Tag Archives: Heracles

Week 25 Eredivisie Report: Ruiz leads PSV to glory again

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Usually when watching the Eredivisie, the writer does not have time to blink, but unbelievably on Saturday, only five goals were scored in the four games in the Dutch top flight.

Saturday 22nd February 2014

Heerenveen-NACBreda

HEERENVEEN 0-0 NAC BREDA

A drab 0-0 draw is a rarity in the Eredivisie but at Abe Lenstra Stadion in Saturday’s opening game the 22,147 in attendance had not much to cheer about.

It was a pretty uneventful game apart from the electricity cutting out in the stadium shortly before half-time. The fans had a party with their mobile phones as their only source of light.

Minutes before NAC Breda had a really good penalty shout turned down by referee Eric Braamhaar. Anthony Lurling, facing his old club for the first time since his move to Heerenveen in the winter, clearly elbowed the ball as he tried to shield his face from an Anouar Hadouir free-kick. As Hadioir protested with Braamhaar, the referee waved the player away.

A draw that helps neither although Nebojša Gudelj will be happy with the point more than Marco van Basten. NAC sit in tenth just five points away from the relegation zone as sixth-placed Heerenveen are now four points adrift from PSV in fifth.

TEAMS

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Van Anholt, Marzo, Kruiswijk, Kum, Dijks, De Kamps, Lurling (Fazli 51), Van la Parra (Sinkgraven 83), Finnbogason, Basacikoglu.

SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, Otigba, Raitala, Varga, Van Aken.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: De Kamps 79.

NAC: Ten Rouwelaar, De Roover, Drost, Buijs, Van der Weg, Gilissen (Seuntjens 37), Matic, Verbeek (Swerts 77), Poepon, Tighadouini, Hadouir (Sarpong 58).

SUBS NOT USED: Babos, Kwakman, Hooi, Suk.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: None.

Cambuur-RodaJC

SC CAMBUUR 1-0 RODA JC

In a game where both sides were desperate for all three points, it was a stoppage time goal from Paco van Moorsel that gave Cambuur a vital win, that saw Roda have two men shown red cards late in the match.

Cambuur in blessuretijd langs negental Roda JC

Poor finishing and great goalkeeping kept the scores at bay until late on but Mitchell Donald missed an easy chance early on. The ever-busy Guus Hupperts made a great run down the right wing and played in Donald at the back post and with the goalkeeper out of reach, Donald side footed his effort wide of the post.

Leonard Neinhuis pulled out great stops to halt the celebrations of Guy Ramos and Hupperts as in the Roda goal Filip Kurto denied Jody Lukoki and Erik Bakker’s effort before half-time.

The visitors are really struggling to score goals, notching twice in the last six games and unable to find the net in three consecutive matches now.

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side were reduced to nine men in the space of just three minutes as Kees Lucijkx and Ramos were both booked for the second time by referee Bas Nijhuis.

The winning goal for Cambuur to take all three points came in virtually, the last kick of the game. After a long ball was headed down by Martijn Barto, Paco van Moorsel was in the right place at the right time to poke the ball home past Kurto.

The win takes Cambuur up to 12th while Tomasson is now under real pressure as this is his side’s fifth defeat in a row and remain rock bottom of the league, four points adrift from safety.

TEAMS

CAMBUUR: Nienhuis, Droste, Van der Laan, Bijker, Ritzmaier, Leeuwin, Van Brakel (Mulders 90), Bakker (Van Moorsel 67), Manu (Schepers 84), Lukoki, Barto.

SUBS NOT USED: Zeinstra, Van Boxel, Pereira, Dijkstra.

GOALS: Van Moorsel 90+2.

BOOKINGS: Manu 4.

RODA: Kurto, Ramos, Van Peppen, Luijckx, Donald, Paulissen (Hocher 77), Letschert, Sutchuin, Kali, Hupperts, Nemeth (Monteyne 89).

SUBS NOT USED: Prus, Bonevacia, Pluim, Shkurtaj, Jacobs.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Paulissen 22, Luijckx 29, Ramos 71.

SENT OFF: Luijckx 87, Ramos 89.

Zwolle-Heracles

PEC ZWOLLE 1-1 HERACLES

Zwolle and Heracles shared a point after substitute Furdjel Narsingh netted a late equaliser for the hosts to send the IJsseldelta Stadion into raptures.

PEC en Heracles verdelen de punten in Zwolle

Bryan Linssen was unlucky not to give Heracles the lead on 20 minutes, once he spotted that Diederik Boer raced out to meet Mark Uth, the goalkeeper was out of position when Uth passed the ball into Linssen in the area. The in-form winger lashed a shot towards goal, but Joost Broerse got in front as the ball smashed the defender in the stomach. Boer raced back across the goal to stop Linssen rebound shot.

A few minutes later, Zwolle’s Mustafa Saymak was unlucky not to score as he shot from the right wing which was deflected off the top of Remko Pasveer’s crossbar.

After Heracles missed further attempts from Linssen and Iliass Bel Hassani they finally found the net through an unlikely source on 40 minutes. From a Bel Hassani corner, the unmarked Jeroen Veldmate simply headed towards goal and Saymak failed to stop the ball from passing into the net.

This was the defender’s first goal of the season but strangely enough, he nearly notched again with a similar attempt early in the second half but failed to get the header on target this time.

Zwolle pressed and pressed until but failed to breach Pasveer’s goal. The best effort was just before the hour mark when Thanasis Karagounis and Jesper Drost combined but the latter smashed his effort off the woodwork.

Four minutes into injury time the equaliser finally came to wave a sigh of relief over Ron Jans’ face on the touchline. Substitute Furdjel Narsingh delivered a cool and calm chip over Pasveer to keep Zwolle in eighth place in the standings as the Almelo side stay in 11th.

TEAMS

ZWOLLE: Boer, Van Hintum, Van der Werff, Broerse, Van Polen, Karagounis (Narsingh 66), Klich, Saymak, Drost, Mahmudov (Benson 39), Fernandez (Nijland 88).

SUBS NOT USED: Begois, Hiwat, Fennich, Fernandes Pereira.

GOALS: Narsingh 90.

BOOKINGS: Van Hintum 26, Saymak 62.

HERACLES: Pasveer, Veldmate, Te Wierik, Davidson, Schenkeveld, Cziommer (Bruns 77), Linssen, Bel Hassani (Quansah 90), Rienstra, Uth, Rosheuvel (Tannane 73).

SUBS NOT USED: Telgenkamp, Koenders, Belterman, Powel.

GOALS: Veldmate 40.

BOOKINGS: Davidson 24, Linssen 52, Te Wierik 79, Bel Hassani 89.

NEC-PSV

NEC NIJMEGEN 0-2 PSV

PSV are really starting to get their game together as they won their fourth in four games over a resilient NEC Nijmegen.

Ruiz en Depay schieten PSV langs NEC

The visitors gave the Eindhoven some trouble but the majority of efforts were restricted to outside the area. On 12 minutes, Navarone Foor tested PSV’s Jeroen Zoet with a looping strike from 25 yards out but the goalkeeper, selected by Louis van Gaal in the Oranje squad this week, caught with ease.

As usual, PSV’s counter attack looked their best threat at scoring and the individual skill of the on-loan Bryan Ruiz was back, as he looked far happier on the ball here than in the Premier League with Fulham earlier this season.

The hosts should have been awarded a penalty just before the interval but referee Bjorn Kuipers missed Jeffrey Bruma pulling on Michael Higdon’s shirt. The Englishman was not happy as the Kuipers was virtually standing on top of the foul and had no excuse for missing it.

PSV improved and created more chances in the second half and went close on 50 minutes with a strong Oskar Hiljemark strike from long range, which needed a strong hand from fellow countryman Karl-Johan Johnsson to tip wide.

Bryan Ruiz got the goal he deserved on 58 minutes, again, after an excellent counter attack from Cocu’s men. After Higdon was robbed of the ball by Santiago Arias on the edge of the PSV box, the young Colombian carried the ball forward into the opposition’s half. Arias laid it off to the Costa Rican on the right wing, where Ruiz cut inside and smashed a low drive past Johnsson at his near post.

PSV finished the game off on 82 minutes with yet another Memphis Depay speculative effort from distance. The young winger set-up the shot perfectly from 25 yards out and his right footed attempt dipped perfectly past the Johnsson and under the bar.

Philip Cocu has now witnessed his team improved to four consecutive wins for the first time since December 2012.

TEAMS

NEC: Johnsson, Vermijl, Van Eijden, Nielsen, Conboy, Rieks, Koolwijk, Štefánik (Jantscher 65), Foor (Hemlein 84), Jahanbakhsh, Higdon.

SUBS NOT USED: Gentenaar, Haitz, Palsson, Mulder, Leiwakabessy.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Koolwijk 19, Higdon 41.

PSV: Zoet, Rekik, Bruma, Arias, Willems (Hendrix 83), Schaars, Hiljemark, Park, Depay, Ruiz, Locadia (Matavz 72).

SUBS NOT USED: Tyton, Jørgensen, Maher, Narsingh, Brenet.

GOALS: Ruiz 58, Depay 82.

BOOKINGS: Bruma 18.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 25 – SATURDAY PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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Will Burns is back with his picks for the Eredivisie for this weekends games and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Saturday 22nd February

Heerenveen-NACBreda

HEERENVEEN vs. NAC BREDA (17:45 GMT)

NAC Breda gained an excellent home draw against title chasing Feyenoord last weekend as Heerenveen were on the end of a 3-0 defeat away to league leaders Ajax.

