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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 1

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Welcome to week one of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition.  All players have performed so well this weekend that Martijn Hilhorst and Will Burns have decided they should be in our team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.

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GOALKEEPER

MARTIN HANSEN – ADO DEN HAAG: The back-heeling goalkeeper makes the team of the week for obvious reasons.

DEFENDERS

FARSHAD NOOR – RODA JC: The first of many debutants for his club, displaying a great first outing for his new club. Topping it off by providing the assist for Faik’s late goal.

WOJCIECH GOLLA – N.E.C. NIJMEGEN: The big Polish defender displayed great qualities at the back to keep Excelsior at bay and clinch a clean sheet for N.E.C.

DIRK MARCELLIS – PEC ZWOLLE: A goal scoring return for the big defender and beast of a outing, even though he was let down by fellow defenders to allow SC Cambuur perform a two-goal comeback.

CANER CAVLAN – SC HEERENVEEN: The young left-back had a great debut that kept De Graafschap’s attacks at bay.

MIDFIELDERS

SIMON THERN – SC HEERENVEEN: An excellent two-goal performance from midfielder in Heerenveen 3-1 win over new boys De Graafschap, that makes the Swedish midfielder our PLAYER OF THE WEEK.

HICHAM FAIK – RODA JC: The midfielder capped a strong performance off with a wonderful goal to clinch a 3-1 over Heracles.

ERIK BAKKER – SC CAMBUUR: Great leadership from the midfielder, whose goal inspired his side to back from two goals down to clinch a draw against PEC Zwolle.

ATTACKERS

DIRK KUYT – FEYENOORD: He’s back. The veteran lead his side to a fantastic ten-man performance with a 3-2 win over Utrecht, which he capped off with a penalty goal. An inspirational asset to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.

EDWIN GYASI – RODA JC: Grabbed the equalising goal in the 3-1 victory over Heracles and was a constant threat to the Almelo defence.

ANWAR EL GHAZI – AJAX: Scorer of two of Ajax’s three goals in the 3-0 win over AZ Alkmaar including a stunning 30-yard dipping strike that sent the travelling Amsterdammers into raptures.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 1… Part Two

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WEEK ONE (PART TWO) – 11TH AND 12TH AUGUST 2015

So a goalkeeper scored an equaliser in the dying seconds with an outstanding back-heeled flick in the Eredivisie this week – Will Burns is here to report on the remaining five games in the Dutch top flight from week one.

Danish goalkeeper Martin Hansen was the toast of The Hague this past Tuesday after scoring an injury-time winner for ADO Den Haag in their opening day clash with defending champions PSV. Now anytime a keeper sprints up the pitch for a last minute set piece, it is always an exciting time to see if the big man can rise above all others to smash a header home past his opposite number.

However, this was no header – a poor free-kick from Kenji Gorre gave Hansen the option of instinctively flicking his boot up for a back-heel, which he connected perfectly with to skim the ball past Jeroen Zoet for the draw.

PSV had started well and took the lead, dubiously, through their new number ten, Adam Maher. Replays of the goal showed that Maher was offside when he received the ball on 23 minutes to put PSV in front. However, minutes later the score was all level. Colombian right-back Santiago Arias bundled over Aaron Meijers which looked outside the penalty area, but referee Richard Liesveld pointed to the spot and Ronald Alberg converted.

Luuk de Jong opened his account for the season just after the hour mark, simply pushing a header past Hansen after the ADO defence left the big striker unmarked until Hansen clinched a point with his dramatic leveller. A disappointing start for PSV’s looking to retain their Eredivisie title.

In Tuesday’s late game, Heerenveen were impressive in their 3-1 win over newly promoted De Graafschap. The Eredivisie new boys found themselves two goals down by half-time after Simon Thern took advantage of a defensive mix-up by Lion Kaak to slot past Hidde Jurjus in the De Graafschap goal. Debutant Mitchell te Vrede, a signing this week from Feyenoord, notching the second after some great work down the wing from the industrious Luciano Narsingh.

