Tag Archives: FC Groningen

Total Dutch Football 2014/15 Breakthrough Talent of the Season


Throughout this year’s campaign, we have seen some great talents emerge as scouts from all over Europe honed in on them. Myself and the remainder of the staff at TotalDutchFootball.com have been assessing who can be declared as the best ‘Breakthrough Talent of the Season’.

All staff were asked to name their top three talents. Each first pick received three points, second place received two points and one point was awarded for the third pick. The results are below…



Winner – JESUS CORONA (FC Twente) 5 points

The little Mexican nicknamed “El Tecatito”, signed on a free transfer aged 20 from Liga MX side Monterrey after rejecting a new contract from the Mexican club in 2013. After taking a while to settle in under Albert Schreuder, Corona now 22-years-old, has shown he is perfect example of a pacy winger with a tremendous dribbling ability to torment full-backs down either flank.

He appeared in 27 games for Twente this year, notching nine goals and supplying four assists, showing to be a shining light, in a what has been a disappointing season for his side. Tecatito’s consistency has enhanced his already impressive skills. His speed and trickery make him a very elusive footballer who provides depth to the team, which results in goal opportunities.

Due to Twente’s crippling financial status, Corona looks to be moved on next season and could end up leaving the Eredivisie. However, the young Mexican has finally shone in Holland and he is surely set to raise a big chunk of funds for the Enschede club.

Joint 2nd – MARK UTH & SAM LARSSON (Heerenveen) 4 points

The Heerenveen pair have been surprising successes for Dwight Lodeweges this year. Both used as replacements for summer sales, Alfred Finnbogasson and Hakim Ziyech respectively have excelled. The stocky German striker, Uth has scored 15 times in 32 outings to become the club’s top scorer and managed to use his strength to hold the ball up and created 10 assists. Also notching goals is Swedish winger Larsson with eight with four assists. Both players have linked with moves away themselves this coming summer, not an unusual process for Heerenveen.


ALBERT RUSNAK (FC Groningen) 3 points

TJARONN CHERY (FC Groningen) 3 points

ANWAR EL GHAZI (Ajax) 3 points

TOM VAN WEERT (Excelsior) 2 points

TERENCE KONGOLO (Feyenoord) 2 points




BERTRAND TRAORE (Vitesse) 1 point


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Could Tjaronn Chery be next for the Premier League?

At the age of twenty six years old, FC Groningen playmaker, Tjaronn Chery could be classified as a late bloomer, but this season the diminutive player has put in the performances that have rendered him one of the stars of the season writes Rion Rodgers.

Chery is a playmaker that arguably is at his best when operating as a free roaming number 10. This season he has operated both as a number 10 and as a winger for Groningen, but he has impressed in both positions. Chery is a typical Dutch playmaker with quick feet, good dribbles and a fierce striker of the ball. He is a good goal scorer and a set-piece specialist. At this stage in the season, Chery has already won the KNVB Beker and at the end of match day 32 in the Eredivisie, he has a record of fourteen goals and five assists. This piece of statistic thrusts him firmly into the spot of top goal-scoring midfielder in the Eredivisie. His nearest rival, PSV Eindhoven’s Georginio Wijnaldum is on thirteen goals.

We are accustomed to hearing a lot about the talent of Hakim Ziyech as a good number 10, but Chery is arguably having an even more impressive personal season. The shiny maiden Dutch Cup title that he won with his club earlier this month is a poignant example of the stellar season he is experiencing. It is also worth noting that with two more league games set go before the conclusion of the current season, Chery could still very well increase his goal scoring and assists records even further.

Having began his career with FC Twente in 2008 and making his official debut for the club in October 2008, he has taken a long road to the height he has displayed this season. Following his debut for FC Twente he was sent out on loan to SC Cambuur Leeuwarden. That first loan spell was followed by spells with RBC Roosendaal and FC Emmen, over a period of two years. At the beginning of the 2011 – 2012 season, Chery made the move to ADO Den Haag in the West of the Netherlands. He played in The Hague for two seasons where his outstanding and eye-catching performances lead to an initial loan move to the Northern club, FC Groningen, for the entirety of last season and a permanent move at the beginning of this season.

When one considers his current age as well as the fact that he is on the verge of concluding his second impressive season with FC Groningen, it looks like now is the ideal time for him to be seeking to venture abroad. But where? Turkish giants Galatasaray, has been linked with showing an interest in signing him recently, but a move to the English Premier League could possibly be better for his career. Southampton, Everton or Newcastle United could all fit his style of play.

However, it should be noted that there seems to be a lot of mixed opinions about how good Chery really is. The view of many may vary, but I am quite convinced that Chery has the quality to play admirably in a mid-table English, German or Spanish club. Undeniably, my first choice would be Southampton. The obvious link with a Dutch coach and the team’s style of play are my main reasons for choosing the home of the St. Mary’s Stadium. There would also be a possibility of him linking up with a few more Dutch players who will quite imminently make the move to the Saints this upcoming transfer window.

It must be said also that there is a strong case for Chery to be given a call by Mr. Guus Hiddink. Wesley Sneijder could do with a decent goal scoring backup. I would however, agree with many other fans that players such as Adam Maher, Hakim Ziyech, Davy Klaassen and Georginio Wijnaldum seem to be the most likely candidates for the number 10 position in the near future. But if Chery makes the move to a big European league and turns on the style successfully, we could see him eclipse the likes of Davy Klaassen, Hakim Ziyech, Adam Maher, Jonathan De Guzman and even Ibrahim Afellay, for the back-up number 10 position in the Oranje.

Many Eredivisie players have performed tremendously so far this season and will deservedly entice numerous big foreign clubs to make advances and wave large sums of cash in their directions. Tjaronn Chery should no doubt be towards the forefront of that group of stars.