The hosts are forced in to make three changes with Hakim Ziyech, Marten de Roon and Joey van den Berg all suspended so Marco van Basten will look to Anthony Lurling, Daley Sinkgraven and Samir Fazli to fill in and gain all three points. Van Basten’s men home form is promising as in their last 9 games at the Abe Lenstra Stadion, only three sides have left with all three points, all in the top four – Feyenoord, Vitesse Arnhem and FC Twente.

However, Breda are in great form with two wins and two draws in their last four and will head to Heerenveen looking to improve their away record as they have only one win in their last nine games. The best bet for the day would be a great 2/1 at BetVictor for Rydell Poepon to score anytime. The striker is the designated penalty taker for NAC and Heerenveen are suspected in defence for discipline.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Rydell Poepon to score anytime (2/1 – BetVictor) – Click here to bet on this market and receive up to £25 in free bets.

Cambuur-RodaJC

SC CAMBUUR vs. RODA JC (18:45 GMT)

After a tremendous display last weekend against PEC Zwolle with a 3-1 win and Jon Dahl Tomasson’s Roda still unable to find their feet, one cannot look past Cambuur picking up another three points on Saturday evening.

Tomasson is under great pressure at Roda since taking over after the winter break with only one win in six and after falling at home to fellow strugglers ADO Den Haag last weekend, I feel the Dane may feel more strain at the full-time whistle of this one.

If the hosts can get going like last weekend and exploded out of the blocks, I think we have to look at the best bet of Cambuur to be winning at half-time and full-time at 7/4 at BetVictor.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Cambuur HT/FT (7/4 – BetVictor) – Click here to bet on this market and receive up to £25 in free bets.

Zwolle-Heracles

PEC ZWOLLE vs. HERACLES (18:45 GMT)

Ron Jans will looking to get his side back-on-track after last week’s slip up at Cambuur, Zwolle’s first defeat after a run of three wins in a row a draw against Ajax.

Heracles will looking to bounce back after a narrow 2-1 defeat at PSV last time round and will rely on the in-form Bryan Linssen if they are to get anything out the game. Zwolle have not kept a clean sheet since the 24th November last year in a 0-0 draw away to Groningen. That is a run of 12 games in which they have conceded at least one goal.

Linssen has seven goals in his last seven games and let’s see if he can make it eight in eight at a great 11/5 at Bet365.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Bryan Linssen to score anytime (11/5 – Bet365) – Click here to bet on this market and get up to £200 in free bets.

NEC-PSV

NEC NIJMEGEN vs. PSV (19:45 GMT)

Philip Cocu takes his PSV side to Nijmegen in Saturday’s night game with his club captain, Georginio Wijnaldum back from injury and could make an impact from the bench. Looking to get their season back on course, the Eindhoven side are on a three-game winning streak and they have not recorded four successive wins since late 2012.

NEC bullied RKC Waalwijk last weekend and came away with a great 3-1 away win but target man Michael Higdon, creating a lot of goals with headed knockdowns, will find it tough against PSV central duo Karim Rekik and Jeffrey Bruma, both good in the air.

NEC have no problem scoring with goals in their last ten games but I see PSV gaining their fourth win and winning clear, espeically if Wijnaldum is ready to go if brought on. PSV -1 is being offered at 8/5 at BetVictor so we need PSV to win by two clear goals to win the bet.

BURNS’ BEST BET: PSV -1 (8/5 – BetVictor) – Click here to bet on this market and receive up to £25 in free bets.

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Week 24 Eredivisie Report: Twente temporarily close Ajax down

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FC Twente defeated Vitesse to narrow the gap down between themselves and Eredivisie leaders Ajax to one point, albeit temporarily as Ajax are set to play Heerenveen on Sunday.

Saturday 15th February 2014

Twente-Vitesse

FC TWENTE 2-0 VITESSE

FC Twente virtually eliminated Vitesse Arnhem from the Eredivisie title race with a dominating performance topped by great shows by Luc Castaignos and Dusan Tadić.

Twente dominated the game throughout and Kelvin Leerdam, playing at right-back for Vitesse, did not make it easy for his team after just four minutes when he was shown a yellow for a foul on Quincy Promes. Leerdam was making his first appearance after serving a suspension.

The hosts should have taken the lead many times during the first-half but even more so on 13 minutes. Vitesse goalkeeper Piet Velthuizen passed the ball out of the box to Marko Vejinović, but the midfielder was under extensive pressure and the ball was stolen in a dangerous position by Luc Castaignos. The striker dished the ball out to Dušan Tadić, who returned the ball to Castaignos inside the area but the 21-year-old’s shot was straight at Velthuizen legs.

The attacks from Twente were relentless and Tadić nearly got on the scoresheet a minute later with a great low drive from the edge of the area but the shot was just wide much to Velthuizen’s relief. On 36 minutes, the Serbian was involved again. After some great link-up play between Tadić, Castaignos and Roberto Rosales ending with the Serb blasting a shot from close range but Velthuizen stayed strong and saved his side yet again.

Vitesse struggled to get involved and were restricted to just one shot on target within the game but Vejinović’s rare chance came close in the 37th minute. However, the midfielder’s strike from 35 yards out was inches wide of Nick Marsman’s left post.

Michel Jansen must have been wondering how his side was not in the lead come the half-time whistle especially after missing a glorious chance three minutes before. Jan-Arie van der Heijden was caught in possession by Shadrach Eghan and the Ghanaian spotted a Kyle Ebecilio run in the area. Ebecilio was under pressure from Guram Kashia and the Georgian defender did just enough to direct the former Arsenal youth’ shot into Velthuizen’s arms.

The first goal finally came ten minutes after the interval. Luc Castaignos outpaced Leerdam to latch onto a Dico Koppers through ball and the striker made no mistake this time, calmly finishing past the onrushing keeper.

On the hour mark, the visitors were reduced to ten men as Chelsea loanee Patrick van Aanholt tackled Tadić from behind and was shown a straight red from referee Pieter Vink.

The chemistry between Tadić and Castaignos is growing game by game and with twelve minutes remaining the two combined to double the lead and seal the points for Twente. The two exchanged a wonderful one-two leading to Dusan Tadić wonderfully chipping Velthuizen with great composure. The Serbian is truly to most valuable player in the Eredivisie right now with four goals and four assists in the six games in 2014.

The win means Twente are just a point away from leaders Ajax as Vitesse are now without a win in five games and Peter Bosz must be feeling that the challenge of the club’s first ever Eredivisie title must be out of reach now.

TEAMS

TWENTE: Marsman, Rosales, Martina, Bjelland, Koppers, Gutiérrez, Ebecilio, Eghan (Børven 69), Tadić, Castaignos (Djordjevic 87), Promes.

SUBS NOT USED: Stevens, Hölscher, Röseler, Breukers, Tapia.

GOALS: Castaignos 55, Tadić 78.

BOOKINGS: Eghan.

VITESSE: Velthuizen, Kashia, Van Aanholt, Van der Heijden, Leerdam, Vejinovic, Atsu (Labyad 73), Pröpper, Piazón (Van der Struijk 66), Ibarra (Traoré 73), Havenaar.

SUBS NOT USED: Room, Mori, Djurdjevic, Qazaishvili.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Leerdam, Vejinovic.

SENT OFF: Van Aanholt.

RKC-NEC

RKC WAALWIJK 1-3 NEC NIJMEGEN

Anton Janssen’s NEC came back from conceding an early goal to earn a vital 3-1 win at RKC Waalwijk, this was the Nijmegen’s side first league victory on the road this season.

NEC nearly took the lead within the opening few minutes after a great move by Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Kevin Conboy. The Iranian laid the ball into Conboy who chest passed it back to the 20-year-old winger but his sliding effect crashed off the post.

The hosts took the lead on six minutes with Romeo Castelen’s fourth goal of the season. Kenny Anderson and Daniel de Ridder combined until the ball fell perfectly for Castelen to hit a low drive past Swedish keeper Karl-Johan Johnsson.

The visitors were close to equalising minutes later but Conboy’s effort was tipped onto the bar by Jan Šeda. However, Janssen did not have to wait much longer to see the game turned around for his side.

After a long free-kick from deep was nodded down by English striker Michael Higdon on 25 minutes, Navarone Foor was on hand to finish from close range. With six minutes to go before the half-time whistle, the visitors took the lead. Club captain Ryan Koolwijk launched a free-kick from the left which met Lasse Nielsen’s glancing header at the front post to make it 2-1.

After the break, the points were almost cemented on 54 minutes. A corner from Koolwijk was headed by Jahanbakhsh, and the Iranian international flicked his effort towards goal, but it took a deflection off Evander Sno and onto the crossbar.

The win was clinched by Michael Higdon on 71 minutes to give NEC a great away win. Combining down the right, Jahanbakhsh and Søren Rieks crossed in for the Englishman to mishit a volley which ended up in the goal anyways.

RKC drop to 13th just two points off the relegation places with NEC lifted out of the drop zone into 15th.

TEAMS

RKC: Šeda, Lamey, Van Hoevelen, Anderson (Braber 47), Gouano, Amieux (Apau 68), Sno, Jungschläger, Castelen, De Ridder (Beauguel 76), Joachim.

SUBS NOT USED: Van Dijk, Ivens, Van Mosselveld, Schet.

GOALS: Castelen 6.

BOOKINGS: None.

NEC: Johnsson, Vermijl, Van Eijden, Nielsen, Conboy (Leiwakabessy 89), Štefánik (Palsson 59), Koolwijk, Foor, Rieks, Jahanbakhsh (Hemlein 90), Higdon.

