Tag Archives: Heerenveen

EREDIVISIE WEEK 3: Saturday’s Preview & Betting Tips

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With just the three games on Saturday, Will Burns and Martijn Hilhorst reveal which bets provide the greatest way to make a profit.

SATURDAY 23RD AUGUST

WillemII-AZAlkmaar

WILLEM II vs. AZ ALKMAAR (17:30 BST)

The champions of previous season in the Jupiler League will face AZ this Saturday with the legendary Marco van Basten as coach. Willem II is 17th with no points after two games which is not surprising as they faced PSV (H) and FC Utrecht (A). However, now they finally can show how good they are says Martijn Hilhorst.

In the previous season, Willem II showed quite often that they were way too good for the Jupiler League. Dominating competitors with ease and eventually becoming the champions. Yes, they lost some great players and especially Ruud Boymans (27 goals) and lost two matches in a row, which is great for the odds we get here from Bet Victor.

AZ have gained three points after two matches. First matchday was a fairly easy 3-0 win at Heracles Almelo and previous week they were blasted away be Ajax in a home match (3-1). Head coach Van Basten was one the best players in Dutch football history, but as a manager he is not on the level you would expect. More than once was he accused of not being a good tactician.

For a small stake a Willem II win at 7/4 is way too high for the Eredivisie new boys on their own turf.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Willem II to win (7/4 – Bet Victor)

Heerenveen-Excelsior

HEERENVEEN vs. EXCELSIOR (18:45 BST)

With new signings Martin Dalgaard and Sam Larsson ready to give Heerenveen a new look after the departures of Hakim Ziyech and Alfred Finnbogason, Will Burns thinks Larsson especially could hit the ground running for Dwight Lodeweges’ side.

New Swedish winger Larsson, 21 year old that signed from IFK Goteborg, arrived in Heerenveen with rave reviews and shocked Swedish journalists and fans alike that Goteborg could see their star player for so such a little amount at €1.4m was reported. With the departure of Ziyech to FC Twente last weekend, Lodeweges will need to find goals from another source as the midfielder was the scorer of both of the goals that Heerenveen have scored this season. Larsson can help with that problem, scoring and creating for others.

Tall and experienced Danish striker Dalgaard scored in a Heerenveen reserve game midweek and could push for his first starting place ahead of the uninspiring Mark Uth. After looking for value in this game, opting for a Heerenveen win with both teams to score gives us a great price of 17/10 at Bet Victor. With Excelsior well capable of scoring goals (three against Go Ahead last weekend) especially with the great threat of young tricky winger Jordan Botaka, this is the best bet in this one.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Heerenveen to win with Both Teams To Score (17/10 – Bet Victor)

GoAhead-Dordrecht

GO AHEAD EAGLES vs. FC DORDRECHT (19:45 BST)

FC Dordrecht travel to Deventer in Saturday’s final game to face Go Ahead Eagles in a match that Will Burns thinks will end as a score draw.

Go Ahead Eagles have lost their last three home matches in Eredivisie and coach Foeke Booy knows that needs to change after losing their opening two games of the season. Against the Eredivisie new boys, this gives them a great chance to make amends, however Doredrecht have showed that they are certainly no pushovers defeating Heerenveen 2-1 on matchday one.

Dordrecht were defeated by the in-form PEC Zwolle last weekend and should give the Eagles a cracking test. With the Eagles already notching four goals in the last two games (both 3-2 defeats) look for goals in this one. Looking at the value in this one, the Draw is a fantastic 3/1 and this game could see two sides battling and exchanging plenty of goals.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Draw (3/1 – Bet Victor)

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Hakim Ziyech’s transfer saga is over

One of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer has been settled as Heerenveen playmaker Hakim Ziyech has signed for FC Twente on a four year contract for a fee reported to be around €4 million writes Will Burns.

Alfred Schreuder and Hakim Ziyech – image courtesy of FCTwente.nl

The talented 21-year old, scored nine goals in 33 league appearances for Heerenveen under Marco van Basten last season, and he has made a great start to this campaign, with two goals in as many games.

With only a year left on his current deal at the Frisian club, Heerenveen felt it was the best time to cash in on Ziyech, although he is considered one of the hottest properties in Dutch football.

With Ziyech along with Kamohelo Mokotjo added to the already talented squad in Enschede, Twente must be regarded as one of the candidates to stop Ajax’s stranglehold on the Eredivisie championship this season.

One of the main reasons for Ziyech’s recruitment is to act as a replacement for Quincy Promes, who joined Spartak Moscow earlier this month for a reported €7 million.