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KNVB BEKER FINAL Preview & Betting Tips


Sunday 3rd May



Ron Jans has big game experience as he leads his side into yet another final searching for his third trophy in just over twelve months as PEC Zwolle face FC Groningen in the KNVB Beker showdown at De Kuip. Looking to make a profit from the match, Will Burns discusses on what bets show the most value this coming Sunday afternoon in Rotterdam.

Zwolle can thank playmaker Jesper Drost for yet another successful season. The team currently sits in seventh in the Europa League playoff positions and the 22-year-old has been involved in more goals during this season’s Eredivisie campaign than any other player in the squad, notching eight goals with seven assists.

Attacking midfielder Stef Nijland, whom Jans has employed as a striker for part of the season, is the team’s top scorer on 11 goals. Czech international Tomas Necid is joint second with Drost on eight goals apiece.

Just below them in eighth is Sunday’s opposition, Edwin van der Looi’s FC Groningen. The Pride of the North are undefeated in the last six games which has helped sit on the edge of the playoffs themselves, however if they were to lose on Sunday, they would enter in place of Zwolle, who would qualify automatically for the tournament outright.

Van der Looi has relied heavily on Tjaronn Chery and Michael de Leeuw for goals this season, with both attackers top the tally charts on 14 each. Zwolle will also have to be aware of the aerial threat of Brazilian centre-back Eric Botteghin, who has headed three goals this term and can be a real hazard at attacking set-pieces.

In an ironic twist, Zwolle and Groningen meet next weekend in the penultimate group of the games in the Eredivisie season.


Zwolle just have a knack of coming up big in the big games and after defeating the mighty Ajax 5-1 in last year’s final, Jans’ side will be hopeful of retaining the trophy and at a handsome 31/20 that looks a great bet at Bet Victor. Groningen are just outside that at 17/20 with the draw on 90 minutes valued at 12/5.

One thing for sure, looking at the goals markets, this game should see the goalkeepers tested often. Zwolle have only kept one clean sheet in their last 12 matches, with Groningen going one better with two shutouts in the same amount of games. On that note, Both Teams to Score is coming in at a decent 4/6. If your feeling really lucky why not combine Zwolle and BTTS for a massive 19/5.


Zwolle to win – 31/20

Both Teams to Score – 4/6

Zwolle to win with Both Teams to Score – 19/5

All odds are with Bet Victor and may vary throughout the week leading up to Sunday’s match. Bet Victor offers the best odds for football, click here to join and claim up to £25 in free bets for all new customers.


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EREDIVISIE: Feyenoord 4-0 FC Groningen





Feyenoord score four as they dominate 10-man Groningen. The sending off of Johan Kappelhof at 1-0 left Groningen with an uphill task and they were put to the sword by a very good Feyenoord forward line writes Ryan O’Grady.

Feyenoord and Groningen were both coming into this game off the back of two consecutive wins with Feyenoord perhaps showing that they are starting to recover from a difficult start to season in which they were knocked out of Champions’ League qualifying and the KNVB Beker. In their last two games they beat Go Ahead Eagles 4-0 in the Eredivisie, after losing to them in the cup, and Elvis Manu scored a late goal to secure victory against Standard Liege in the Europa League. Groningen won their cup game 4-1 against Topklasse (3rd Division) side Barendrecht and last weekend beat Willem II 1-0 at home in the league.

It was relatively quiet opening twenty minutes to start the game, the only events of note were a Jens Toornstra free-kick that was cleared by Maikel Kieftenbeld and a booking for Kappelhof, something that would be even more significant later. It all began in earnest in the 20th minute when Colin Kazim-Richards retrieved the ball inside the box before spinning and managing to get a shot away that was well saved by Sergio Padt. The rebound fell to Jordy Clasie and with Padt still on the floor he pretty much had an open goal to aim at but skied it badly from about 10 yards out. Feyenoord then got themselves ahead only 3 minutes later when Kazim-Richards played a lovely one-two on the edge of the box with Lex Immers before unleashing a shot into the bottom corner of the net. They had a chance to double their lead in the 30th minute when Kappelhof got his clearance badly wrong and the ball went out for a corner which Terence Kongolo subsequently headed just wide.

Elvis Manu then joined in the action in the 36th minute when he cut in from the left hand side and was in an extremely dangerous position but put his effort well over Padt’s bar. This was followed by a Feyenoord penalty claim when Toornstra appeared to be tripped by Danny Hoesen just inside the box but the referee Tom van Sichem wasn’t having it and gave the goal kick after the ball had rolled out of play.

The second half started with a kerfuffle when a corner from Groningen came in and there was a scramble in the box before Vermeer managed to grab it but as he was grabbing it Eric Botteghin swung for the ball and accidentally caught Vermeer in the face. He immediately tried to apologise but the Feyenoord players weren’t and a minor ruckus was started. The referee ended up booking Botteghin. As mentioned earlier Kappelhof was booked in the first half and in the 56th minute he picked up his second yellow and was sent off leaving coach Erwin van de Looi with 10 men and made it even tougher for his side to try and get back into the game. Midfielder Nick van der Velden was brought off for defender Roland Baas as a result. Groningen paid for the sending off almost immediately as in the 57th minute Lex Immers scored a wonderful header. Karim El Ahmadi ran down the right before delivering a ball into the centre of the box that Immers ran onto from the left hand side and headed it back the way it came leaving Padt with no chance. The Dutch attacking midfielder then had another good headed chance in the 65th minute when another sublime cross, this time from Australian Luke Wilkshire, found its way to Immers who this time could only head it past the post.

Manu then had a one-on-one with the keeper and he tried to put it through the keeper’s legs but the keeper was able to close his legs just in time and deflect it away from goal. Substitute Jean-Paul Boëtius made it 3-0 soon after in the 83rd minute when yet another brilliant cross from Wilkshire found another substitute in Mitchell te Vrede who his header was brilliantly saved by Padt but the ball flew straight up and Boëtius came in and headed home from close range. Te Vrede did manage to get himself on the scoresheet 5 minutes when a lovely chipped cross from Lex Immers found the bug Dutchmen unmarked in the 6 yard box and this time he didn’t Padt a chance.