SUBS NOT USED: Gentenaar, Haitz, Mulder, Jantscher.

GOALS: Foor 25, Nielsen 39, Higdon 72.

BOOKINGS: None.

 

Roda-ADO

RODA JC 0-1 ADO DEN HAAG

ADO enjoyed a narrow 1-0 victory with Roda coach Jon Dahl Tomasson facing an uphill struggle to keep his side up as they sit rock bottom of the league.

In what was billed as a vital relegation battle, it was poor game in front of 14,000 supporters inside the Parkstad Limburg Stadion, which proved why both sides are at the bottom of the division. The fans endured a horrible first-half with no clear cut chances for either side.

The only excitement of the first 45 minutes came just before the half-time whistle when ADO were denied a penalty by referee Kevin Blom. Video replays showed that the visitors had a viable argument as Ard van Peppen had handled the ball in the area.

Mitchell Schet scored the only goal on 53 minutes, finishing a rebound from a Yanic Wildschut effort after Filip Kurto had blocked the original chance.

Kurto was called into action again with better consequences for him as he saved a Danny Bakker header minutes later from a great free-kick crossed in by Danny Holla.

With both sides desperate for points the action heated up with ten minutes to go. Substitiute Marc Höcher crossed for Mitchell Donald but his header was by goalkeeper Robert Zwinkels, filling in for Gino Coutinho.

In stoppage time, Roda should have clinched a point but Wiljan Pluim nodded his effort straight at Zwinkels feet.

The whistle was blown for full-time and Roda were roundly jeered off the pitch by their fans. The battle for ADO Den Haag is not over as they still sit third bottom in the relegation playoff places. Both sides are struggling to score goals and need to find some firepower soon otherwise they stand no chance of leaving the drop zone.

TEAMS

RODA: Kurto, Ramos (Shkurti 79), Van Peppen, Luijckx, Letschert, Donald, Sutchuin, Paulissen, Kali, Hupperts, Pluim.

SUBS NOT USED: Prus, Monteyne, Bosing, Jacobs.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: None.

ADO: Zwinkles, Malone, Zuiverloon, Wormgoor, Meijers, Holla (Kanon 90+1), Gehrt (Kramer 90), Bakker, Schet, Van Duinen, Wildschut (Van Haaren 81).

SUBS NOT USED: De Zwart, Merencia, Buwalda, Cabral.

GOALS: Schet 53.

BOOKINGS: None.

 

AZ-Utrecht

AZ ALKMAAR 1-1 FC UTRECHT

Dick Advocaat’s AZ Alkmaar missed out on the opportunity to move closer to the top five when they were held 1-1 by Jan Wouters’ FC Utrecht.

It was a quiet opening twenty minutes inside the AFAS Stadion and when the action livened up it was the visitors that nearly took the lead. Australian Tommy Oar whipped in a vicious free-kick that missed everyone and forced a great save from AZ keeper Esteban.

A minute later, the action went up the other end and produced a goal. Down the left Roy Beerens crossed into the front post where American striker Aron Johannsson met the ball with a diving header giving Robbin Ruiter no chance of saving.

Utrecht battled on and got back in the game with Steve de Ridder being the main threat testing Esteban on many occasions but failed to make a breakthrough.

After the break, Utrecht’s Jens Toornstra hit a perfect free-kick on 55 minutes to level the scores. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw fouled the tricky Oar on the edge of the area and Toornstra hit the resulting kick into the top corner with great precision.

The score stayed 1-1 even though Toornstra nearly repeated the act on 82 minutes but his free-kick was just too high for the target.

Utrecht coach Wouters, already under great pressure are now just two points adrift of the relegation spots and will look to get more points hosting FC Groningen next Sunday. AZ face a tough away trip to the Amsterdam Arena next weekend and could have done with the three points in this game to help their Europa League aspirations.

TEAMS

AZ: Esteban, Gouweleeuw, Reijnen, Wuytens, Viergever, Ortiz (Poulsen 79), Gudelj, Gorter (Henriksen 66), Berghuis, Beerens, Jóhannsson.

SUBS NOT USED: De Winter, Johansson, Gudmundsson, Haye, Avdic.

GOALS: Jóhannsson 21.

BOOKINGS: Gudelj 86.

UTRECHT: Ruiter, Delpierre, Markiet, Van der Maarel, Dorda, Sarota, Ayoub (Diemers 51), Toornstra, De Ridder, Agudelo (Koevermans 75), Oar.

SUBS NOT USED: Verhoeven, Quesada, Bjelica, Klaiber.

GOALS: Toornstra 55.

BOOKINGS: None.

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Week 24 Eredivisie Report: Fulham loanee clinches PSV win

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PSV clinched their third win in succession to sit in fifth place on Friday night after a gritty 2-1 win over the plucky Heracles Almelo.

Friday 14th February 2014

PSV 2-1 HERACLES

The Philips Stadion pitch was in a terrible state due to heavy rain all day on Friday which left passing across the pitch very difficult, but it was an entertaining game.

The visitors though they had taken the lead after just four minutes of play, after Moroccan midfielder Iliass Bel Hassani had floated a ball over the top of the PSV defence to play in striker Mark Uth. Unfortunately for the German, on-loan from Heerenveen, the PSV high-line had caught him out and as the 22-year-old striker was smashing the ball past Jeroen Zoet, the referees’ assistant on his right had the flag up.

A minute later, the damp Eindhoven crowd were on their feet as their side took the lead. Memphis Depay latched onto a through ball from Jürgen Locadia and the young winger twisted and turned the Heracles defenders as he entered the box. After his first powerful attempt was parried by Remko Pasveer, Depay instinctively pounced on the rebound and coolly placed it into the corner out of the keeper’s reach.

The next twenty minutes or so turned into ‘The Memphis Depay Show’. Everything went through the twenty-year-old and although he is frustrating at times with his decision making, and easily annoys the PSV faithful, the player has clearly the skill and speed to go onto bigger things in the game.

After Depay tested the reactions of Pasveer a few more times, it was the turn of Zoet to be called into action on 23 minutes. The ball came out to Mike te Wierik on the right wing, and the defender whipped in a vicious looking ball towards the penalty spot. Awaiting the delivery was Uth again, he nodded a testing header towards goals, but Zoet came out on top and tipped over the bar.

Before half-time, the Heracles pressure paid off and Jan de Jonge saw his side level the score. The in-form Bryan Linssen was the goalscorer yet again, notching his seventh goal in his last seven appearances. After receiving the ball on the edge of the area, the midfielder spun onto his right foot, slipping the challenge of Jeffrey Bruma and lashing a right foot shot past the diving Zoet. The PSV ‘keeper had no chance of stopping. Linssen, a summer signing from the relegated VVV Venlo, will certainly being observed by some of Holland’s and Europe’s top scouts in this sparkling form, and may be on the mover again this summer.

Just past the hour-mark, PSV regained the lead and it was the on-loan Bryan Ruiz scoring his first goal for the club. The always impressive Jetro Willems attacked down the left-wing and got his cross past Te Wierik. The ball took a slight deflection and fell perfectly for the arriving Fulham man at the back post to nod home with ease.

PSV started to control the play but in the dying moments of the game they needed to rely on Zoet to clinch all three points. With just a minute of normal time remaining, the young goalie needed to pull off a tremendous double save denying Moroccan substitute Oussama Tannane first then saving Uth’s rebound with his legs.

Heracles should have gained a point in the final kick of the match when it was Zoet again to PSV’s rescue. Veteran striker Berry Powel, brought on as a late substitute, nodded the ball down in the six-yard area for Uth, but the German failed to connect properly and Zoet dived on the ball to save the game for the hosts.

Philip Cocu will be pleased with his side’s gritty performance and it is wins like this that may see them creep into the automatic European qualification places. PSV currently sit just six points off second place which is certainly not out of reach at this stage.

Heracles, on the other hand, sit in 11th place only seven points from the drop zone and will need to pick up some wins soon to steer themselves away from trouble.

TEAMS

PSV: Zoet, Arias, Bruma, Rekik, Willems, Schaars, Park (Hendrix 89), Hiljemark, Ruiz, Locadia (Narsingh 79), Depay (Jozefzoon 90).

SUBS NOT USED: Tyton, Zanka Jørgensen, Brenet, Maher.

GOALS: Depay 5, Ruiz 63.

BOOKINGS: None.

HERACLES: Pasveer, Te Wierik (Powel 85), Schenkeveld, Veldmate, Davidson, Hassani, Rienstra, Cziommer (Bruns 74), Rosheuvel, Uth, Linssen (Tannane 67).

SUBS NOT USED: Telgenkamp, Belterman, Quansah, Koenders.

GOALS: Linssen 42.

BOOKINGS: Te Wierik.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 24 – FRIDAY’S PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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Tipster Will Burns is back with his picks for the Eredivisie this Friday’s game and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Friday 14th February

PSV-Heracles

PSV vs. HERACLES – 19:00

Heracles travel to Eindhoven on Friday night after claiming a hard-fought point against Cambuur last weekend. The hosts, PSV achieved a great 3-2 win at the Philips Stadion against title-chasing Twente.

I fully expect for PSV to notch another win on Friday evening, making it their third win in a row. Possibly returning will be Georginio Wijnaldum who last Monday notched in Jong PSV’s 3-0 win over Helmond Sport. The PSV captain has been out for five months with a back injury.

The best bet in this game will be ‘PSV to win to nil’ although PSV have conceded five goals in the last three games. I except them to win without Heracles notching.