It was more of the same after the break and Thern headed home on 53 minutes for his second and Heerenveen’s third. A Vincent Vermeij header was just a consolation for the visitors and they look to turn things around on Saturday as they host PEC Zwolle.

Wednesday’s games began with a poor game in Groningen, as Edwin van der Looi’s side faced FC Twente which ended all square at 1-1. Twente took the lead when Renato Tapia was left alone at the front post and headed home a Hakim Ziyech corner just before the break. However, Groningen replied in the 83rd minute to salvage a point through a Michael de Leeuw goal after being played through on goal by substitute Danny Hoesen.

SC Cambuur battled back from two goals down to a 2-2 draw away at PEC Zwolle. Zwolle’s new defender Dirk Marcellis grabbed the opening goal on 31 minutes after some great footwork evading the Cambuur defence by fellow new signing Lars Veldwijk (on loan from Nottingham Forest). Minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead with a tremendous left-footed long drive from Sheraldo Becker giving Leonard Nienhuis no chance in goal. The Leeuwarden-outfit fought hard and clinched a lifeline with twenty minutes to go through Erik Bakker and seven minutes later the scores were level. Sjoerd Overgoor finished beautifully after Bakker laid it on a plate for the midfielder to secure a point.

In the final game of the week, N.E.C. Nijmegen left it late to defeat Excelsior. It was a uneventful and un-entertaining affair that ended with a Navarone Foor goal with just minutes remaining.

RESULTS

Tuesday 11th August

ADO Den Haag 2-2 PSV

sc Heerenveen 3-1 De Graafschap

Wednesday 12th August

FC Groningen 1-1 FC Twente

PEC Zwolle 2-2 SC Cambuur

N.E.C. 1-0 Excelsior

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 1… Part One

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WEEK ONE (PART ONE) – 8TH AND 9TH AUGUST 2015

The opening weekend of the Dutch league season was severely affected by police strike action, and due to this, the nine Eredivisie games are to be spread across the majority of the week. Will Burns is on hand to give you a rundown of all the action from the first four matches.

In an amazing contrast on Sunday morning, after watching the European performances of the past fortnight, the disappointing Ajax travelled to Alkmaar to face the promising AZ and the tables were turned. The Amsterdammers left the AFAS Stadion with a 3-0 win after an Anwar El Ghazi brace followed by Nemanja Gudelj notching against the club he left in the summer.

Ajax scored all three inside the first-half with El Ghazi opening the scoring on 14 minutes with a sublime effort after some quick thinking from Mitchell Dijks. A quickly took free-kick allowed El Ghazi some space some 30 yards out and El Ghazi, after meeting his hero in the summer, hit a Ronaldo-like dipping shot giving AZ stopper Sergio Rochet no chance of saving.

It was a close affair with AZ hitman Vincent Janssen look the most likely to threaten for the John van der Brom’s side but it was his goalkeeper Rochet that handed the game to Frank de Boer’s outfit. El Ghazi got his head on the end of a whipping Gudelj free-kick and Rochet, although the Uruguayan stopped the effort, he failed to control and ended up fumbling the ball into the net to make it 2-0.

The third and final goal by Gudelj was also another that Rochet would not like to watch in the highlights that evening, after parrying the Serbian’s long range effort into the top corner of his goal.

AZ coach Van der Brom stated he felt sorry for his supporters that sold out the stadium for this match, but will look to make amends next weekend in Rotterdam against Excelsior. For De Boer, his side showed no Euro hangover as they look to challenge to regain the Eredivisie crown taken from them by PSV last season.

In the opening game of the season, Roda JC made a return to the Eredivisie with a hefty 3-1 win over Heracles even though the Almelo outfit went ahead after the half-hour mark through Iliass Bel Hassani. Although, the lead did not last long as four minutes later, Edwin Gyasi managed to weave his through to equalise. Early in the second half, Roda took the advantage with Tom van Hyfte scrambling the ball home after Gyasi’s header hit the post. Heracles pressed to level the game up but in the final moments, Hicham Faik smashed home a long range effort to cement all three points.