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EREDIVISIE: FC Utrecht 1-0 FC Groningen





An entertaining last 30 minutes saw Ruud Boymans score for Utrecht and Tjarnon Chery miss a penalty for Groningen writes Ryan O’Grady.

In all honesty the first 60 minutes weren’t worth much of a mention. The first half looked like it was going to be entertaining when Anounar Kali had a long range effort saved in the first minute but both sides lacked a cutting edge and both were unable to create many chances either. Ed Janssen the referee didn’t help either, repeatedly giving soft free-kicks and as a result the game was very stop start, although Jarchinio Antonia of Groningen was the only player to be booked in the first half. Utrecht did have another couple of half chances, one was when Nacer Barazite brought the ball down beautifully before shifting the ball onto his left foot but the shot was very weak and easily saved. The second-half chance was when Utrecht were awarded a free-kick about halfway into Groningen’s half, the ball was put in and Chris Kum tried a reverse header but the ball came off the back his neck and went over the bar.

In the first 15 minutes of the second half almost nothing happened and if it wasn’t for Utrecht’s goal then the second half might’ve been a copy of the first. The goal came from a lofted through ball from Tommy Oar which Ruud Boymans ran onto and controlled well before putting it in between the keeper’s legs to send the home fans wild. As I have just mentioned the goal was definitely the instigator of change in terms of the pace of the game. 3 minutes later Utrecht earned a free-kick in avery dangerous position just outside the box but it was wasted by Yassin Ayoub. After this Groningen fought their way back into the game, in the 65th minute a long cross eventually fell to Antonia but he overhit his pass to Chery who was unable to control it. Only 3 minutes later however Groningen were awarded a penalty and Chery stepped up to take it but it was saved brilliantly by the keeper which seemed to take the fight out of Groningen’s fightback somewhat. Their only other chance in the game fell to Danny Hoesen but his shot was deflected into the keeper’s hands. Boymans had a late chance to double his tally and Utrecht’s lead but he put his shot just over the crossbar.


UTRECHT: Ruiter, Kum, Leeuwin (Heerings 73), Markiet, Van der Maarel (Cortie 83), Janssen, Kali, Ayoub, Peterson (Boymans 55), Barazite, Oar.

SUBS NOT USED: Verhoeven, Diemers, Quesada, Rubin.

GOALS: Boymans 61.

BOOKINGS: Oar 59, Van der Maarel 81.

GRONINGEN: Padt, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Van der Velden (Bos 66), Hiariej (Hateboer 85), Chery, Kieftenbeld, De Leeuw (Islamovic 76), Van Nieff, Hoesen, Antonia.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Vlag, Hagenauw, Saban, Baas.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Antonia 31.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Robbin Ruiter (FC Utrecht)


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EREDIVISIE: SC Cambuur 3-0 FC Groningen





Cambuur cruise to a 3-0 win with commanding performance that could have been even better had they not been so wasteful in the final third. The result brings Groningen back down to earth after their recent victory against the Dutch Champions, Ajax writes Ryan OGrady.

Fifth played sixth in this meeting of two in-form sides. Cambuur had yet to lose in the Eredivisie sitting on 8 points whilst Groningen were sitting one place higher in 5th having won 3 games, including a famous victory last week against Ajax, and one defeat to Ado Den Haag. The away side were unchanged from their victory against the Dutch Champions with former Ajax player Danny Hoesen starting up front in a 4-3-3 formation. Despite winning 3-2 against Ado Den Haag before the international break, Henk de Jong decided to replace two of his front three with Dejan Meleg and Michiel Hemmen being replaced by Daniel de Ridder and Martijn Barto.

Cambuur were clearly the better team in both halves, they dominated possession with 62% for the whole game and had 4 shots on target compared to Groningen’s one. The home side also had the first decent chance when Bartholomew Ogbeche made a decent run before passing the ball to Albert Rusnák who ran into the box and released a shot straight at the keeper. Groningen best chance for a goal came not long after in the 5th minute when the ball came to Tjaronn Chery and he span and hit the ball first time but it was just wide. Cambuur then came back in the 12th minute when a cross from just outside the box found Ogbeche at the back post but his header was straight at the keeper. Although Cambuur were dominating they were extremely wasteful in the final third and as a result there were no clear cut chances for the rest of the first half.

The second half was much more entertaining for the fans as only 40 seconds in Cambuur had a penalty appeal, Ogbeche received the ball inside the box but his touched bounced up and hit Maikel Kieftenbeld in the arm but the referee deemed it not worthy of a penalty despite protestations from the Cambuur players. Cambuur midfielder Mohamed El Makrini then suffered a nasty looking injury in the 48th minute when he challenged Jarchinio Antonia for the ball, Antonia got there first and attempted to hurdle the oncoming El Makrini but he accidentally landed on El Makrini’s face but the Cambuur midfielder was able to carry on.

Only three minutes later Cambuur scored, it again was a result of a sloppy ball in the final third as the ball was meant for Erik Bakker but it was behind him allowing Rusnák to follow up and score with a lovely finish into the bottom corner to put Cambuur 1-0 up. Rusnák had another chance two minutes later to double his tally from a tight angle but he hit the side netting when he probably should’ve played the ball across the six-yard box. This was followed by a flurry of yellow cards when Rusnák was fouled twice in quick succession causing a commotion which resulted in the booking of four Groningen players in two minutes. One player to be booked was Rasmus Lindgren and he was sent off in the 61st minute after picking up a second yellow for tripping Daniel de Ridder who was en-route to goal.