BURNS’ BEST BET: PSV to win to nil (13/8 – BetVictor) – Click here to bet on this market

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Week 23 Eredivisie Report: Zwolle hold Ajax

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A crazy day in the Dutch top flight that ends a crazy week of games with goals galore. Ajax had the chance to pull away from the chasing pack in the Eredivisie title race but they were held to a 1-1 draw to a PEC Zwolle side who could have stole all three points today. 

Sunday 9th February 2014

HERACLES 1-1 CAMBUUR

Heracles and Cambuur shared the points in the opening game of Sunday, it was a late goal for the home side that shattered Cambuur hopes of clearing themselves out of relegation trouble for now.

It was a slow start to the game in the Polman Stadion with both sides failing to create any chances in the opening twenty minutes of the match but the away side took the lead after 23 minutes gone.

A long ball forward was latched on by Cambuur’s on-loan striker Elvis Manu, and the Feyenoord man held off the challenges of Bart Schenkeveld and with Jeroen Veldmate failing to get across in time, the 20-year-old used great composure to finish to give the visitors the lead.

Heracles had their chances but no more so than the horrendous miss of the on-loan Mikhail Rosheuvel in the 47th minute. A cross came in from the left where the AZ man dived for a header which flicked up and smacked off the crossbar from just four yards out. If he had made the choice to stick a boot on it instead he possibly would have scored.

Rosheuval had a better effort a few minutes later, latching on a long ball, and taking Lucas Bijker out of the challenge with his great first touch but his shot was straight at Leonard Nienhuis who parried the shot away.

It was end to end stuff as a few minutes later, Marcel Ritzmaier, on-loan from PSV, smashed a 20 yard shot off the opposite crossbar.

The points were snatched away from the visitors as Heracles got the goal to grab a point with just a minute of the game remaining, a corner was nodded home by Mike te Wierik.

TEAMS

HERACLES: Pasveer, Veldmate (Powel 85), Davidson, Schenkeveld, Te Wierik, Cziommer, Rienstra, Bel Hassani, Bruns (Tannane 47), Uth, Rosheuvel (Amoah 79).

SUBS NOT USED: Telgenkamp, Koenders, Van Dijk, Belterman.

GOALS: Te Wierik 89.

BOOKINGS: Reinstra, Schenkeveld, Tannane.

CAMBUUR: Nienhuis, Bijker (Pereira 64), Droste, Van der Laan (Van Boxel 81), Leeuwin, Ritzmaier, El Makrini, Bakker, Lukoki, Manu, Hemmen (Barto 68).

SUBS NOT USED: Zeinstra, Van Brakel, Van Moorsel, Schepers.

GOALS: Manu 23.

BOOKINGS: Bijker.

PEC ZWOLLE 1-1 AJAX

The 12,500 present inside the IJsseldelta Stadion will wonder how Ajax got out of the stadium with a point after an action-packed game on Sunday afternoon.

Ron Jans can be proud of his PEC Zwolle side who more than held their own against an Ajax side that were frustrating in front of goal once De Boer’s men took a 1-0 lead after just seven minutes.

Central defender Joel Veltman made a marauding run down the right and after skipping two challenges, Joost Broerse brought the defender down. The in-form Lasse Schöne whipped in a free-kick into the front post where Davy Klaassen nodded in the opening goal.

Siem de Jong really struggled today and must have misplaced his shooting boots as on 21 minutes he produced a terrible miss by his standards. Totally unmarked, the Dutchman volleyed over the bar after Ricardo van Rhijn had supplied the perfect cross for him.

Quarter of an hour later, the score was level. Winter transfer window signing Thanasis Karagounis played a defence splitting through ball onto Guyon Fernandez. The on-loan striker took advantage when Ajax ‘keeper Kenneth Vermeer failed to collect and the Feyenoord man finished in the empty goal.

Diederik Boer saved Zwolle a few times in the match and no more important save then just before the interval when he denied Veldman’s header from the back post after Daley Blind crossed from deep. It was a point blank stop that got the crowd cheering louder than the Fernandez goal.

Ajax really picked up the pace after the break and forced save after save out of Boer. Schune, De Jong and Bojan all deprived of a goal due to the hands of the 6ft 4inch stopper.

Zwolle could see Ajax tiring and on 69 minutes, Jans will wonder how his team did not take the lead. After Fred Benson smashed his shot from outside the area against the foot of the post, the rebound fell perfectly to Jesper Drost, but even with Vermeer out of position the 21-year-old midfielder lashed his shot off the crossbar and out. Frank de Boer gave out a sigh of relief on the touchline.

With 12 minutes to go, Zwolle should have definitely clinched all three points but De Boer can thank Veldman for saving the single point. Karagounis and the onrushing Vermeer ran onto a free ball and the Greek midfielder beat the ‘keeper to the ball. The signing from Atromitos played in Fernandez and as the striker was pulling back to fire the trigger, Veldman dived in and nicked the ball away at the right time.

On the final whistle, Jans was all smiles and De Boer was miserable but he should be smiling, as Ajax are now five points clear at the top of the league and he should feel relieved that he got out of the IJsseldelta with something. However, second placed FC Twente have a game on hand against a poor Groningen side on Wednesday night.

TEAMS

ZWOLLE: Boer, Gravenbeek, Van Polen, Broerse, Van Hintum, Klich, Drost, Karagounis (Nijland 91), Saymak, Mahmudov (Thomas 75), Fernandez (Benson 64).

SUBS NOT USED: Begois, Epe, Patricio, Pereira.

GOALS: Fernandez 36.

BOOKINGS: None.

AJAX: Vermeer, Van Rhijn, Veltman, Moisander, Riedewald (Sigthórsson 75), Klaassen, Blind, Serero (Duarte 72), Schöne, De Jong, Bojan (Fischer 60).

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Hart, Ligeon, Denswil, Poulsen.

GOALS: Klaassen 7.

BOOKINGS: None.

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RKC WAALWIJK 5-2 FC UTRECHT

In a game that had virtually everything RKC put Jan Wouters in major trouble as they beat his Utrecht side by five goals to two.

The Utrecht manager is now under major pressure after seeing his side slip down to 14th in the league and just three points off the relegation places.

The goal fest began after an error from Yassin Ayoub played in Romeo Castelen. Ayoub flicked a header backwards thinking he was playing it to safety, but Castelen lashed a first-time half-volley that dipped under Robbin Ruiter’s crossbar after just eight minutes of play.

The game was tied four minutes later as Jens Toornstra converted a penalty after on-loan defender Prince-Désir Gouano was punished for a handball in the area.

The scoring stopped until 11 minutes from time, where the game got incredibly wild with five goals in just fourteen fun-filled minutes. Daniel de Ridder gave the hosts the lead with a 25 yard strike after the Utrecht defence failed to close him down.

Utrecht collapsed and a minute later, Kenny Anderson added a third to the tally. Straight from the kick-off Utrecht’s Steve de Ridder made it 3-2 with a wonderful solo effort.

On 86 minutes, Utrecht had a glorious chance to level the game to 3-3 after Jonas Ivens was deemed to handballed Steve de Ridder shot on goal, however, Toornstra smashed his spot-kick off the post. It got for Toornstra with just a minute of normal remaining, French striker Jean-David Beauguel latched on a Toornstra backpass and made it 4-2.

Luxembourg international Aurélien Joachim made it five in third minute of stoppage time and Beauguel and Daniel de Ridder combined to play the striker in. The Luxembourgian rounded Ruiter and  slotted home.

Utrecht need to get points and quick and in all honesty, Jan Wouters might be lucky to still be on the bench next weekend when they visit AZ Alkmaar.

TEAMS

RKC: Šeda, Anderson, Apau, Van Hoevelen, Amieux, Gouano (Ivens 41), Castelen (Beauguel 85), Duits, Sno, Joachim, Schet (D. De Ridder 46).

SUBS NOT USED: Van Dijk, Jungschläger, Braber, Van Weert.

GOALS: Castelen 8, D. De Ridder 79, Anderson 81, Joachim 90, Beauguel 90.

BOOKINGS: Duits.

UTRECHT: Ruiter, Van der Maarel, Delpierre, Markiet, Dorda, Ayoub, Toornstra, Quesada (Koevermans 84), S. De Ridder, Agudelo, Oar.

SUBS NOT USED: Verhoeven, Diemers, Badjeck, Van Der Winden, Klaiber, Van Velzen.

GOALS: Toornstra 10P, S. De Ridder 82.

BOOKINGS: None.

FC GRONINGEN 1-3 HEERENVEEN

In the ‘Derby van het Noorden’, a zany six minutes of madness cost Erwin van de Looi’s Groningen the game in the final game of Week 23.

Early on Kenny Otigba and Maikel Kieftenbeld had fouls unpunished; however, they both saw the red card before the full-time whistle.

The home side looked good going forward and should have took the lead on 26 minutes when Eric Botteghin emerged forward and drove a powerful low shot towards the Heerenveen goal. Unfortunately for the Brazilian defender, Swedish keeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt pulled off a great save to tip wide.

As always Heerenveen are the most dangerous on the counter attack and today proved no different. On 33 minutes, straight from a Marco Bizot goal-kick, Marten de Roon headed back up the field into the feet of Alfred Finnbogason. The Icelander fired a ball forward for Rajiv van la Parra to run onto, the young winger then lashed the ball past the stunned Bizot for the opener.

Groningen fell to pieces and three minutes later, they found themselves two goals down. Again on the counter, Van la Parra and Hakim Ziyech combining with one-twos until Ziyech finished.