Dirk Kuyt also made his return to the Dutch top flight leading Feyenoord to a 3-2 victory over FC Utrecht at De Kuip on Saturday evening. Even though the Rotterdammers were reduced to ten-man after young right-back Rick Karsdorp was harshly dismissed by referee Kevin Blom early in the second-half. Turkish striker Colin-Kazim Richards gave Giovanni van Bronckhorst a great start to his managerial career heading home debutant Marko Vejinovic’s free-kick to make it 1-0.

After Karsdorp was shown his marching orders for his hard tackle on Christian Kum, Utrecht levelled the scoring through French striker Sébastien Haller, whom signed permanently from Auxerre last month on 75 minutes, however the score was only 1-1 for a few moments.

The equaliser fired up Van Bronckhorst’s side and they regained the lead two minutes later when substitute Tonny Vilhena, rumoured to be leaving the club, was at the back post to knock home Karim El-Ahmadi’s cross. With the De Kuip faithful in full force, Feyenoord pressed to kill the game off and Bilal Başaçıkoğlu was tripped in the area by Yannick Cortie, and Kuyt marked his return with a successful penalty conversion. Haller nabbed an injury-time consolation through a penalty kick of his own but it was Feyenoord that ended as the victors by three goals to two.

Looking to build on a successful campaign last season, Willem II boss Jurgen Streppel lead his team out full of confidence on Sunday afternoon against Peter Bosz’ Vitesse in a game that ended tied at a goal apiece. The Tilburg side took the lead just after the hour mark through new recruit Erik Falkenburg before Ukrainian midfielder Denis Oliynyk.

A further five contests will make up week one of the Eredivisie to take place Tuesday and Wednesday this week… if the police do not decide on another strike?!

Check back later this week for ‘Part Two’ of the Eredivisie report.

RESULTS

Saturday 8th August

Roda JC 3-1 Heracles

Feyenoord 3-2 FC Utrecht

Sunday 9th August

AZ 0-3 Ajax

Willem II 1-1 Vitesse

FIXTURES

Tuesday 11th August

ADO Den Haag vs. PSV

sc Heerenveen vs. De Graafschap

Wednesday 12th August

FC Groningen vs. FC Twente

PEC Zwolle vs. SC Cambuur

N.E.C. vs. Excelsior

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Eerste Divisie preview

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A total of 20 teams will take part each week in the Eerste Divisie, also known as the Jupiler League. It will be the fifty-ninth edition of the competition, since its establishment in 1955. The season will run from the beginning of August 2014 until May 2015, as teams fight for promotion into the Dutch top flight – the Eredivisie.

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After facing relegation last season from the Eredivisie, Roda JC Kerkrade will begin their new campaign in the Eerste Divisie, also joined by NEC Nijmegen and RKC Waalwijk also faced relegation but this time through the playoff rounds after finishing second and third from bottom in the top flight last season.  All three clubs will be hoping that their time spent in the Eerste Divisie will be short lived, as they battle for promotion during the 2014/15 campaign.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DUTCH DOMESTIC LEAGUE?

Only the club that tops the table at the end of the season guarantees themselves automatic promotion to the Eredivisie. Teams finishing between second and fifth will enter the second round of the Eredivisie promotion/relegation play-offs, which also gives the sides a chance to qualify for the top flight.

There is also a slight chance for teams who finish the season between sixth and ninth to gain entry into the Eredivisie, as the teams will also enter the Eredivisie play-offs in the first round of the knockout format. The rest of the ten teams finishing from 10th to last will remain in the Eerste Divisie for the following season.

WHO ARE FAVOURITES TO GAIN PROMOTION?

Without a doubt the main objective for the three clubs that have been relegated to the Eerste Divisie will be hoping that they can rejoin the top sides next season, but other clubs such as FC Den Bosch, VVV-Venlo, FC Eindhoven and De Graafschap will all be hoping they can finish in a promotion place, whether it be a round one or two entry into the playoff faze, they will still be in with a chance to gain promotion.