In the 73rd minute Cambuur doubled their lead after Groningen captain Kieftenbeld lost the ball about 30 yards from goal to Etiënne Reijnen who passed to Ogbeche on the edge of the box and he unleashed a curled effort into the top left corner leaving keeper Sergio Padt with no chance. Groningen manager Erwin van de Looi won’t be happy with Eric Botteghin because when Ogbeche received the ball he kept backing off allowing him the space and time to get his shot away.

Botteghin somewhat made up for his mistake six minutes later when substitute Furdjel Narsingh cut inside the box from the right wing before shooting past the keeper only for Botteghin to clear it. This only prolonged the wait for a third goal by two minutes when El Makrini ran down the right wing before crossing in for an unmarked substitute Sander van de Streek who finished well with a fine header. The substitute then had a chance to double his tally in the 91st minute when he hit the post with a sliding effort following another decent cross from the right hand side.


CAMBUUR: Nienhuis, Reijnen, Andriuškevičius, Pereira, Bijker, Rusnák (Narsingh 67), De Ridder (Van de Streek 75), Ogbeche, Barto (Meleg 84).

SUBS NOT USED: Zeinstra, Mac-Intosch, Schet, Meleg, Dijkstra.

GOALS: Rusnák 51, Ogbeche 73, Van de Streek 80.

BOOKINGS: Andriuškevičius 78.

GRONINGEN: Padt, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Lindgren, Van der Velden (De Leeuw 46), Hiariej, Chery, Kieftenbeld, van Nieff, Hoesen, Antonia.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Vlag, Islamovic, Hagenauw, Saban, Hateboer, Baas.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Hiariej 56, Kieftenbeld 56, Lindgren 57, Antonia 57.

SENT OFF: Lindgren 62.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Etiënne Reijnen (SC Cambuur)


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EREDIVISIE: FC Groningen 2-0 Ajax





After losing at home to fellow title challengers PSV last weekend, Ajax were desperate to get back to winning ways in a tricky looking fixture against FC Groningen at the Euroborg. However, the Amsterdammers produced a very flat performance and they looked lost without their star man Daley Blind, who sealed his £14 million move to Manchester United yesterday writes Simon Prue.

FC Groningen began the game well and dominated possession throughout the first half. Antonia provided the outlet for Groningen and his pace was causing all sorts of problems for Boilesen with his pace and trickery.

After a slow start, Ajax grew into the game as Ricardo Van Rhijn’s deflected cross was well saved by Padt. Attempts from El Ghazi and Klassen followed but Ajax could not find the breakthrough. Ajax started to have longer periods of possession and this culminated in Lasse Schone’s delightful 21st minute reverse pass which put Kolbeinn Sigthorsson through on goal but the Icelandic striker’s lack of confidence was evident as he opted to cut the ball back across the box to Davy Klaassen rather than slot the ball home.

FC Groningen showed occasional signs of their counter attacking threat during the first half as Tjaronn Chery had a number of efforts comfortably saved by Dutch international Jasper Cillessen.

Groningen gifted Ajax a golden opportunity just before half time with some woeful defending as Kappelhof lost possession in the penalty area and Ajax nearly capitalised as Klaasen teed up El Ghazi only for the Dutchman to fire miserably over the crossbar.

Erwin van der Looi’s teamtalk clearly inspired his players at half time as they came firing out of the blocks and Eric Botteghin’s 48th minute goal put the hosts 1-0 ahead. Van Der Velden played Chery in down the left hand side of the penalty area and Chery’s cut back found Betteghin who converted from three yards out.

The hosts continued to pile pressure on Ajax as Antonia’s cross found Chery who had the chance to double the lead from eight yards out but he could only poke the ball straight into the hands of Cillessen.

On the hour mark Ajax began to assert themselves once again as some great skill from El Ghazi allowed him to send a wicked cross into Sigthorsson but the out of form striker could only glance his header wide of the goal. El Ghazi then cut the ball inside onto his left foot with a backheel and his shot flew past Padt’s left hand post. If Ajax were going to get a breakthrough it was going to be through the ingenuity of El Ghazi and he came very close to levelling in the 82nd minute. He wriggled his way past Kappelhof wonderfully but he could only blaze over the bar from close range.

FC Groningen then caught Ajax on the counter as substitute Michael de Leeuw wrapped  up the game in the 87 minute. Van Der Velden and Chery linked up just as they did for the first goal and Chery’s dangerous cross was met by the onrushing de Leeuw who nodded home from six yards out.

There was a late surge of pressure from the visitors as Duarte and El Ghazi both saw efforts go close. Davy Klassen had a good opportunity to restore some pride deep in stoppage time but his volley did not trouble Padt and the ball rolled wide of the mark.

It is two defeats in a row now for Ajax who look nothing like a side that are challenging for an unprecedented fifth consecutive Eredivisie title.


GRONINGEN: Padt, Hiariej, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Van Nieff, Kieftenbeld, Chery, Lindgren, Van der Velden (Hagenauw 90), Hoesen (De Leeuw 73), Antonia.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Vlag, Islamovic, Saban, Hateboer, Baas.

GOALS: Botteghin 48, De Leeuw 87.


AJAX: Cillessen, Van Rhijn, Veltman, Moisander (Van der Hoorn 81), Boilesen, Klaassen, Viergever, Serero (Duarte 81), El Ghazi, Sigthórsson, Schöne (Kishna 72).

SUBS NOT USED: Vermeer, Ligeon, Andersen, Milik.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Boilesen 36.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Tjaronn Chery (FC Groningen)

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 4: Sunday’s Preview & Betting Tips


Sunday brings three live games to Sky Sports 5 from the ever entertaining Eredivisie and Will Burns is here to select his four top tips.



PSV vs. VITESSE (11:30 BST)

Philip Cocu’s PSV are oozing with confidence after last weekend’s 3-1 victory in ‘De Topper’ against bitter rivals Ajax. The speed of Luciano Narsingh and Memphis Depay on opposite wings, demolished the Amsterdammers defence in the second half and I see these two causing problems for Peter Bosz’ Vitesse.