Things were getting messy for Van de Looi’s men and it was 3-0 and they were down to ten men on 39 minutes. Alfred Finnbogason skipped past Bizot and was ready to turn and finish into the goal until Kieftenbeld saved with his hands on the goal-line, the striker converted the resulting spot-kick.

Referee Bas Nijhuis had to dish out the red again with just under twenty minutes of time remaning which level the teams up. As Groningen’s Michael de Leeuw was running through on goal, Kenny Otigba was last defender and the Hungarian seemed to clip the midfielder’s heels.

Groningen grabbed a 86th minute consolation goal after Genaro Zeefuik was felled by Stefano Marzo in the area and Michael de Leeuw put away the penalty kick. Marco van Basten was angry with two minutes remaning after his side had a penalty claim waved away but in all fairness the game was for him after 39 minutes. Heerenveen leapfrog back into fifth at PSV’s expense.

TEAMS

GRONINGEN: Bizot, Burnet (Hateboer 46), Botteghin, Kappelhof, Wijnaldum, Chery, Kieftenbeld, Van Nieff (Zeefuik 79), Kirm, De Leeuw, Kostic (Lindgren 46).

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Lei, Adorjan, Hiarlej, Zivkovic.

GOALS: De Leeuw 86P.

BOOKINGS: Kieftenbeld, Hateboer.

SENT OFF: Kieftenbeld.

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Otigba, Kum, Van Anholt, De Roon, Ziyech, Van den Berg (Sinkgraven 65), Van La Parra (Slagveer 87), Finnbogason, Basacikoglu (Lurling 68).

SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, De Kamps, Warmotts, Van Aken.

GOALS: Van la Parra 33, Ziyech 36, Finnbogason 40P.

BOOKINGS: Marzo, Lurling.

SENT OFF: Otigba.

STANDINGS

140209 - Eredivisie

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 23 PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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In the midweek games, our top tipster Will Burns hit a four bets out of nine at massive prices to make a huge profit (13/8, 13/5, 11/4 and 19/10) and last night hit ANOTHER one at 6/5. He is back with his picks for the Eredivisie this coming weekend and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Saturday 8th February

PSV-Twente

PSV vs. FC TWENTE – 17:45

With both sides coming into this one on the back of good wins, it sure proves to a be a great game when second-placed Twente travel to the Phillips Stadion to face PSV on Saturday evening.

The installation of Guus Hiddink as Phillip Cocu’s advisor will only help the Eindhoven’s patchy season so far but Twente are in great form and are desperate to close the gap between themselves and Ajax.  A win for Twente in this would sit them only a point off the top.

I believe a feel good factor could be back in Eindhoven for this one but Twente could be too strong for Cocu’s men. The best bet would be to sit on the fence and settle for a draw.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (5/2 – BetVictor)

NAC-RodaJC

NAC BREDA vs. RODA JC – 18:45

It’s a relegation battle in Breda. NAC missed the chance to pick up three vital points in Nijmegen on Wednesday night and with just two wins from their last nine matches, they now find themselves just four points above the relegation zone.

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s Roda find themselves in the drop zone but only due to a poor goal-difference. In the past five trips, two draws and three defeats does not fill you full of confidence when away from home but they do have a young prodigy on their hands who could fire them up the league.

Of course, I am talking about Guus Hupperts. He is the main reason I’m betting that Roda could grab the win.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Roda to win (28/11 – Unibet)

GAE-AZ

GO AHEAD EAGLES vs. AZ ALKMAAR – 18:45

Dick Advocaat lead AZ to back-to-back wins last week, hosting Groningen and at Vitesse which gives them three wins from their first four games of the new year has revitalised their season.

The Eagles are yet to win in 2014 but have good form, one losing once in the last five games at Adelaarshorst but I see AZ’s firepower of Aron Johansson, 13 goals in 23 games being too strong for Go Ahead.  Take AZ to win at 11/10.

BURNS’ BEST BET: AZ to win (11/10 – BetVictor & WilliamHill)

Feyenoord-NEC

FEYENOORD vs. NEC NIJMEGEN– 19:45

Feyenoord had a great 2-1 away win to Roda midweek with Lex Immers and Samuel Armenteros getting involved in the goals, with Ronald Koeman not relying on Graziano Pellè notching.

NEC are undefeated in 2014 with two wins and three draws but four of those games have been played at home, the only away game was a tremendous 1-1 draw in Arnhem against Vitesse.

Could NEC gain another draw on Saturday night? Possibly… To play it safe I am going to say there are going to be goals in this one and plenty of them. Get on Over 4.5 Goals at Coral at 2/1 for the best bet of the day.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Over 4.5 Goals (2/1 – Coral)

Sunday 9th February

Heracles-Cambuur

HERACLES vs. SC CAMBUUR– 11:30

Sunday’s set of games opens with Cambuur’s visit to Heracles. The hosts smashed ADO 3-0 on Tuesday so they will be full of confidence. Cambuur held their own against PSV even though they let a 1-0 lead slip to be defeated by Cocu’s men.

On the road, Cambuur’s form is not great, losing six out of the last seven away league matches. Heracles have been in decent form at home (losing only one in five) due to the in-form Bryan Linssen firing off all cylinders, scoring six in six.

The best bet will be Heracles to be winning at half-time and continuing on to defeat Cambuur at the final whistle.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Heracles HT/FT (3/2 – Ladbrokes)

PEC-Ajax

PEC ZWOLLE vs. AJAX– 13:30

The resurgent PEC Zwolle go in search of a fourth straight win when they host league leader Ajax on Sunday.

Ron Jans’ men began the season in great form, winning their first four games and led the league for almost a month but a run of just one league win in 15 put pay to any title aspirations. Ajax started poorly for have clawed back and now top the league with a four point lead.

I predict this to be the game of the week and a real test for Ajax, with the game ending in a score draw.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (13/10 – Bet Victor)

RKC-Utrecht

RKC WAALWIJK vs. FC UTRECHT– 13:30

Even though Jan Wouter’s Utrecht have won six of their last seven matches against Waalwijk in all competitions, they have lost six of their last seven away matches in league. Utrecht are truly in horrible form at the moment even though they clinched a great point at home to Ajax last weekend.

Erwin Koeman’s RKC had a great week last week, defeating PSV on Sunday and drawing away to Go Ahead on Wednesday and need more points on the board to improve their position.

Utrecht also need points to and since loan signing Juan Agudelo has arrived from Stoke,  he has started in back-to-back games alongside Steven de Ridder up front. Agudelo and De Ridder have impressed and I feel they could be the two help Wouters clinch a win.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Utrecht to win (12/5 – Coral)

Groningen-Heerenveen

FC GRONINGEN vs. HEERENVEEN – 15:30

The final game of the weekend sees Marco van Basten take his Heerenveen side to Groningen. Both teams will be looking to bounce back after midweek defeats as Groningen lost narrowly away to Ajax and Heerenveen at home against FC Twente.

Groningen were incredibly unlucky against Ajax on Thursday with a late goal snatching a great point away from their grasp. With Hakim Ziyech and Alfred Finnbogason, Heerenveen are always dangerous but I feel Groningen could win this game especially if Filip Kostic can put in a performance like he did against Ajax. BetVictor are offering 6/5 for the home win and I see this as the best bet.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Groningen to win (6/5 – BetVictor)

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Week 22 Eredivisie Report – Tuesday: Vitesse slump to AZ, Feyenoord press on

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For the second round of games in a row, once again Vitesse failed to find the win that would have, albeit temporarily, took Peter Bosz’s side top of the Eredivisie.  The Arnhem side tasted defeat for only the fourth time this season against Dick Advocaat’s AZ Alkmaar. Elsewhere, Feyenoord won to move four points within leaders Ajax and Heracles grabbed an emphatic but vital victory over ADO Den Haag.

Tuesday 4th February 2014

RODA JC 1-2 FEYENOORD

Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord keep up with the leading pack in the Eredivisie on Tuesday night with a 2-1 away win to a plucky Roda JC side.

Feyenoord are now four points adrift of leaders Ajax, but the defending champions have a game in hand.

Lex Immers fired the away side in the lead with just 13 minutes gone. Roda defender Ard van Peppen failed to clear a Graziano Pellè chip into the box and Immers collected on the edge of area, stormed and finished with a low drive past Filip Kurto.

The visitors pressed for a second goal and just before half-time the game look done and dusted. Pellè and Immers again involved, with the Italian playing in Immers, whose shot was parried by Kurto into the path of Samuel Armenteros, who notched his first goal for the club.

After the interval, Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side looked a different team and attacked Feyenoord from the whistle but were unable to find a goal until the 76th minute. The ever-dangerous Arnaud Sutchuin surged into the area, but following him was Immers who stretched for the ball but brought the Cameroonian down. Moroccan midfielder Anouar Kali stepped up to convert and sent Erwin Mulder the other way.

Koeman dropped his team deep to save the three points and it worked a treat as the Rotterdam side held on and are now on 40 points.

RODA: Kurto, Monteyne, Luijckx, Biemans, Van Peppen (Ramos 89), Hupperts, Sutchuin, Donald, Kali, Jansen, Shkurtaj (Pluim 62).

SUBS NOT USED: Prus, Bonevacia, Hocher, Letschert, Jacobs.

GOALS: Kali 77P.

BOOKINGS: Kali, Hupperts.

FEYENOORD: Mulder, Janmaat, De Vrij, Kongolo, Martins Indi, Clasie, Immers, Vilhena, Armenteros (Goossens 79), Pellè, Boëtius.

SUBS NOT USED: Graafland, Verhoek, Bakkal, Nelom, Te Vrede, Van Beek.

