 gained a point at home to Sparta Rotterdam but they still sit rock bottom on just 22 points.


Friday 21st March









20140323 - Eerste Divisie

League table courtesy of WhoScored.com


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Week 31 Eerste Divisie Report: Dordrecht return top as Oss win 8-0


On Friday evening the most unlikely result of the Eerste Divisie season so far was witnessed as 19th place FC Oss handed 15th place FC Emmen an unbelievable EIGHT-nil pasting writes Will Burns.

The relegation threatened FC Oss have been improving in recent weeks but no-one expected a score like the one we saw on Friday evening. Dennis Janssen opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour before Jonathan Opuku and Lorenzo Pique added to the tally before half-time. Janssen added his second, while Marko Maletic netted early in the second half. Ryan Sansai and Guyon Phillips added to the rout before Maletic grabbed his brace to send Emmen home with their tails between their legs.

FC Dordrecht grabbed top spot after a great 2-0 away win against title rivals VVV Venlo on Friday night. Paul Gladon gave the visitors the lead in the first half before Giovanni Korte added a second in second half stoppage time. VVV’s chances of getting back in the game were hampered by defender Jeffrey Altheer receiving a red card midway through the second half. Venlo are now third, seven points away from Willem II in second.

Promotion hopefuls Willem II sit in second after Jong PSV hit two late goals to pinch a 2-2 draw on Monday night. Ruud Boymans scored his 20th of the season and Terell Ondaan add a second to fire the Tilburg side ahead but PSV full-back Joshua Brenet grabbed on what was thought to be an 85th minute consolation for the home side. The PSV reserve side did not give up and in the final kick of the game Alex Schalk scored the equaliser to send Willem II back to Tilburg with just the point.

Excelsior missed the chance to go in third falling at home by the single goal to MVV Maastricht. Twenty-one-year-old Belgian midfielder Marco Ospitalieri notched the only goal of the game.

De Graafschap moved up to fifth with a 2-0 win away to Telstar thanks to the young strikeforce of Nathan Kabasele and Vincent Vermeij notching the all important goals.

Jong Ajax came from behind to defeat Achilles ’29 in a great 2-1 win on Saturday. The part-timers went ahead through Thijs Hendriks on 54 minutes before Serbian winger Dejan Meleg equalised just after the hour mark. Highly-rated Danish playmaker Lucas Andersen got the winner with twenty minutes of time remaining.

In other games, Helmond Sport were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Fortuna Sittard as Sparta Rotterdam fell to a 1-0 defeat while entertaining Almere City a day later. On Sunday, FC Volendam lost 2-0 to Den Bosch while Jong Twente defeated FC Eindhoven 1-0 on Monday evening.


Friday 14th March






Saturday 15th March



Sunday 16th March


Monday 17th March




20140317 - Eerste Divisie

League table courtesy of WhoScored.com


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Week 16 – 8th-11th November 2013

Dordrecht take three points again, FC Oss closing in on Achilles

Another round played in the Dutch Jupiler League and it was a round in which Sparta hoped to go past Dordrecht in the table. Sparta hosted the league leaders on Saturday knowing that they were yet to be beaten at home, but it all went wrong for Sparta in the first half as Dordrecht managed to lead 0-3 at the break thanks to goals by Gladon, Meulens and Danso. Sparta did pull back to 2-3 in the second half and even got the opportunity to level the game, but Bilate failed from short distance.

FC Eindhoven benefited from Sparta’s loss by easily beating Achilles ’29 at the Jan Louwers Stadion. Three Eindhoven goals before half time meant they could sit back and relax after the break, in which Achilles scored a consolation goal to make it 3-1.

The day before these two matches, FC Den Bosch went back to winning ways. After two trashings against Dordrecht and Sparta, they beat Helmond Sport 3-1 at home with goals from Van Den Broek and Quekel in the last twenty minutes. Willem II humiliated Almere City by putting five behind Van Duin. The win keeps them in fourth place, seven points behind Dordrecht. Meanwhile, bottom of the table side Oss got a draw against in-form Excelsior to keep the pressure on Achilles and Almere City. The first half was most exciting as all four goals were scored before the break.

Jong Twente and Jong PSV both grabbed wins in their fixtures. Twente had an easy game against Telstar (3-0), while Jong PSV continued their run by beating mid-table rivals MVV Maastricht 3-2 in an interesting match. Jong PSV now find themselves fiercely involved in the period title battle with 16 points from the last 7 games.