Talking to FCTwente.nl, Ziyech said: “I knew before I went on holiday that Twente had an interest in me and this interest remained. The conversation I had with the coach, he persuaded me to make this choice, the right choice. He gave me the feeling that I will feel at home here and that I can play in my favourite position.”

Other clubs were interested too, especially Feyenoord, whose technical director Martin van Geel could not guarantee Ziyech a spot in the starting line-up in Rotterdam, which is maybe why Ziyech has swayed towards the move to Twente.

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EREDIVISIE: Feyenoord 1-1 Heerenveen

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FRIDAY 15TH AUGUST 2014

Feyenoord-Heerenvee

FEYENOORD 1 – 1 HEERENVEEN

The points were shared at De Kuip, despite Heerenveen having to play the last third of the match with ten men. Feyenoord are still adjusting to life without the stars of last season, but their start has been encouraging.

Despite having differing results on the opening weekend, there was little difference between the sides in the first half, as both sides had chances to take the lead. It was an entertaining start to the match as both sides had a good chance each within the opening ten minutes. Heerenveen forward Luciano Slagveer went on a powerful run through the opposition half, but his show sailed harmlessly wide. Feyenoord then had a chance of their own as the ball was fired across the box to Basacikoglu, who fired wide with a powerful drive.

The match was end to end, but neither side stayed calm in the final third, as they both struggled to create clear cut chances. It’s clear Feyenoord are missing the host of stars that were sold over the summer, while Jordy Clasie didn’t feature against Heerenveen, his future is far from certain.

In the final stages of the opening 45 minutes, the hosts came to life. They started to pass the ball with vigour in the final third and a nice interplay saw Tony Vilhena receive the ball on the edge of the area, his stinging shot was well saved by Nordfeldt. Moments later, Basacikoglu found space to deliver an excellent cross, but the resulting header from Mitchell te Vrede was pushed wide by the Heerenveen stopper. The momentum was building, yet Heerenveen nearly nicked a goal before half time on the break as Van Den Burg’s shot from long range was well stopped by Mulder and Uth could only head the rebound over the bar. Despite their late chance, the away side will have been pleased to make it to the break still level.

Minutes into the second half, powerful play from te Vrede allowed him to turn his marker after he controlled the ball from a throw in. The striker then scuffed his effort wide, however the strength showed was encouraging. Feyenoord continued to attack with purpose as Immers couldn’t control his effort goalwards after an excellent cross into the box from Boetius.

Heerenveen almost scored in the 60th minute after clever play from Slagveer to skip inside and hit a left footed shoot low past Mulder but the post came to the home side’s rescue. Then Van Den Burg received his second booking for a silly foul in the middle of the pitch, meaning Feyenoord were playing ten men for the second Eredivisie match in a row.

Yet it was the team with the numerical disadvantage which opened the scoring as Hakim Ziyech curled a free kick over the wall and past Mulder, who will have been disappointed to have been beaten by that strike. The home side quickly equalised after Schaken beat his man on the right wing, and put in a great cross, which was headed goalwards by captain Lex Immers, but it flicked off Te Vrede on the way in.

Feyenoord were in control of the game for the final half an hour, having lots of possession in the final third, Nordfeldt was forced into a save from Manu’s shot after the ball fell to the Feyenoord player in the box. Although Feyenoord continued to push, they couldn’t make their one man advantage count, unlike in their previous match, with Te Vrede coming closest to a winner after Nordfeldt saved smartly from his header.

Although they didn’t win, Feyenoord will be pleased with their four points from two games as the team starts to settle without the players who starred last season, with Mitchell te Vrede being a particular highlight, he looks like he could be set for a great season. Heerenveen will be relieved they hung on for a point in the end.

TEAMS

FEYENOORD: Mulder, Wilkshire, Van Beek, Mathijsen, Kongolo, Vormer, Immers, Vilhena, Basacikoglu (Schaken 57), Te Vrede, Boëtius (Manu 76).

SUBS NOT USED: Verhoek, Hahn, Nelom, Steenvoorden, Karsdorp.

GOALS: Te Vrede 70.

BOOKINGS: Vilhena 74.

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Buijs, Van Aken, Van Anholt, De Roon, Van den Berg, Ziyech (Wildschut 83), Sinkgraven, Slagveer (Schmidt 87), Uth (Raitala 67).

SUBS NOT USED: De Fockert, Otigba, Thorsby, Dalgaard.

GOALS: Ziyech 67.

BOOKINGS: Van den Berg 13.