GOALS: Immers 12, Armenteros 45.

BOOKINGS: Immers.

ADO DEN HAAG 0-3 HERACLES

ADO suffered their fifth loss in their last six outings which sent the Den Haag club to the bottom of the division and cost Maurice Steijn his job.

Steijn was sacked on Wednesday morning just a few hours after they suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat at home to Heracles. The visitors got off to a great start with the in-form Bryan Linssen put Heracles ahead in just two minutes. Mark Uth and Linssen combined in the area until the latter placed a shot home past Gino Coutinho.

It was then the turn of Mark Uth to notch after 34 minutes with a great header. Down the right-wing, Mikhail Rosheuvel whipped a ball into the front post and the striker, on-loan from Heerenveen, nipped ahead of his marker to nod past Coutinho.

Just before the hour mark the scoring was completed and it was Uth again on the scoresheet. Rosheuvel attacked down the middle while the ADO defender backed off, with Uth overlapping down the left. Rosheuvel played the striker in and he finished in style to make it 3-0 and confirm the three points for Heracles, and sent ADO crashing down to the bottom of the Eredivisie.

ADO: Coutinho, Malone, Beugelsdijk, Zuiverloon, Holla, Meijers, Van Haaren (Gouriye 47 (Kanon 85)), Alberg, Kramer, Van Duinen, Schet.

SUBS NOT USED: Zwinkels, Wormgoor, Gehrt, Bakker, Cabral.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Alberg.

HERACLES: Pasveer, Te Wierik, Schenkeveld, Veldmate, Davidson, Rienstra, Cziommer (Bruns 79), Bel Hassani, Rosheuvel, Uth (Amoah 85), Linssen (Van Dijk 51).

SUBS NOT USED: Telgenkamp, Tannane, Belterman, Powel.

GOALS: Linssen 2, Uth 34, 57.

BOOKINGS: None.

VITESSE 0-2 AZ ALKMAAR

Second-placed Vitesse Arnhem missed the chance to move ahead of Ajax temporarily after losing only their fourth game of the season to Dick Advocaat’s AZ Alkmaar.

AZ played Dortmund-like, high up the pitch with relentless immediate pressure from the kick-off. Pressing Vitesse in their own half, AZ kept possession well and were nearly a goal up after ten minutes. The hosts failed to clear a free-kick from the right and the ball fell perfectly for Roy Beerans from 35-yards out who hit the ball first time, Vitesse goalkeeper Piet Velthuizen scrambled across the goal to tip wide.

On twenty minutes, AZ found themselves in front with the unfortunate Patrick van Aanholt scoring an own goal. Beerens forced himself forward with the ball and laid the ball to the left to Aron Johansson. Johansson cut in and smashed the ball across the goal-line and Van Aanholt, trying to cut the ball from reaching Steven Berghuis, and unfortunately the Chelsea man fired the ball into the net.

Vitesse instantly picked themselves up and went for an equaliser, but each time they attacked they left gaps at the back and a horrible defensive mix-up lead to the second goal. Just before half-time, Aron Johansson notched one of the easiest goals of his career.

A long clearance up field from Jan Wuytens sent Johansson jumping for the ball deep into the Vitesse half with defenders Guram Kashia and Jan-Arie van der Heijden. The Vitesse pairing clashed together and the American international was left to calmly chip the ball over Velthuizen to make it 2-0.

After the break, Alkmaar determinedly protected their lead and kept all three points. This now makes Vitesse challenge for their first ever Eredivisie championship a huge challenge to overcome, especially if leaders Ajax can extend their lead against FC Groningen on Thursday evening.

VITESSE: Velthuizen, Leerdam, Kashia, Van den Heijden, Van Aanholt, Pröpper, Vejinovic (Traore 46), Atsu (Qazaishvili 81), Ibarra, Havenaar, Piazón (Labyad 46).

SUBS NOT USED: Room, Mori, Van der Struijk, Djurdjevic.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Leerdam.

AZ: Esteban, Reijnen, Gouweleeuw, Wuytens, Viergever, Gudelj, Elm, Ortiz, Beerens, Jóhannsson (Avdic 46), Berghuis (Gudmundsson 74).

SUBS NOT USED: Johansson, Gorter, De Winter, Henriksen, Lewis.

GOALS: Van Aanholt 20OG, Jóhannsson 42.

BOOKINGS: Elm, Gudmundsson.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 22 PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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After nailing four out of nine games at the weekend, Will Burns is back with his picks for the midweek Eredivisie extravaganza (all nine games) and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Tuesday 4th February

Roda-Feyenoord

RODA JC vs. FEYENOORD – 17:45

Roda’s last game at Parkstad Limburg Stadion was Jon Dahl Tomasson’s first win as head coach in a 1-0 win over Utrecht. After losing 3-1 at PEC Zwolle on Saturday, they face the tough test of Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord tomorrow night.

Feyenoord featured in Friday night’s game which was a 1-1 draw against Vitesse that leaves the Koeman’s men seven points off league leaders Ajax. The title race is not out of reach yet and they will look to Italian striker Graziano Pelle to add to his tally of 16 in 19 games this campaign.

I can see Feyenoord being too strong for Roda and at 13/8 at Betfair for the Rotterdam side to be winning at half-time and full-time, it’s too big of a bet to miss.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Feyenoord HT/FT (13/8 – Betfair)

ADO-Heracles

ADO DEN HAAG vs. HERACLES – 18:45

Both sides experienced defeats over the weekend: Heracles at home to NAC Breda and ADO at Heerenveen, with a five points separating them in the league table.

I see this being a close game even though both sides will be itching to get back on track, I see this match finishing as a score draw. For the best bet, take a look at BetVictor’s at 13/5 for this one.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (13/5 – BetVictor)

Vitesse-AZ

VITESSE vs. AZ ALKMAAR – 19:45

Tuesday’s main event will be second place Vitesse hosting sixth placed AZ Alkmaar. AZ have proved to be a bit of a jinx for the Arnhem side over the years, with Vitesse failing to find a win in the last eight meetings between the two sides.

Peter Bosz’s side will look to change all that this time round and place a bit of pressure on Ajax, currently two points clear them. A win would take Vitesse ahead of the Amsterdam side, with Ajax yet to play at home to Groningen on Thursday.

AZ will certainly not lay down for Vitesse and it will be a tough test for Bosz’s men. However, AZ has been a little inconsistent with two wins and three defeats from their last five matches played. Look for Vitesse to win this one and let’s take them to win by two clear goals to give us a bit of value.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Vitesse -1 (29/20 – SkyBet)

Wednesday 5th February

Cambuur-PSV

SC CAMBUUR vs. PSV – 17:45

After a shocking display at Waalwijk, a 2-0 defeat on Sunday, Philip Cocu needs to pick his side up for the trip to Cambuur on Wednesday evening. With only one win on the road in the last nine games, Cocu has a tough job.

Cambuur on the other hand put in a good showing away to Twente earlier on Sunday, despite running out on the wrong side of a 3-1 scoreline.

PSV are struggling to score goals and as we won on ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ in the RKC game on Sunday, let’s go for it again at 11/10 at Sky Bet. There has been under 2.5 goals in the last four games involving PSV so let’s see if that run will continue.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals (11/10 – SkyBet)

GAE-RKC

GO AHEAD EAGLES vs. RKC WAALWIJK – 18:45

The impressive Evander Sno hit both goals in RKC’s win over PSV on Sunday and the Waalwijk side will look to build on that victory away to Go Ahead Eagles on Wednesday evening. However, Erwin Koeman’s side has a horrible away record with only two wins in the last 21 trips.

Go Ahead on the other hand has faired well at home this season with only two defeats in ten, and those losses were against the current top two, Vitesse and Ajax. A win for RKC is not unthinkable but I cannot see it happening.

Although the draw on the other hand could, with six draws for the Eagles and seven for RKC already this season I can see them adding to this tally on Wednesday.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (13/5 – Betfred, SkyBet and Bet365)

NEC-NAC

NEC NIJMEGEN vs. NAC BREDA – 18:45

It is a close league this season with just five points splitting NEC (17th) and NAC (10th). NEC have a great home record this campaign with only losing two out of nine games (to Vitesse and Ajax) since the sacking of Alex Pastoor in September.

In an interesting stat, NEC Nijmegen have not beaten NAC in the last seven meetings between the sides in all competitions so going with the stats, I feel the best bet is a draw.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (11/4 – WilliamHill)

Heerenveen-Twente

HEERENVEEN vs. FC TWENTE – 19:45

FC Twente are in tremendous form and have only experienced a defeat twice in the Eredivisie this season, both away games to ADO Den Haag and Vitesse.

Heerenveen striker Alfred Finnbogason is also in tremendous form notching an amazing 20 goals in 18 games, which persuade Fulham to offer €10m on transfer deadline day.

With the Icelandic international notching left, right and centre I am unsure that Twente can defeat Heerenveen, but what I can predict is goals!

BURNS’ BEST BET: Over 3.5 Goals (13/5 – BetVictor)

Thursday 6th February

Utrecht-PEC

FC UTRECHT vs. PEC ZWOLLE – 17:45

Thursday sees PEC Zwolle travel to a struggling FC Utrecht full of confidence after Sunday’s 3-1 over Roda. While Jan Wouters’s Utrecht halted a run of four successive league defeats with a hard-fought point at home to Ajax, but they still remain five games without a win.

Zwolle look to clinch their third consecutive victory on Thursday but with the tricky Ryan Thomas providing balls for Guyon Fernandez and Mustafa Saymak, I think they could do it this Thursday at the Stadion Galgenwaard.