Depay, Europe’s most-wanted, gave the Eindhoven side another boost and signed a new contract this past week, he will be looking for celebrate his stay with more goals. The 20-year-old has currently netted five times in just three league games and eight in six of the season so far.

Without a win this season, Bosz’s side have now lost their last six away games in the Eredivisie and you can expect that dreary run to continue. Zakaria Labyad has made a strong start this season and with the team devoid of an out-and-out striker and struggling to finish chances, he will be the visitors’ main threat.

Many defences will fail to cope with PSV this season and with the Arnhem outfit already conceded eight goals in three matches, Vitesse could see a beating. Expect to witness goals and De Boeren winning by at least two with PSV -1 on the handicap valued at 7/5.


PSV -1 (7/5 – Betfair)




FC Groningen host a wounded animal in Ajax and Frank de Boer will be looking to this game as the perfect chance to get back to winning ways, although this may be a tough test at the Euroborg Stadion.

Groningen’s home form is excellent and they are currently on a six-game winning streak and like PSV, Edwin van der Looi’s side possess a lot of pace in attack. Until last Sunday’s 3-0 defeat away to ADO Den Haag, Groningen have no trouble scoring with six goals in two games and Ajax proved last weekend they are vulnerable defensively.

As Ajax look for an unprecedented fifth Eredivisie title in succession they are lacking a top striker. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, recently linked with Queens Park Rangers, and on-loan forward Arkadiusz Milik have failed to inspire in the opening games so De Boer has relied on midfielders Lasse Schöne and Davy Klaassen along with 19-year-old wide striker Anwar El Ghazi to find the net this term.

A total of fourteen goals have been scored by these two sides in their first three outings, so the goalkeepers should have a real workout in this one. Over 3.5 Goals is valued at 6/4 and I see this is the best way to make a profit in this match.


Over 3.5 Goals (6/4 – Betfair)




After European heartache midweek, Ron Jans will be hoping PEC Zwolle can bounce back with a win over NAC Breda, who are yet to win a game this season.

Sparta Prague ran out 3-1 winners on Thursday to knock Jans’ men out on their first ever European adventure. One thing is on their mind this season – get back into the Europa League. Sunday brings a good chance to help those dreams as they travel to Breda to face perennial strugglers NAC. NAC have Adnane Tighouadini to thank for the two draws they have achieved this season against Excelsior and last weekend against Twente.

However, I feel PEC Zwolle with a 100% record in the Eredivisie will be out to rectify Thursday’s defeat and they should have too much for NAC and leave Breda come Sunday afternoon will all three points. Betfair offer 7/4 for the Zwolle win and this price is decent for a team with three wins in three in the league this campaign.


Zwolle to win (7/4 – Betfair)




After selling the bulk of their stars in the summer, the Rotterdammers have suffered a stuttering season so far. After being emphatically knocked out of the Champions League by Beşiktaş, Fred Rutten’s side then a found narrow win against ADO before being held to a draw to Heerenveen.

Then last Sunday, Feyenoord suffered a bad defeat at De Kuip against FC Utrecht and one weak link in that game was young defender Sven van Beek. Big things are predicted for the 20-year-old centre-back however, he was easily beaten by teenager Rodney Antwi to score his first ever professional goal in the Utrecht’s 2-1 win.

Van Beek will have to deal with bigger and better things this Sunday, with six-foot two-inch striker Luc Castaignos looking sharp at the start of the campaign. Supplying him is skilful winger Youness Mokhtar and a new look midfield of Hakim Ziyech and Kamohelo Mokotjo.

Three great talents that have shown over the past season, that they are capable of providing the magic to win a game. Twente have the team to punish Feyenoord and I am backing the boys from Enschede at 21/20  to clinch all three points.


Twente to win (21/20 – Betfair)


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EREDIVISIE: ADO Den Haag 3-0 FC Groningen





FC Groningen head into Den Haag undefeated and left soundly beaten and overpowered by Henk Fraser’s ADO 3-0 reports Will Burns.

For the 10,000 plus capacity inside the Kyocera Stadion the skies was full of sunshine when some of the country was experiencing heavy rain, and like the weather the result was not disappointing for the Den Haag supporters.

Early on, Groningen looked good with their star man of the season so far Jarchinio Antonia, a summer buy from Go Ahead Eagles, terrifying Aaron Meijers at left-back, and the winger could have put the visitors ahead within the first 15 minutes of the game. Looking lively as always, Antonia collected the ball and easily outpaced Meijers, then continued into the box but in his way of the ball and goal was former Liverpool goalie Martin Hansen. The big Danish keeper rushed out and blocked Antonia’s effort with his feet much to the delight of the crowd and Meijers.

At the other end, ADO may have seen an opening after some good work from striker Mike van Duinen seeing off Eric Botteghin and Tom Hiarlej he placed a perfect ball to Mitchell Schet who disappointedly blazed over from yards out.

The teams went in at half-time goal-less and ADO emerged a house-of-fire and went ahead on 56 minutes with a beautiful goal. New summer signing from FC København, Thomas Kristensen combined well with Kevin Jansen while he ghosted past the Groningen defence to slot the ball past Sergio Padt. Delightful passing to watch which tore apart the visitors’ back four and part of their midfield.

The away side looked to get a goal back immediately but Hansen held firm pulling off double saves on two occasions, first Tjaronn Chery and then substitutes Michael de Leeuw minutes later.

ADO hit two late goals to finish the game off both orchestrated by Ronald Alberg. For the first goal, Alberg lofted a perfect long ball up field into the path of Michiel Kramer. The striker held off the challenge of Johan Kappelhof and after spotting Padt off his line, sent over a first time chip to make it 2-0. Another lovely goal to send the Kyocera Stadion and Henk Fraser on the touchline into raptures. The second goal was created by Alberg’s pinpoint defence-splitting ball that carved Botteghin and Kappelhof up and Kramer finished with ease.