SENT OFF: Van den Berg 60.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Luciano Slagveer (Heerenveen)

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Heerenveen new boy ready to shine in the Eredivisie

Earlier this week, Heerenveen coach Dwight Lodeweges signed the highly-rated Swedish winger Sam Larsson from IFK Göteborg for around €1.4m. Will Burns spoke with Swedish journalist Markus Wulcan of Aftonbladet about the 21- year old starlet.

New signing Sam Larsson ready to take Eredivisie by storm – image courtesy of sc-Heerenveen.nl

After selling Bilal Bascikoglu to Feyenoord earlier this month, Lodeweges went out shopping for a new creative force to provide opportunities for new Danish striker Thomas Dalgaard. On Wednesday evening, it was announced that Larsson had swapped the blue and white stripes of Allsvenskan side IFK Göteborg for the blue and white stripes of De Superfriezen.

Swedish writer Wulcan predicts big things for Larsson and expects the young Swede to take to straight the Heerenveen fans hearts. Many pundits in Swedish football are angered by the low amount that Göteborg received for Larsson and think that his value could rise up to €10m within a few seasons.

Larsson began his career at the small club of IK Zenith before joining Swedish giants Göteborg in 2010. In this teens, he was also a great floor-ball player and has said that he “could have been one of the three best players in the world.”

Larsson is primarily a right-footed left-winger although Markus thinks he is better utilised behind the striker: “In my opinion, Larsson’s best position is as a second striker, a number ten. He has a very good sense of playing with his excellent technical skills. He likes to dribble and is good one and one. The Heerenveen crowd will love him.”

Wulcan states that Larsson has progressed so much over the last year, but at just 21 there is still improvements to be seen from the new Heerenveen signing: “Sam has been much stronger this year and more consistent. The hard work in the gym did pay off and he used this to his advantage. But of course, he is a young guy and can improve a lot of things. He could be more active over 90 minutes, not just a few good flashes of skill.”

Wulcan continued to say, although he was possibly the most skilful player in the Swedish top flight last term, he could improve in front of goal: “He could also score more goals and contribute with more assists and become a more determined player and the left foot is not the best.”

Heerenveen is a well known club for nurturing great footballers like Jon Dahl Tomasson, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and more recently Alfred Finnbogason. Marcus suggests that this move for the young Swede could be an excellent move for him: “I think the Eredivisie is a perfect step for Larsson, he is a future Swedish star and will be soon ready for the national team, just give him some time.” 

By the sounds of things, Sam Larsson could prove to be one of the bargains of the summer.

You can follow Markus on Twitter via @MarkusWulcan

VIDEO

Check out some video highlights of the Heerenveen new boy here, prepare to be dazzled…

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 2: Friday’s Preview & Betting Tips

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Week two begins on Friday night inside De Kuip with two big names in Dutch football that had uninspiring efforts last weekend. Heerenveen travel south to Rotterdam to face Feyenoord.

Eredivisie-Fixture-Week2

FRIDAY 15TH AUGUST

Feyenoord-Heerenvee

FEYENOORD vs. HEERENVEEN (19:00 BST)

Friday night in De Kuip, Dwight Lodeweges takes his Heerenveen side to Rotterdam to face Fred Rutten’s Feyenoord in what Will Burns thinks will be an entertaining stalemate.

Last week was it was contrasting starts for both sides, Heerenveen fell to a last-gasp 2-1 defeat against Eredivisie new boys FC Dordrecht, whilst Feyenoord secured victory away to ADO Den Haag with an stoppage time Mitchell te Vrede goal.

Feyenoord and Heerenveen have added to their squads this week. A striker well known in the English leagues, Colin Kazim-Richards, apart from the paperwork being completed, has joined Rutten’s squad on loan from Turkish side Bursaspor. Lodeweges clinched the signing of exciting young Swedish winger Sam Larsson from IFK Göteberg on a four-year deal.

It can be debated that Feyenoord technical director Martin van Geel has had a poor summer transfer window, as Rutten is yet to be supplied with a top forward to replace top scorer Graziano Pellè. Although, it is heavily rumoured that John Guidetti could return to De Kuip before the August 31st transfer deadline. The signing of 21-year-old winger Larsson is an exciting prospect for Heerenveen. The tricky playmaker could prove to be a real force in the Eredivisie and is tipped for big things over the next few years. He could make his debut for Lodeweges’s side on Friday night.