BURNS’ BEST BET: PEC Zwolle to win (19/10 – Unibet)

Ajax-Groningen

AJAX vs. FC GRONINGEN – 19:45

The final game of the Week 22 fixtures sees league leaders Ajax take on the underperforming FC Groningen.

The defending champions have won nine of their last eleven games and kept six clean sheets in their last seven at the Amsterdam ArenA. Do not look past an Ajax win if you are placing an accumulator this week, as I cannot see any other result coming close in this one.

Groningen lost away to AZ by two goals to nil on Saturday and I can see Ajax going one better winning the match 3-0. So let’s end the week with a huge 7/1 tip and good luck!

BURNS’ BEST BET: Ajax to win 3-0 (7/1 – Bet365)

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Week 21 Eredivisie Report – AZ, Zwolle, NAC, Heerenveen all victorious

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SATURDAY 1ST FEBRUARY 2014

HEERENVEEN 3-0 ADO DEN HAAG

After head coach Marco van Basten announced this past week that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season, Heerenveen stepped up to the plate and delivered three season half goals to defeat ADO.

Heerenveen’s latest signing, Anthony Lurling, who will be 37 in April, replaced Luciano Slagveer in the side but he failed to inspire this new side in the first half which was lacklustre, due to the attacking performances from both teams. Both midfields constantly failed to link up with their forwards and give the ball away to each other, and were restricted to long-range efforts which never bothered either goalkeeper. The score at half-time was goal-less.

The hosts pressed after the break and took the lead in controversial fashion that referee Ed Janssen under huge protests from the ADO players. Hakim Ziyech whipped in a free-kick from the right-wing which sailed into the arms of ADO goalkeeper Gino Coutinho low on the ground. Tom Beugelsdijk was marking Kenny Otigba who was heading towards the ball and both players momentum sent Otigba into the ball to knock it home. Coutinho did have two hands on the ball but the goal was given.

The advantage was doubled ten minutes later, when a spot-kick was awarded when Bilal Basacikoglu was weakly pushed over by Aaron Meijers. This gave Alfred Finnbogason the opportunity to score his 20th goal in just 18 games, which he duly took, coolly chipping the ball down the middle of the goal.

ADO applied pressure to try and get back into the game but the points were cemented deep into stoppage time. Heerenveen absorbed the attacks and sent Rajiv van la Parra on the counter attack to make it three.

TEAMS

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Van Anholt, Kum, Otigba, Dijks, De Roon, Van den Berg, Ziyech (Sinkgraven 91), Lurling (Van la Parra 83), Finnbogason, Basacikoglu.

SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, Marzo, De Kamps, Slagveer, Zomer.

GOALS: Otigba 58, Finnbogason 68P, Van La Parra 90+2.

BOOKINGS: Van Anholt, Otigba.

ADO DEN HAAG: Coutinho, Malone, Zuiverloon, Beugelsdijk, Meijers, Bakker (Kramer 63), Holla, Van Haaren, Alberg, Van Duinen, Schet.

SUBS NOT USED: Zwinkels, Wormgoor, Gouriye, Kanon, Merencia, Cabral.

GOALS: None

BOOKINGS: Van Haaren, Schet.

PEC ZWOLLE 3-1 RODA JC

Jon Dahl Tomasson suffered his first league defeat as Roda manager as they fell to an improving PEC Zwolle side in a quiet an even game.

The away side failed to keep possession early on and in the 19th minute, New Zealand international Ryan Thomas gave Zwolle the lead. After Roda were unable to clear a corner, the ball fell to Thomas who slid home from close range.

As the first-half petered out and it looked like Thomas had scored the only goal of the game until after the half-time break. Tomasson’s side pressed for an equaliser and found the goal just after the hour mark after some great play from man-of-the-moment Guus Hupperts. Hupperts weaved his way past defenders into the box and found Mitchell Donald at the back post to tap into an empty net.

Roda looked more likely to grab a second but against the run of play, Zwolle were awarded a penalty on 77 minutes, after Thomas was adjudged to be bundled over by Bart Biemans by referee Bjorn Kuipers. It was a poor decision from the ref as video replays showed that Thomas had gone down easy from a shoulder nudge. Guyon Fernandez converted the spot-kick sending Filip Kurto in the opposite direction.

The points were cemented two minutes into stoppage time when substitute Fred Benson fired home Zwolle’s third. After Kurto had stopped Mateusz Klich and Thanasis Karagounis’s close range effort, Benson finished to send the home side home happy.

TEAMS

ZWOLLE: Boer, Van Hintum, Broerse, Van der Werff (Lachman 47 (Gravenbeek 68)), Mokotjo, Van Polen, Karagounis, Klich, Saymak (Benson 74), Thomas, Fernandez.

SUBS NOT USED: Begios, Nijland, Drost, Mahmudov.

GOALS: Thomas 19, Fernandez 77P, Benson 90.

BOOKINGS: Klich.

RODA: Kurto, Monteyne (Ramos 89), Van Peppen, Biemans, Luijckx, Paulissen (Hocher 82), Donald, Kali, Sutchin, Hupperts, Shkurti (Pluim 65).

SUBS NOT USED: Prus, Bonevacia, Wijnen, Jacobs.

GOALS: Donald 62.

BOOKINGS: Paulissen, Biemans.

HERACLES 1-2 NAC BREDA

NAC Breda defeated Heracles by two goals to one to leapfrog them into the top ten and win their first game in three matches.

Breda had goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar to thank in the opening half-hour after the hosts began the better of the two sides.  However, at the other end Remko Pasveer gifted NAC the lead in the 38th minute with Jordy Buijs getting his third goal of the season. The Heracles ‘keeper failed to catch a corner and Buijs prodded home the opening goal.

Jan de Jonge’s men pressed for an equaliser but watched his side concede another just after the hour mark. Mats Seuntkens turned Jason Davidson on the right-wing and whipped in a pin-perfect cross to Rydell Popeon in the middle of the area to head past Pasveer.

Ten minutes later, Heracles did get a goal back through top scorer Bryan Linssen. Simon Cziommer surged into the right area of the box and looped a ball towards goal where Linssen rose above everyone to make it 2-1.

Linssen nearly got his eighth goal of the campaign to equalise near the end of the game, but Rouwelaar again, kept his team in it to fire his team into the top ten.

TEAMS

HERACLES: Pasveer, Veldmate, Davidson, Te Wierik, Schenkeveld, Rienstra, Bel Hassani (Bruns 80), Cziommer, Linssen, Rosheuvel (Tannane 64), Uth (Powel 67).

SUBS NOT USED: Telgenkamp, Amoah, Van Dijk, Belterman.

GOALS: Linssen 71.

BOOKINGS: Cziommer, Veldmate.

NAC: Ten Rouwelaar, Van der Weg, Buijs, Drost, De Roover, Matic (Suk 78), Gilissen, Hadouir (Verbeek 84), Seuntjens, Sarpong (Tighadouini 90), Poepen.

SUBS NOT USED: Babos, Perica, Swerts, Bodor.

GOALS: Buijs 38, Poepon 61.

BOOKINGS: Van der Weg, Hadouir.

AZ ALKMAAR 2-0 FC GRONINGEN

Two first-half Nemanja Gudelj goals gave AZ a great 2-0 win over FC Groningen.

It was a great start for Dick Advocaat’s men as Gudelj opened the scoring in just the third minute of play. From a Celso Ortiz free-kick, the ball fell kindly in the area for the Serbian midfielder to strike off Groningen defender Eric Botteghin and past Marco Bizot in the visitors’ goal.

AZ smelt blood and attacked Groningen relentlessly until the Serbian made it two in the 17th minute, and it was a great volleyed effort. After Steven Berghuis curled a low ball into the box, Gudelj acrobatically hit a right foot smash past Bizot.

Groningen improved after the internval but were unable to breach the AZ defence, and now the Alkmaar side has won two of its last three Eredivisie matches to climb to sixth place with 30 points, moving the club two points clear of their opponents today.

TEAMS

AZ: Esteban, Wuytens, Gouweleeuw, Viergever, Reijnen, Gudelj, Elm, Berghuis (Gudmundsson 77), Ortiz, Johannsson, Beerens.

SUBS NOT USED: De Winter, Johansson, Gorter, Henriksen, Lewis, Avdic.

GOALS: Gudelj 3, 17.

BOOKINGS: None.

GRONINGEN: Bizot, Magnasco (Nieff 47), Wijnaldum, Kappelhof, Hiarlej (Zeefuik 76), Botteghin, Kieftenbeld, De Leeuw, Chery, Adorjan (Burnet 47), Kostic.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Lei, Kirm, Lindgren, Zivkovic.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: None.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 21 PREVIEW – Saturday

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After a great 3/1 win with the Feyenoord-Vitesse draw prediction, Will Burns is back with his picks for Saturday and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Saturday 1st February

Heerenveen-ADO

HEERENVEEN vs. ADO DEN HAAG – 17:45

ADO head to Heerenveen full of confidence after their win over Feyenoord, while Marco van Basten’s men may be feeling a tad down after the head coach stated this week he will be not sticking around next season.

Under Van Basten, Heerenveen have never defeated ADO Den Haag and I’m predicting that the wait for the win will continue. I would except goals in this, especially with the fact that Heerenveen have conceded at least two goals in eight out of ten games, but also scored at least two goals in nine out of the last ten games.