There is also an odd side chance that FC Volendam and Fortuna Sittard may upset the odds and surprise many this season, a chance to battle for a place in the Dutch top flight means high attendees in the ground on match day, which no club would refuse, considering the impotents of finance in clubs these recent years.  The league will be occupied by three reserve teams from Dutch giants – Jong Ajax , Jong PSV and Jong FC Twente. Last season, the PSV youngsters managed to finish ahead of the other two’s ‘B’ teams and ended the season in tenth with a + 5 Goal difference. It is impossible for any of these three sides to gain promotion, due to the fact the clubs already have teams in the top flight.

There is four sides that I believe will struggle to compete in the league this season, they are Almere City , FC Oss , Telstar and Achilles ’29. These sides appear not to have the strength in their squad to compete for any type of silverware or promotion this coming season. All four sides ended the season on a minus goal difference last campaign, and that may not change come the end of the 2015/16 season.

Usually in the Eerste Divisie matches are played on a Friday evening at 7pm (BST) and this weekend is the opening weekend of games in the league.

WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH THE EERSTE DIVISIE 2014/15 SEASON?

– Remember the Dutch legend Jaap Stam?  Well, he will manage Jong Ajax this season as he attempts to bring his experience to the players of future who hope to break into Frank de Boer’s  Ajax side.

– Other popular names such as Ruud Kaiser will manage the FC Den Bosch side, Kaiser coached Dutch stars such as Robin Van Persie , Wesley Sneijder , Nigel de Jong and several other current Dutch internationals as he coached the Dutch in the 2005 European Under-17 Championship.

– Many young stars are loaned out from major clubs in the Netherlands to smaller clubs, where they get the chance to show their qualities and learn their trade

– Not forgetting that the fans and atmosphere each week is not to be forgotten as the crowds for the Dutch first division continues to grow.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE?

Every week here at Total Dutch Football, I will doing a ‘Game of the Week’ feature and weekly round-up for the league so stay tuned for full coverage of the 2014/15 season.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 32 – Saturday’s Preview & Betting Tips

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Thursday he nailed a 6/5 shot and last night picked a big money maker at 15/4Will Burns returns with his selections for Saturday’s games and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck! A treble on these today would pay a massive 25/1 at Bet Victor!!

Saturday 12th April

GAE-Heerenveen

GO AHEAD EAGLES vs. HEERENVEEN (17:45 BST)

Heerenveen visit Go Ahead Eagles full of confidence after the impressive 3-0 win over PSV Eindhoven last weekend.

Marco van Basten will know this will be no easy task as Eagles have a great record at home with only Ajax, PSV and Vitesse have left Adelaarshorst with all three points so far this season. However, Heerenveen have a decent record against the Eagles, in their last seven matches in all competitions, Go Ahead are yet to defeat the Frisian side.

I think the last two statements back up our ‘best bet’ perfectly. Heerenveen are going to keep the undefeated run against Go Ahead in tact, however, they will not leave Deventer will the maximum points. Bet Victor are offering the draw at 11/4 and I can see this game ending all level at full-time.

BEST BET: Draw (11/4 – Bet Victor)

Cambuur-Vitesse

SC CAMBUUR vs. VITESSE (18:45 BST)

Peter Bosz’s side held league leaders Ajax last weekend but it also means Vitesse are without a win in four games now and their chances of finishing the season as runners-up and qualifying for Champions League football are beginning to dwindle.

Since Dwight Lodeweges left, Cambuur are yet to win a game themselves in the last three games and for Saturday’s game, caretaker manager Henk de Jong is missing three first teamers in his squad. Defender Lucas Bijker and midfielder duo Mohamed El Makrini and Marcel Ritzmaier all miss out due to suspension.

Vitesse are expected to win this game but Cambuur can be unpredictable, especially in front of their own fans. I look to the goals market for our ‘best bet’ and since the hosts are struggling to score goals as of late I see ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ giving us the most value. The best price is at Bet Victor with the price at 6/5.

BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals (6/5 – Bet Victor)

Twente-Roda

FC TWENTE vs. RODA JC (19:45 BST)

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s Roda travel to Enschede fully aware, that this is yet another must win game, if they are to have any chances of Eredivisie survival. However, they face FC Twente whom themselves need the points if they stand any chance of finishing in second.