Groningen come down with a earth-shattering thud after looking to be a real roll at the start of the campaign, but a fantastic win for ADO Den Haag after two tough games against Feyenoord and FC Twente. Fraser looks like his side are bringing the great form of last season in this one.


ADO: Hansen, Malone, Kanon, Zuiverloon, Meijers, Kristensen, Jansen (Ebuehi 89), Alberg (Bakker 88), Van Duinen, Kramer, Schet (Houtkoop 88).

SUBS NOT USED: Zwinkels, Buwalda, Owobowale, De Vlugt.

GOALS: Kristensen 56, Kramer 82 & 85.


GRONINGEN: Padt, Kappelhof, Botteghin, Kieftenbeld, Van Nieff, Lindgren (De Leeuw 69), Van der Velden, Hiariej, Antonia (Mahi 77), Hoesen (Islamovic 59), Chery.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Vlag, Baas, Hateboer, Saban.

GOALS: None.


MAN OF THE MATCH: Martin Hansen (ADO Den Haag)


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EREDIVISIE WEEK 3: Sunday’s Preview & Betting Tips


Five games on Sunday ending with Ajax vs. PSV in ‘De Topper’ for a preview of that game click here – for the rest, see below as Will Burns and Martijn Hilhorst picks their recommended bets for the remainder of Sunday’s games.




PEC Zwolle drew 1-1 in their first ever European adventure against Sparta Prague on Thursday night and Will Burns thinks their could be another draw on the cards on Sunday at home to Vitesse.

Zwolle really are the in-form team, defeating Ajax, FC Utrecht and FC Dordrecht before Thursday’s stalemate in the Europa League playoff first leg. One player that has impressed since joining a forthnight ago is big 6ft 3inches striker Tomas Necid. Formally tipped to be the next big thing in the Czech Republic, he has seen his career tail off after a big money move to CSKA Moscow.  Look for him to be a big threat in this game giving Guram Kashia and Jan-Arie van der Heijden a tough time.

Vitesse signed English midfielder Josh McEachran midweek from ‘feeder club’ Chelsea as the 21-year-old has also seen his progress falter at Watford and Wigan Athletic of the English Championship last year. Zakaria Labyad has made a strong start to the new campaign and without a out-and-out striker, he will be the visitors’ main threat, with two goals in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with SC Cambuur.

Expect to see a game with goals but at the end of the final whistle a score draw will be the finale. A 2-2 draw at Bet Victor is valued at 12/1 and this might be worth a small stake but the draw is a great 5/2 and look out for this to be the best chance for profit in Sunday’s opener live on Sky Sports 5.


Draw (5/2 – Bet Victor)



Will Burns predicts that NAC Breda’s 6-1 thumping by PSV may effect them further as FC Twente roll into town on Sunday afternoon.

NAC recieved a right pasting last weekend and if it was not for veteran goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar it could have been worse. Adnane Tighadouini was the bright spark in that encounter and NAC coach Nebojsa Gudelj will look to him to inspire his team-mates to a better performance than last weekend.

Twente had a difficult trip to Azerbaijan on Thursday night in their 0-0 draw against Qarabag FK in the first leg of their Europa League playoff, however, Twente have enough depth in the squad to blow NAC away on Sunday afternoon. Hakim Ziyech is set to make his league debut and with him sitting besides fellow new signing Kamohelo Mokotjo in the middle of the park, is a mouthwatering prospect. Combine these two with Youness Mokhtar, Kyle Ebecilio and Kasper Kusk supplying chances for Luc Castiagnos and Alfred Schreuder has enough talent to compete for the Eredivisie championship this year.

Except a Twente win, and a big win at that. Twente to win is valued at 5/6 with Bet Victor but for extra value, Twente -1 looks a better bet at 21/10 and this is our reccommended bet.


Twente -1 (21/10 – Bet Victor)



For ADO, with only one point after two matches, it doesn’t sound that good, but if you see the circumstances it is impressive says Martijn Hilhorst.

Den Haag faced Feyenoord (H) which the lost 1-0 and in the previous match away versus FC Twente, they eventually grabbed a 2-2 against them, however they deserved the three points, because Twente’s goals were lucky to say the least.

The last couple of years it seems that FC Groningen cannot win against ADO (home or away). Literally struggling every match against them and they have a bigger problem in the name of Henk Fraser and Ronald Alberg, the latter, a key player for Den Haag. The attacking midfielder has scored and assisted a lot under coach Fraser, just like last week when he scored against Twente.

Edwin van der Looi’s Groningen are on an impressive streak (8 Eredivisie wins in a row), but they have not faced big opponents in this period of time, only an away match versus PSV in March. Funny little detail: The last defeat from Groningen was 15th of March away at ADO Den Haag (2-1).

Because of the eight-win streak from Groningen, the odds for ADO Den Haag to win is ridiculous high at 7/5 at Bet Victor and they will win this match but not easy. However with Fraser as manager facing Groningen who could become overconfident, these are great odds.


ADO to win (7/5 – Bet Victor)



Feyenoord have not started their season with joy. A draw in a home match versus a ten men SC Heerenveen and a lucky win away at ADO Den Haag while their European matches have not been positive either. Just this Thursday they only played 1-1 versus FC Zorya Luhansk. However, Martijn Hilhorst thinks times are about to change for Fred Rutten’s men.

The last couple of weeks there have been rumours about the possibility that Feyenoord will buy a striker due to the departure of Graziano Pelle to Southampton. There is only one week left of the transfer window which has saw a loan for Colin Kazim-Richards arrive from Bursaspor. Because of the continuous news about a possible new striker, the current one Mitchell te Vrede is not quite popular among the Feyenoord fans. The general opinion is that he is not good enough. Technically, he does miss some qualities, but as a pure finisher he started this season with some great statistics. Till this weekend Feyenoord scored five times in all competitions, four of them were scored by the young Dutch striker. So, a fun bet could be: Mitchell te Vrede to score the first goal at 19/4, but that is not our main tip.