MATCH ODDS

The best price in the ‘Match Odds’ market at Bet Victor for me is the draw at 7/2. The Frisian side proved to be great travellers last season under Marco van Basten only losing four games of the 17 on the road and will look to retain that reputation. With Feyenoord on the ropes in the last month, a ‘lucky’ win against ten-men ADO on Sunday, did not impress many. Although, not withstanding last weekend’s poor performances, both sides can produce goals. However, I think if there is goals, they will cancel each other out.  The draw is great value at 7/2 and I fail to see a better bet than that in this one. However, if you want to go further and look for a score 1-1 is valued at 19/2 and 2-2 at a massive 15/1. It is still early days in the league and I think Feyenoord, with three points already in the bank, Rutten’s men may settle for a draw and I know Heerenveen will be pleased to put a point on the board after last week’s home defeat to Dordrecht. If you are looking to add this to an accumulator, Both Teams to Score seems a bit short at 11/20 but may be worth combining with another few games to gain some decent profit.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Draw – 7/2

Correct Score 1-1 – 19/2

Correct Score 2-2 – 15/1

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EREDIVISIE: Heerenveen 1-2 FC Dordrecht

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SATURDAY 9TH AUGUST 2014

Heerenveen-Dordrecht

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.

TEAMS

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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EREDIVISIE WEEK 1: SATURDAY PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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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.

Eredivisie-Fixture-Week1

SATURDAY 9TH AUGUST

Heerenveen-Dordrecht

HEERENVEEN vs. FC DORDRECHT (17:30 BST)

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)

NAC-Excelsior

NAC BREDA vs. EXCELSIOR (18:45 BST)

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)

Cambuur-Twente

SC CAMBUUR vs. FC TWENTE (18:45 BST)

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)

Heracles-AZ

HERACLES vs. AZ ALKMAAR (19:45 BST)

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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EREDIVISIE WEEK 1: FRIDAY PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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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.

Eredivisie-Fixture-Week1

FRIDAY 8TH AUGUST

Zwolle-Utrecht

PEC ZWOLLE vs. FC UTRECHT (19:00 BST)

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

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.

FC UTRECHT

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.

MATCH ODDS

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.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

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

Jens Toornstra to score anytime – 23/10

SAFE BET

PEC Zwolle to win – Evens

All odds are with Bet Victor, click here to join and claim up to £25 in free bets for all new customers.

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EREDIVISIE 2014/15 SEASON GUIDE

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.

ADO AZ Alkmaar AJAX
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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HEERENVEEN SEASON PREVIEW

SCHeerenveen

All change at Heerenveen as coach Marco van Basten and the club’s all-time top scorer Alfred Finnbogason has both moved to bigger clubs, but Will Burns feels the Frisians have replaced well this summer.

Van Basten announced last winter that he would be leaving the Abe Lenstra Stadion after two years. Experiencing a great season at Cambuur, head coach Dwight Lodeweges did the unthinkable and announced in March that at the end of the current campaign, he would be crossing 30km over to Heerenveen. The Cambuur fans went ballistic and protested until Lodeweges resigned with immediate effect.

With vast knowledge of the game from all corners of the world, Lodeweges could turn out to be a great replacement. Lodeweges first major task at the club was finding a replacement for top scorer Finnbogason. The Icelander hit the net 53 times in just 65 games and earned a move to La Liga side Real Sociedad for €8million. Heerenveen went out shopping for a similar striker with a decent record and found Viborg FF’s Thomas Dalgaard.

Of course, the Danish attacker has some big boots to fill, however he has all the credentials to do so. In two years at Viborg, he has scored 50 goals in 75 games. Not a bad record at all and he should score goals in the Eredivisie. Especially, when he has a creative machine like Hakim Ziyech supplying him, the 21-year-old number ten scored nine times himself last term, with the same amount of assists.

Another casualty was the sale of Bilal Basacikoglu to Feyenoord. The Zaanstad-born winger notched six goals in 23 appearances last season and will be a big miss, especially going forward. Eighteen-year-old Norweigan winger Morten Thorsby was recruited from Stabaek after an impressive season in the Tippeligaen and will look to fill that void.

If all the new players, and the new coach, can get it together Heerenveen could have a good season. However, if not, mid-table obscurity beckons.

TRANSFERS INS AND OUT

IN: Jens Jurn Streutker (Heracles), Jordy Buijs (NAC Breda), Morten Thorsby (Stabaek IF), Thomas Dalgaard (Viborg FF).

OUT: Alfred Finnbogason (Real Sociedad), Anthony Lurling (FC Den Bosch), Arnold Kruiswijk (Vitesse), Bilal Basacikoglu (Feyenoord), Brian Vandenbussche (AA Gent), Chiel Kramer (FC Eindhoven), Christian Kum (Heerenveen), Joeri de Kamps (NAC Breda), Mitchell Dijks (Ajax), Rajiv van la Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Ramon Zomer (Heracles), Uche Nwofor (VVV Venlo).