Twente have a massive task ahead sitting four points adrift of Feyenoord with only three games left but with Ronald Koeman’s side visiting PSV Eindhoven on Sunday, there may be a small chance.

I see Michel Janssen’s men claiming all three points but it will be a closer game than you think. With the end of the season drawing near, you can expect the unexpected and Roda are fighting for their lives, therefore for value I look for this game to close with few goals. Bet Victor have Under 2.5 Goals at a massive 21/10 and I see that as our ‘best bet’.

BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals (21/10 – Bet Victor)

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 31 – Sunday’s Preview & Betting Tips

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Will Burns returns with his betting tips for Sunday’s games and like all his selections, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Sunday 6th April

ADO-Utrecht

ADO DEN HAAG vs. FC UTRECHT (11:30 BST)

Henk Fraser, leading ADO eight games undefeated in the Eredivisie, braces the challenge of Jan Wouters’ FC Utrecht on Sunday morning.

ADO snatched an excellent 1-1 draw away to Champions League chasing Twente midweek to take ADO’s form to five draws and three wins in the last eight. You cannot look past ADO not to win this game against a Utrecht side that have not won away game in the Eredivisie since November last year.

ADO to take three points is being offered at 11/10 with Bet Victor and that is a great price for a side yet to lose under Fraser.

BEST BET: ADO to win (11/10 – Bet Victor)

Feyenoord-RKC

FEYENOORD vs. RKC WAALWIJK (13:30 BST)

Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord are in pole position for Champions League football next season sitting in second four points clear of third-placed FC Twente.

The Rotterdam side will know that Vitesse, PSV and Twente will waiting for Koeman’s men to make a slip up but with Graziano Pellè back from suspension, I fail to see RKC Waalwijk being the side to do this.

However, RKC are well capable of scoring goals and have only failed to hit the net in four games all season. I predict they will breach the Feyenoord defence but the hosts will come out as winners. Feyenoord to be victorious with both teams to score is being offered at 6/4 by Bet Victor.

BEST BET: Feyenoord win with Both Teams to Score (6/4 – Bet Victor)

Vitesse-Ajax

VITESSE vs. AJAX (13:30 BST)

The game of the weekend takes place at the GelreDome when Ajax arrives in Arnhem to face fourth-placed Vitesse.  If Feyenoord taste defeat RKC and the league leaders beat Vitesse, Ajax could be crowned champions.

I feel Ajax will this game even though the last team to defeat the Amsterdammers was Vitesse in early November, however, that was 19 games ago. Since then, Frank de Boer’s men have gone 18 games unbeaten winning in 14 of them.

Vitesse have failed to win for three games and I would look for Ajax to add to their troubles. An Ajax win is valued at 23/20 from Bet Victor.

BEST BET: Ajax to win (23/20 – Bet Victor)

Roda-AZ

RODA JC vs. AZ ALKMAAR (15:30 BST)

The final game of the weekend sees the doomed Roda JC facing an uphill battle for Eredivisie survival against AZ Alkmaar.

Dick Advocaat’s side put in a great performance at home to Benfica on Thursday night and may be a little jaded heading to Kerkrade to face Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side, but they should have enough quality to see them claim all three points.

As AZ Alkmaar are undefeated in 18 of their last 20 matches against Roda in all competitions I see them extending that record and Bet Victor are offering 11/8 for the away win.

BEST BET: AZ Alkmaar to win (11/8 – Bet Victor)

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 30 – Sunday’s Preview & Betting Tips

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Will Burns returns with his betting tips for Sunday’s games and like all his selections, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Sunday 30th March

Feyenoord-GAE

FEYENOORD vs. GO AHEAD EAGLES (11:30 GMT)

Feyenoord will arrive at De Kuip on Sunday morning knowing that a win over Go Ahead Eagles could take them closer to Ajax who face a tough game at home to Twente.