If you’re feeling lucky opt for a 2-2 draw but I feel the best bet would be to stick with a draw at 18/5 at Unibet.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (18/5 – Unibet)

PECZwolle-Roda

PEC ZWOLLE vs. RODA JC – 18:45

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s Roda coming off a great 1-0 win last week against a struggling FC Utrecht side, head to Zwolle to face Ron Jans’ men who have failed to win in their last five games at the IJsseldelta Stadion.

Jans had to wait ten games to find an Eredivisie win which was the 2-1 away in Breda last round. Zwolle will be glad to ditch that stat and look to build their current ninth place into a run for European football qualification.

Tomasson has an in-form Guus Hupperts at his disposal and look for the young winger to try and get himself on the scoresheet again, he has scored four in the last six games from the right-wing. The best bet for me in this one is Under 2.5 Goals as I cannot see either team going for broke in this one.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals (13/10 – BetVictor)

Heracles-NAC

HERACLES vs. NAC BREDA – 18:45

Breda heads to Almelo after a great performance last weekend in a tight 2-1 defeat hosting Zwolle, while Heracles, undefeated in their last three games at home, defeated RKC 2-1 at Polman Stadion.

This game will provide goals and Bryan Linssen of Heracles is the man to watch. NAC Breda have conceded at least three goals in their last six away matches in Eredivisie. On this basis, the best bet seems to be a huge 17/10 at PaddyPower if you bet Heracles to be winning at half-time and full-time.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Heracles HT/FT (17/10 – PaddyPower)

AZ-Groningen

AZ ALKMAAR vs. FC GRONINGEN – 19:45

FC Groningen’s game last week was postponed due to a frozen pitch as AZ’s miserable form continued losing in a 1-0 defeat at PSV. AZ Alkmaar have now lost five of their last six matches in the league.

Just one point splits these teams in the league and Groningen have only one win away from home in the last nine matches. I’m settling for a tied game at full-time on this one.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (14/5 – Betfair)

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Week 20 Eredivisie Report – Heracles end RKC’s run

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FRIDAY 24TH JANUARY 2014

Week 20 of the Eredivisie began with RKC Waalwijk’s undefeated run of six games ending with a 2-1 away defeat to Heracles Almelo. Erwin Koeman’s side have not lost a game since early November in a 5-2 thrashing at Heerenveen.

Heracles-RKC

HERACLES 2-1 RKC WAALWIJK

The hosts pressed for the majority of the first half, not giving RKC much chance of an attack, and Heracles nearly went ahead on the half hour mark if it were not for Arjan van Dijk in the RKC goal. After Imad Najah fouled Simon Cziommer on the edge of the area, the German midfielder stepped up and smashed the ball towards goal. It was a fierce effort but Van Dijk got across his goal to tip over.

Heracles laboriously along RKC in moderately duel

The deadlock was broken before half-time and it was Bryan Linssen once again on the scoresheet. The ever lively Iliass Bel Hassani was tormenting RKC defence throughout and fire a ball across the goal on 39 minutes, Ben Rienstra’s sliding effort was denied by Van Dijk but unfortunately for the goalkeeper the ball fell to Linssen to notch his sixth goal of the season.

Shortly after the break, Heracles extended their lead. After some great work twisting and turning the left side of the RKC defence, winger Mikhail Rosheuvel swung a high ball into the box where Mark Uth met with a header, unchallenged by the two on looking Waalwijk defenders who were blaming each other for not marking.

RKC’s newest signing Daniel de Ridder made an appearance just after the hour mark replacing the Sander Duits, and a few minutes later his new side were handed a lifeline. It was a fortunate goal for Damiano Schet, the winger lined up a free-kick to a similar position to Cziommer’s in the first-half and hit a low drive towards Remko Pasveer’s goal. The ball ricocheted off the legs of the Heracles wall and diverted past the helpless Pasveer.

The visitors should and could have claimed a point in the dying embers of the game but Robert Braber blared an easy chance over the bar.

Heracles held on in the late stages to claim all three points to lift them up to ninth at this point, while RKC drop into sixteenth just two points adrift of the basement spot.

TEAMS

HERACLES: Pasveer, Schenkeveld, Dorda, Davidson, Te Wierik, Bel Hassaini (Bruns 78), Rienstra, Cziommer, Rosheuvel (Tannane 70), Linssen, Uth (Powel 85).

SUBS NOT USED: Telgenkamp, Quansah, Van Dijk, Belterman.

GOALS: Linssen 41, Uth 54.

BOOKINGS: None

RKC WAALWIJK: Van Dijk, Van Hoevelen (Anderson 81), Apau, Gouano, Amieux, Najah, Duits (De Ridder 65), Braber, Sno, Schet (Beaugel 88), Joachim.

SUBS NOT USED: Seda, Ivens, Jungschlager, Lamey.

GOALS: Schet 67.

BOOKINGS: None

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 20 PREVIEW – Friday & Saturday

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Week 20 of the Eredivisie is upon us and can Ajax and Vitesse maintain their good form and stay at the top of the pile or can Feyenoord catch up on Saturday and place a bit of pressure on them? Will Burns is here with this predictions and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Friday 24th January

Heracles-RKC

HERACLES vs. RKC WAALWIJK– 19:00

Currently undefeated in their last six Eredivisie games, RKC Waalwijk are surprising a lot of pundits in the Netherlands but on Friday night they face the tough challenge of Heracles.

With Romeo Castelen missing with a knee injury for RKC, it only get tougher. Heracles will want to bounce back from last week’s 3-1 defeat away to Twente, and will look to star player Bryan Linssen to get on the scoresheet.

The hosts will have Jeroen Veldmate serving a suspension for this game, after last Friday’s red card, but the central defensive pairing of Bart Schenkeveld and Ben Rienstra will cover in his absence.

Look for RKC to keep their undefeated run going by notching another point as I see this game being a draw, and with BetVictor offering 29/10, it’s a bet too good to miss especially when Heracles have just won one of their last six games at the Polman Stadion.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (29/10 – BetVictor)

Saturday 25th January

ADO-Feyenoord

ADO DEN HAAG vs. FEYENOORD – 17:45

A huge 5-2 win away to Utrecht last Sunday meant Feyenoord have now won five out of the last five Eredivisie games, but sadly for the Rotterdam side, they were knocked out of the KNVB Beker on Wednesday in a tough 3-1 defeat away to Ajax.

ADO will be the fresher side with no midweek game this week but due to far superiority in Ronald Koeman’s camp, I cannot see Feyenoord not coming out the victors. At 4/7 (BetVictor) Graziano Pelle and co. might be worth adding to your accumulator but it is certainly not our best bet.

Like last week I fancy Feyenoord to win both half-time and full-time in this one and we stick with BetVictor again at 11/8. For the record, Koeman’s men have now won this bet in the last four Eredivisie matches.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Feyenoord HT/FT (11/8 – BetVictor)

NAC-PECZwolle

NAC BREDA vs. PEC ZWOLLE – 18:45

PEC Zwolle will be oozing with confidence after their trimpuant 5-1 win over Topklasse outfit JVC Cuijk in midweek to fire themselves into the semi-finals of the KNVB Beker.

No disrespect to JVC, but Zwolle will face a much stronger side in NAC Breda on Saturday evening. A side that is undefeated at home in the last six games, with five wins (AZ Alkmaar, Heracles, Go Ahead Eagles, PSV and Cambuur) and one draw (Groningen).

Breda have no real injury problems but Zwolle still are without strong powerful defender Darryl Lachman due to hamstring problem. Zwolle are on a four game losing streak in league games, but I can see the hunger to end that unwanted streak ending on Saturday. I can see this one ending as a draw and ending one streak for Zwolle, and continuing another for NAC.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (13/5 – Bet365)

Roda-Utrecht

RODA JC vs. FC UTRECHT – 18:45

Both teams will be hurting after being knocked out of the Dutch cup in midweek, Roda at home to AZ (2-0) and Utrecht away to NEC (1-0).

Jon Dahl Tomasson still searches for his first win and he will be without main striker Krisztián Németh, after the Hungarian’s stupid red card on Tuesday night, as he serves his first of a five match suspension.

Both sides are in dire need of a win and I can see goals a plenty going in here. Utrecht started well last weekend against Feyenoord but ended up conceding five losing 5-2. Jan Wouters will be looking to capitalise on Roda’s poor form of losing their four Eredivisie games at the Parkstad Limburg Stadion. Roda have not won a game in eight league matches and you have to go back to late October when they defeated PSV for the last time they clinched all three points on offer.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Utrecht to win (29/10 – BetVictor)

PSV-AZ

PSV vs. AZ ALKMAAR – 19:45

Saturday night’s main event pits PSV vs. AZ in a repeat of the KNVB Beker final last May. Of course, the star of the show that day was Adam Maher, who has since swapped clubs.

On reflection, even before last week’s defeat to bitter rivals Ajax, PSV’s season is already over with only qualification to the Europa League to play for.  AZ can still hope to retain their Dutch cup after Tuesday’s 2-0 victory at Roda, and in the league they currently sit in 7th, a place and one point above Saturday’s opponents.

PSV were unlucky to not get at least a point at the Amsterdam Arena on Sunday, and the addition of Bryan Ruiz looks like he could inject life into the PSV attack, linking up well with Memphis Depay and Jürgen Locadia.

Look for PSV to be successful here as Phillip Cocu’s men have only lost once in their last 11 Eredivisie games (a 6-2 defeat against high-flying Vitesse). However, for my ‘best bet’ I pick Fulham’s on-loan winger Bryan Ruiz to score anytime, which you can pick up for 7/5 at Bet365.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Bryan Ruiz to score anytime (7/5 – Bet365)

Click here for a preview of Sunday’s games.

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