Their run contrasts sharply with that of rivals Jong Ajax, who lost their seventh game in a row, this time in a 1-2 defeat at home to De Graafschap. Although the Ajax reserves did grab a lead through former De Graafschap man Sam Hendriks, De Graafschap eventually got the win. First, De Graafschap were lucky as Ajax were denied a free kick, followed up by a quick counter attack that Anco Jansen finished off. Then, in the second half, Martina got sent off for allegedly bringing down Vincken in the box, although Vincken himself indicated he was not sure if it was a foul. Parzyszek scored the following penalty kick to score the final goal of the game, 1-2.


Friday 8th November 2013

FC Den Bosch 3-1 Helmond Sport

FC Oss 2-2 Excelsior Rotterdam

Fortuna Sittard 2-0 FC Emmen

Jong FC Twente 3-0 Telstar

Willem II 5-0 Almere City

Saturday 9th November

Sparta Rotterdam 2-3 FC Dordrecht

FC Eindhoven 3-1 Achilles ‘29

Sunday 10th November

FC Volendam 1-1 VVV Venlo

Monday 11th November

Jong Ajax 1-2 De Graafschap

Jong PSV 3-2 MVV Maastricht



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FC Oss take three points, Eindhoven win key match

FC Oss will no doubt be delighted with this weekend as they finally managed to get their third win of the season by winning 1-2 De Geusselt in Maastricht. FC Den Bosch had another match to forget as the league leaders FC Dordrecht beat them 5-0. After the 7-1 loss last weekend, Den Bosch now find themselves in 17th place with just three points from their last six games.

Almere City managed to grab a point against Fortuna Sittard, moving past Achilles ’29, who lost against Volendam on Saturday, and again on Tuesday against Sparta Rotterdam. Sparta had also won their match on Saturday (away to Emmen), which means Sparta are now only 1 point away from first place and firmly on top in the second period table.

FC Eindhoven had an amazing match as they visited De Graafschap. With Willem II surprisingly losing 3-1 to Telstar on Friday, the game at De Vijverberg in Doetinchem meant a battle for third place. An excellent performance by the boys from Eindhoven meant they took the three points back home.

Helmond Sport once again proved they don’t give up easily as they beat Jong Ajax 3-2 after going 0-2 down. Hoesen scored an amazing lob ball for Jong Ajax but it turned out to be not enough for the Amsterdammers. Rivals Jong PSV extended their great run of form with a surprising 0-2 win over recently relegated VVV Venlo, while Excelsior managed to grab all points against Jong FC Twente. Talented FC Twente attacker Youness Mokhtar overslept and missed the match, which ended 3-0.

Friday 1st November 2013

FC Dordrecht 5-0 FC Den Bosch

MVV Maastricht 1-2 FC Oss

Almere City 1-1 Fortuna Sittard

Telstar 3-1 Willem II

Saturday 2nd November

FC Emmen 0-1 Sparta Rotterdam

De Graafschap 1-3 FC Eindhoven

Achilles ’29 0-2 FC Volendam

Sunday 3rd November

VVV Venlo 0-2 Jong PSV

Excelsior Rotterdam 3-0 Jong FC Twente

Monday 4th November

Helmond Sport 3-2 Jong Ajax

Tuesday 5th November

Sparta Rotterdam 1-0 Achilles ‘29




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Dordrecht strengthen lead, Sparta trash Den Bosch

It was a great weekend for FC Dordrecht as they saw FC Eindhoven and Willem II both spill points on Friday, and beating Jong Ajax 0-4 themselves tonight. FC Eindhoven lost 1-3 at home to Excelsior, while Willem II drew goalless against MVV.

The most impressive result came on Saturday, when Sparta Rotterdam put seven behind FC Den Bosch at “Het Kasteel”. The win saw Sparta move up to second place in the league.

De Graafschap also moved past Eindhoven and Willem II in the league, after beating Volendam 0-1 late in the game.

At the bottom of the league, FC Oss almost managed to pull off a stunt against Helmond Sport, but two quick goals from Brouwers and Elbers respectively meant Helmond took home the three points with a 2-3 win.

Jong PSV managed to pick up a win again, beating Telstar 3-1. They are now the highest “Jong” team in the league, with a 14th place.


Friday 25th October

Willem II 0-0 MVV Maastricht

FC Emmen 2-1 Almere City

FC Eindhoven 1-3 Excelsior Rotterdam

FC Oss 2-3 Helmond Sport

Saturday 26th October

Sparta Rotterdam 7-1 FC Den Bosch

Fortuna Sittard 2-1 Achilles ‘29

Sunday 27th October

FC Volendam 0-1 De Graafschap

Monday 28th October

Jong Ajax 0-4 FC Dordrecht

Jong PSV 3-1 Telstar

Jong FC Twente 1-1 VVV Venlo



20131031 - Eerste Divisie



Click on Joost’s name above to follow him on Twitter and also visit his blog at FM Holland.

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