Ronald Koeman’s only two injury worries are Joris Mathijsen doubtful with a calf problem but John Goossens is set to miss action until the end of April so this should be a very winnable game for the Rotterdam side. The dream of Champions League football next year is very within their grasp, just two points off second placed PSV with a game in hand.

Go Ahead Eagles could do with some points sitting in 15th only four points from the drop zone but only wining twice away from home this season, I cannot see them causing Feyenoord a shock. In fact, the Eagles have been losing at both half time and full time in five of their last six away games in the league. Our best bet would be for Feyenoord to win to nil which is valued at 13/10 at Bet 365.

BEST BET: Feyenoord to win to nil (13/10 –  Bet 365)

Cambuur-AZ

SC CAMBUUR vs. AZ ALKMAAR (13:30 GMT)

AZ Alkmaar and head coach Dick Advocaat have been preoccupied with Europa League and KNVB Beker competition over the past few weeks. They crashed out of the KNVB Cup on Thursday with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Ajax after some shocking refereeing decisions.

Advocaat will have to pick his men back up to face the challenge of the resilient SC Cambuur at the ferocious Cambuurstadion on Sunday. Cambuur have a great home record winning five or last six and AZ’s away form has been woeful with just the solitary win and six defeats in their last eight games away from the AFAS Stadion.

Advocaat will be aiming for the Europa League playoffs and should have enough quality to keep Cambuur at bay or at least match their scoring. Jody Lukoki returns to the Cambuur line-up after suspension and should be a real threat to AZ but I can see the scores ending level at full-time. Betfair have the draw at 13/5 and this looks to be our best price for this game.

BEST BET: Draw (13/5 – Betfair)

Ajax-FCTwente

AJAX vs. FC TWENTE (13:30 GMT)

FC Twente have slim title hopes that could take a boost on Sunday afternoon if they can defeat Ajax on their own turf to move within four points of the leaders, although Frank de Boer’s men have a game in hand.

Ajax are seven points clear of third-placed Twente with just six games remaining and they are not playing at their best after injuries to Siem de Jong and Viktor Fischer have forced De Boer to make changes. However, after Thursday night’s hard fought win over AZ and an excellent free-kick from Lasse Schone the feel-good factor should have returned for the Amsterdammers.

Twente will start with two of the division’s most potent strikers in Luc Castaignos and Dušan Tadić, who boast 26 league goals between them this term. However, the guy supplying the majority of the assists Quincy Promes, is a doubt for Sunday’s game with a calf strain.

With Ajax having faltered slightly, drawing their past two Eredivisie games against SC Cambuur and NAC Breda, Twente will match up against the Eredivisie’s best defence knowing that only a win will keep their title hopes alive. I can see this one being a tight affair which I see Bet Victor are offering 11/10 and it’s a good price for Under 2.5 Goals, which is our best bet of the afternoon.

BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals (11/10 – Bet Victor)

Roda-RKC

RODA JC vs. RKC WAALWIJK (13:30 GMT)

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s Roda and their Eredivisie status are virtually dead in the water after failing to two away defeats to Heracles and PSV Eindhoven in the last two rounds of games.

Both of these sides are in trouble and in dire need of points. Waalwijk are just two points (27) ahead of Roda (25), with both teams having displayed poor form in recent weeks. Tomasson has lead his side to just one win in the last nine matches, while Erwin Koeman’s RKC have taken a just a single point from a possible fifteen since thrashing FCUtrecht 5-2 in early February.

Both, Roda and RKC will see this is an opportunity to breathe some life into their relegation battle but unfortunately for Roda, I cannot see them scoring as many times as RKC can. Roda have scored just four goals in the last six games as RKC have notched ten. We will look to RKC at 17/5 offered by Bet Victor as our best bet for value.

BEST BET: RKC Waalwijk to win (17/5 – Bet Victor)

ADO-PECZwolle

ADO DEN HAAG vs. PEC ZWOLLE (15:30 GMT)

Ron Jans and his PEC Zwolle will be buoyant after clinching their first KNVB Beker Final in 37 years on Wednesday night but travel to ADO Den Haag knowing that Henk Fraser has lead the home side to an undefeated six game streak since taking over.