FC Utrecht have not started good either after a deserved loss in the first match at PEC Zwolle (2-0) they faced Willem II which they won with 2-1, but their tactics were not the level you would expect. The last couple of years it seems inevitable that you will lose as a Eredivisie at De Kuip (apart from the top-tier teams). Every manager tries a different approach towards their players convincing them they will win, but there is a certain amount of fear when playing away at Feyenoord. Fans and the entire entourage makes opposition players shaky.

Feyenoord fans are dying for three points and Utrecht will be blasted away and will lose with at least two goals between them. Feyenoord -1  is great value at 21/20 at Bet Victor as well is the following bet: Feyenoord to win to nil at 7/4 . Both bets are great value and Mitchell te Vrede will make at least on the goals this Sunday.


Feyenoord to win to nil (7/4 – Bet Victor)

Mitchell te Vrede to score the first goal (19/4 – Bet Victor)

Feyenoord -1 (21/10 – Bet Victor)

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EREDIVISIE: FC Groningen 3-1 Heracles





Edwin van der Looi’s FC Groningen continued their winning ways in the Eredivisie with a comfortable 3-1 win over Heracles Almelo writes Will Burns.

Van der Looi named the same side that defeated Go Ahead Eagles 3-2 last weekend as Heracles coach Jan de Jonge selected on-loan striker Denni Avdic, signed from AZ this week, in for Thomas Bruns for the team that were badly beaten 3-0 at home to AZ last Saturday.

The hosts exploded out of the blocks and found themselves a goal up within eight minutes. The three-pronged attack of Jarchinio Antonia, Tjaronn Chery and Danny Hoesen looks like it could be a formidable one this season for Groningen and Hoesen and Chery combined to make it 1-0. Nick van der Velden threaded a lovely ball through to Hoesen which split the Herqacles defence and Hoesen sprayed the ball across the sodden grass into the path of Chery to finish past goalkeeper Dennis Telgenkamp.

Michael de Leeuw replaced the injured Rasmus Lindgren on 33 minutes and then found himself on the scoresheet just two minutes later. Maikel Kieftenbeld hit a 30-yard through ball for De Leeuw to run onto and he finished with ease to double Groningen’s lead.

Moroccan playmaker Ilaiss Bel Hassani looked like Heracles’ best chance of scoring and he did just that with an individual effort on 57 minutes.

Any chance of Heracles comeback was short lived as Yoёll van Nieff slotted home Groningen’s third and final goal on the hour mark with an excellent free-kick from outside the area.

Heracles look like a team in major trouble and De Jonge must get his team to winning ways as soon as possible, starting next week at home to Cambuur.


GRONINGEN: Padt, Hiariej, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Van Nieff (Van der Laan 64), Lindgren (De Leeuw 33), Chery, Kieftenbeld, Van der Velden (Hateboer 83), Hoesen, Antonia.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Vlag, Islamovic, Hagenauw, Saban.

GOALS: Chery 8, De Leeuw 35, Van Nieff 61.

BOOKINGS: Van der Laan 68.

HERACLES: Telgenkamp, Schenkeveld, Aktaou, Zomer, Te Wierik, Sibum (Pelupessy 46), Bel Hassani, Fledderus, Linssen, Avdic, Tannane (Gyasi 64).

SUBS NOT USED: Fij, Bruns, Weghorst, Cziommer, Engberink.

GOALS: Bel Hassani 57.                                      

BOOKINGS: Schenkeveld 62.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Eric Botteghin (FC Groningen)


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EREDIVISIE WEEK 2: Sunday’s Preview and Betting Tips


Another Eredivisie season is underway and after last weekend’s action in the opening round of fixtures, fans and lovers of the Dutch game can already be excited for the second round of action with some mouth-watering ties throughout the week. Ajax’s trip to AZ Alkmaar is no doubt however, the tie of the second round of fixtures.  Will and Shane Burns (no relation) preview and supply betting tips for all four Sunday’s games.





AZ Alkmaar started the season in perfect form ahead of their clash with the champions after picking up a 0-3 victory over Heracles away from home. Alkmaar were under pressure prior to the game as it seen as crucial for the 2009 Eredivisie champions. After suffering a stunning eight defeats away from home last season, away form has been seen as the necessary point for achieving success this year in the Eredivisie by manager Marco van Basten.

Frank De Boer’s Ajax side are gaining a reputation throughout Holland and Europe as the most productive academy club in the world. Having spent only €4.5million this summer, De Boer seems determined to continue the growth of his Ajax side by producing both youth within their own academy and experience by buying from outside, and there’s no denying his successes. There’s no denying De Boer’s hunger for another Eredivisie crown as his Ajax side comfortably recorded their first victory of the season last week with a 4-1 victory over Vitesse, a side who have beaten Ajax in each of the last two seasons.

There’s no doubt that former AZ defender Nick Viergever, who moved to Ajax from Alkmaar in May, can expect a frosty reception when he returns to his former home this weekend. After some impressive performances for Van Basten’s side, De Boer acted quickly to sign up the defender and add him to his growing young Ajax side.

Former Dutch coach Van Basten has a few selection headaches for the match this weekend as both Viktor Elm and Derrick Luckassen are both injury concerns ahead of the arrival of champions Ajax. Van Basten recorded a comprehensive win last weekend and will be eager to inflict a dent into Ajax’s title challenge whilst maintaining their 100% start to the new season, and push for the title themselves.