MANAGER – DWIGHT LODEWEGES

Coming from bitter rivals Cambuur at the end of the season, Lodeweges will face a baptism of fire when he returns to the Cambuurstadion in February with Heerenveen. The Canadian-born coach has broad shoulders and should lead Heerenveen to a top ten finish, although expectations inside the Abe Lenstra Stadion will be higher.

KEY PLAYER – HAKIM ZIYECH

One of the Eredivisie’s best and untapped talents, it is a surprise that Ziyech will be lining up in a blue and white shirt this season. Ziyech is an attacking midfielder with great trickery, a great mind and a great eye for a goal. He will lead from the front with Heerenveen this season, and new striker Dalgaard will thrive on the 20-year-old’s creativity.

PREDICTION – 10TH

BET VICTOR EREDIVISIE TITLE ODDS: 33/1

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MEET FINNBOGASON’S REPLACEMENT – THOMAS DALGAARD

As every transfer window passed, the assumption that Alfred Finnbogason would leave Heerenveen came along with every window and they finally lost him last month. The Icelander packed his bags off to Sociedad in La Liga and new Heerenveen coach Dwight Lodeweges was left to shop for his replacement. The search ended in Denmark and 30-year-old Thomas Dalgaard was brought in from Superligaen side Viborg FF and handed a three-year deal. Martin Krag tells Total Dutch Football what the 6ft 2inch forward is all about…

Dalgaard got his breakthrough at Randers FC in the Danish first division, where he helped the team win promotion to the Superligaen. After six months, he was sold onto the Turkey side Manisaspor, who were in the Süper Lig, but he never got going there, making just 2 appearances. Thus, he had to restart his career and moved back to Denmark and his first club, Skive IK, back in the First division. Here he stayed for three years before transferring to Viborg in the same league where his 27 goals in 31 matches secured the team promotion. In the following season (2013/14) he became Superligaen top scorer but Viborg were still going down. He expected to secure a move away pretty early on but the interest wasn’t really there (possibly because of his age and the Danish market).

During his spell in Randers he got a reputation of not working too hard and his coach called him ‘Lazy Boy’ – a name that has stuck since. It was probably a bit harsh even though he is not the type of striker to do a lot of work outside the box. He’s pretty clinical inside the area, so that should be how to utilize his strengths. His weakness is probably that he’s pretty limited in his game as he is a rather old school striker/box player.

In the 2013/14 season (again the Superligaen top scorer), Viborg played pretty simple and sought to utilize Dalgaard as much as possible by getting the ball in the box often. I don’t know if that’s how Heerenveen plays but that seems like the way to get the most out of him.

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Feyenoord sign talented 19-year-old

Feyenoord have finally strengthened their squad with the signing of highly-rated winger Bilal Basacikoglu from Heerenveen for a reported €3.5 million.

The 19-year-old joins on a four year deal and will add some much needed quality in attack after a lacklustre forward display against Beşiktaş last night in their 2-1 defeat in the Champions League qualifier.

Feyenoord must now press on to purchase a goalscorer as Basacikoglu can create chances for fun. Last season, only Hakim Ziyech (68) and Alfred Finnbogason (55) created more efforts than Basacikoglu (40) at Heerenveen.

However, he can add goals too, scoring six goals in 25 appearances last term and had the highest shot accuracy of all the Heerenveen squad with at least 25 shots together with Finnbogason (also 56%).

Check the video below for a perfect example of his attacking prowess with this excellent solo goal against NEC Nijmegen.

Feyenoord’s technical director Martin van Geel stated on Feyenoord.nl: “Our policy is aimed to fill with great talents from outside, we are delighted with the arrival of Bilal Basacikoglu, a multi-year contract signing, who will get the opportunity to develop further.

All stats provided by Martijn Hilhorst

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Finnbogason leaves for La Liga

After notching a massive 29 goals in 32 appearances last season for Heerenveen, Icelandic hitman Alfred Finnbogason has clinched a move to the La Liga and Real Sociedad.

The talks between the two clubs have been ongoing throughout the summer, and after an unconfirmed £10m bid from Fulham rejected in the winter, Heerenveen accepted a much lower reported €8m bid from the Basque side. A further €2.5m made be paid out based on future performances from the player.

Finnbogason having passed a medical in San Sebastian this morning, put pen to paper on a four year deal, with an official presentation to be held later this week.

The striker finished top scorer in the Eredivisie last season and has been a revelation in the Dutch top flight over the last two campaigns netting a total of 59 goals.

Finnbogason’s depature leaves a massive hole for the Friezen club and new manager Dwight Lodeweges will have a huge task ahead replacing the Iceland international.

Real Sociedad released the video below to announce the deal.

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