That’s right, when ADO looked to doomed to relegation, Fraser has managed them to three wins and three draws in the last six outings and Zwolle are slightly depleted heading into this one with defensive duo Bram van Polen and Joost Broerse are both suspended.

ADO have struggled to keep clean sheets and I think the best bet looks like a ADO win with Both Teams to Score as Fraser men has not kept a clean sheet at home since November. Bet Victor offer 12/5 for this market and that is true value in what I see a great win for ADO.

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

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Week 29 Eredivisie Report: PSV’s winning streak continues

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Vitesse suffered a shock defeat away at FC Groningen, NEC Nijmegen performed a two-goal comeback to grab a much needed point at Heerenveen as PSV climb into second place with their eighth win in a row over Roda JC.

Saturday 22nd March 2014

GroningenVitesse

FC GRONINGEN 3-1 VITESSE

Vitesse’s hopes of Champions League football suffered a massive blow on Saturday evening after FC Groningen won comfortably 3-1.

Peter Bosz lead his men to Groningen in hope of keeping the pressure on table-toppers Ajax but they fell behind after just ten minutes when the Amsterdammers’ new signing Richairo Zivkovic took advantage of some lapse defending by Guram Kashia. After the Georgian defender mis-kicked a clearance, the 17-year-old forward sped towards goal with the ball. Confidently the youngster skipped past Piet Velthuizen in goal to finish in the empty net. This was Velthuizen’s 200th appearance for Vitesse, but it was to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

The visitors got back into the game and levelled the game up just before the interval thanks to great vision by Guram Kashia, making amends for the opening goal. Christian Atsu, one of the four players on-loan from Chelsea, showed great composure to chip Marco Bizot after a beautiful lofted ball from the back from Kashia.

After a quiet opening to the second half, the hosts regained the lead in the 56th minute with Nick van der Velden scoring his fourth of the season. Vitesse failed to put a defender on the back post for a Tjaronn Chery corner and Van der Velden took full advantage to side foot an effort home off the inside of the post.

The result was done and dusted just after the hour mark with Tjarron Chery hitting a great left footed low drive from the edge of the areas after Kelvin Leerdam had failed to halt the midfielder’s attempt.

Groningen stay in ninth as Vitesse drop to fourth place, now seven points adrift of leaders Ajax, with the league leaders having a game in hand. The slim hope of their first ever Eredivisie championship has surely now slipped past Vitesse.

TEAMS

GRONINGEN: Bizot, Hateboer, Botteghin, Kappelhof, Burnet, Lindgren, Kieftenbeld, Chery, Van der Velden (Kirm 72), Zivkovic (Zeefuik 86), Kostic (Hagenauw 90+1).

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Lei, Adorjan, Wijnaldum, Cijntje.

GOALS: Zivkovic 10, Van der Velden 56, Chery 63.

BOOKINGS: Van der Velden 70.

VITESSE: Velthuizen, Van Der Struijk (Leerdam 31), Kashia, Vejinovic, Achenteh, Pröpper, Qazaishvili, Atsu, Labyad (Traoré 72), Havenaar (Djurdjevic 72), Piazón.

SUBS NOT USED: Room, Mori, Van Aanholt, Bosz.

GOALS: Atsu 39.

BOOKINGS: Kashia 42, Leerdam 59.

HeerenveenNEC

HEERENVEEN 2-2 NEC NIJMEGEN

NEC Nijmegen handed themselves a lifeline in the relegation battle, clawing back from two goals down to Heerenveen to claim a point with only ten men.

NEC steals important point in Heerenveen

Anton Janssen’s NEC, desperate for a good result to help ease their relegation worries, started the better team but against the run of play it was the free scoring Heerenveen that grabbed the lead on 40 minutes. It was a tremendous solo effort from Bilal Basacikoglu as he ghosted through the Nijmegen midfield and defence before firing a low drive past Dennis Gentenaar.