Both incoming and outgoing transfers have been the main news this week regarding Ajax. The club is waiting on a response from Samuel Eto’o after the Amsterdam club offered the former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Barcelona striker a lucrative deal to join the club. Daley Blind has attracted some of European football’s top clubs this week when he announced that it would be difficult to ignore an offer from one of Europe’s top clubs but quickly announced that he was fully focused on Ajax’s title defense.

Fortunately for Frank De Boer, last weekend’s victory over Vitesse has been backed up with an injury free week and has no fresh concerns over his selection for his side’s trip to Alkmaar. Both sides will go into the tie full of confidence which will hopefully leave fans of the Eredivisie ecstatic with the game of the week.


Ajax to win 2-0 (13/1 – Bet Victor)


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In the uninspiring match-up of the weekend, Willem II travel to Utrecht in a game that could prove to be influential in keeping either side in the league come May.

New Utrecht manager Rob Alflen suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Zwolle last weekend is hampered with six injuries for Sunday’s game. Defender Michael Zullo, midfielders Édouard Duplan, Tommy Oar, plus strikers Danny Verbeek, Gyliano van Velzen and Ruud Boymans all set to miss out the visit of Willem II.

The visitors coach Jurgen Streppel has his own problems after first-choice goalkeeper Kostas Lamprou was dismissed last weekend in the 3-1 defeat to PSV and on-loan defender Fabian Sporkslede is on the treatment table.

I see this game being a one of midfield battles and chances are rare. I have settled on either a 0-0 draw or the odd goal will steal it. Under 1.5 Goals is valued at 18/5 at Bet Victor and that is a price to good to ignore.


Under 1.5 Goals (18/5 – Bet Victor)



Last weekend Go Ahead Eagles threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at home to FC Groningen and will look for better fortunes away to Eredivisie newcomers Excelsior on Sunday afternoon.

Excelsior grabbed a great point away to relegation rivals NAC Breda last Saturday and will look to capitalise on that, however, they will have to cope with the bag of tricks Lesley de Sa in his arsenal he displayed last time out. De Sa, on a season long loan from Ajax, is one for the future but last weekend’s performance showed he could have a huge impact on Go Ahead’s season.

Last season, the Eagles had a poor away record and in the last 10 away matches in the league, they have failed to win nine of them, however I feel they could do well at Stadion Woudestein on Sunday. The Eagles are a massive 11/5 at Bet Victor and I see that as a great way to make a profit.


Go Ahead Eagles to win (11/5 – Bet Victor)



After contrasting results last weekend, Will Burns thinks FC Groningen will prove to be too strong for Heracles in Sunday’s last game.

Ironically this week, Edwin van Looi’s Groningen has been linked with a move for Heracles’ player of the season last year, Bryan Linssen as they look to replace Filip Kostic who moved onto Stuttgart earlier this month.

FC Groningen, despite Kostic leaving, has some great talent at their disposal this season. Tjaronn Chery, Danny Hoesen and Jarchinio Antonia all capable of grabbing goals when needed and if Eric Botteghin and Johan Kappelhof can keep Linssen quiet, the hosts should win easily. Groningen are valued correctly at 11/8 and this will be the best bet in this game.


Groningen to win (11/8 – Bet Victor)

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EREDIVISIE: Go Ahead Eagles 2-3 FC Groningen





In a five goal thriller, FC Groningen’s Jarchinio Antonia scored a late goal to defeat his former side Go Ahead Eagles as his side came from two down to win 3-2 at Adelaarshorst.

After seeing some many players move to bigger clubs, Go Ahead lost Jarchinio Antonia to FC Groningen last month which today would come back to haunt them. Surprisingly, they did manage to persuade Deniz Türüç to stay after some interest from FC Twente.

Today, Go Ahead started brightly and Türüç was influential in the opening goal. Alex Schalk provided a smart back-heel to finish Türüç’s attempt after only 18 minutes of play. The lead could have been doubled before half-time new Groningen keeper Sergio Padt, a summer signing from Belgian side AA Gent saved a Jop van der Linden’s free kick, while striker Marnix Kolder fired into the side netting.

Just five minutes after the break the energetic Lesley de Sa scored an excellent individual goal. The 21-year-old from Ajax cut inside from the right wing lashing a powerful drive into top corner of Padt’s goal, giving the stopper no chance of reaching.

The over 9,000 fans inside the Adelaarshorst exploded, however none of them would have foreseen the second half ahead. After dominating the first-half, Go Ahead was exposed terribly by Groningen after the break.

Just before the hour mark, Groningen grabbed a goal back when Tjaronn Chery, signed permanently from ADO in the summer, blasted a low drive from the edge of the box past Erik Cummins to make it 2-1.

With just fifteen minutes remaining, Michael de Leeuw levelled the game up taking advantage of some poor marking by the Eagles, with a close range header after Antonia crossed towards the back post.

Then on 87 minutes, Jarchinio Antonia loved by Eagles fans last year was instantly loathed by those same supporters after scoring the winner. With the pitch heavily waterlogged and the ball unable to move smoothly across the grass, De Leeuw lofted a ball high into the middle of box and Antoniq stretched out with a diving header past Cummins to break Eagles hearts.


GO AHEAD: Cummins, Niuewpoort, Vriends, Van der Linden, Schenk, Overgoor, Türüç, Van Oojien (Rijsdijk 71), De Sa (Reimerink 83), Kolder, Schalk (Lewis 68).

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Hart, Lewis, De Bondt, Van der Meer, Ten Den.

GOALS: Schalk 18, De Sa 50.


GRONINGEN: Padt, Hiariej, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Van Nieff (Van der Laan 64), Kieftenbeld, Chery, Lindgren (De Leeuw 67), Van der Velden, Hoesen (Islamovic 88), Antonia.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Vlag, Hateboer, Saban, Hagenauw.

GOALS: Chery 58, De Leeuw 75, Antonia 87

BOOKINGS: Van Nieff 46.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jarchinio Antonio (FC Groningen)


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