The lead was doubled in first half stoppage time after the tricky Rajiv van la Parra weaved his way in the area and was brought down by Rens van Eijden. Referee Tom van Sichem pointed to the spot and Alfred Finnbogason netted his ninth penalty of the season to take his goals tally up to 24 in 26 games. The goal meant the Iceland international has now overtaken Gerald Sibon to become Heerenveen’s all time leading scorer in the Eredivisie with 48 goals.

NEC were given a lifeline when the in-form striker Michael Higdon netted his 13th of the season with just twelve minutes of time remaining. After Iranian forward Alireza Jahanbakhsh flicked on a Marnick Vermijl cross for the Englishman to take down, control, spin his marker and fire home. The Liverpool-born striker is in real form with the goal being his seventh goal in the last ten outings.

The goal gave Anton Janssen’s men a glimmer of hope of snatching a point but minutes later their chances became greater as Rens van Eijden was given his second yellow for a handball outside the area. However, Heerenveen did not make NEC play and a minute into stoppage time, the relegation battlers stole a point.

After a scramble from a free-kick that Heerenveen failed to clear, Danish midfielder Søren Rieks was in the right place at the right time to fire past Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

Although, NEC remained second bottom, this was a great point to hold the Heerenveen who stay in sixth place.

TEAMS

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Otigba, Kruiswijk, Raitala, De Roon, Ziyech, Van den Berg, Van La Parra (Sinkgraven 62), Finnbogason, Basacikoglu (Slagveer 86).

SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, De Kamps, Fazli, Warmolts, Van Aken.

GOALS: Basacikoglu 40, Finnbogason 45+1P.

BOOKINGS: De Roon 43.

NEC: Gentenaar, Vermijl, Van Eijden, Nielsen, Leiwakabessy, Koolwijk, Rieks, Conboy, Hemlein (Gravenberch 45), Higdon, Jantscher (Jahanbakhsh 45).

SUBS NOT USED: Johnsson, Foor, Disverld, Štefánik, Castillon.

GOALS: Higdon 78, Rieks 90+1.

BOOKINGS: Van Eijden 45, Leiwakabessy 84.

SENT OFF: Van Eijden 87.

PSVRodaJC

PSV 3-1 RODA JC

Philip Cocu’s PSV defeated the struggling Roda JC by three goals to one to notch their eighth consecutive win to fir them into second spot and just six points behind leaders Ajax.

Roda JC, PSV, Kees Luijckx, Jürgen Locadia, PSV - Roda JC

Before Christmas, no-one would have predicted that PSV would be only six points adrift from Ajax but Philip Cocu’s men are now the in-form side in the Eredivisie racking up eight wins in a row is no easy feat.

Roda make PSV work for the win but unfortunately the class shone through and Jürgen Locadia got the hosts underway on 14 minutes. Santiago Arias and Ji-Sung Park combined to play the young striker through on goal to coolly finish past Filip Kurto.

Roda grabbed an unlikely equaliser before the interval through Mitchell Paulissen. The PSV defenders failed to clear a cross and Paulissen turned up on the left side of the area to side-foot past Jeroen Zoet.

Memphis Depay, wearing a protective mask due to suffering a bruised eye socket last weekend, was a threat throughout and on 63 minutes he provided some magic to help his side regain the advantage. Henk Dijkhuizen had a torrid evening trying to keep the masked man’s skills at bay, but after skipping past the defender with ease, Depay fired a shot which was saved by the legs of Kurto. The rebound fell to Locadia and after his shot was blocked, Bryan Ruiz was on hand to tap home for his fourth goal in eight games.

With quarter of an hour to go, Jeffrey Bruma nodded home a Ruiz corner to seal the win. PSV are now up to second place, and look to Champions League qualification although rivals for that positions, Twente and Feyenoord have a game in hand.

TEAMS

PSV: Zoet, Brenet, Rekik, Bruma, Arias, Schaars (Maher 69), Hiljemark, Park, Depay (Narsingh 89), Locadia, Ruiz.

SUBS NOT USED: Tyton, Zanka Jørgensen, Jozefzoon, Bakkali, Hendrix.

GOALS: Locadia 14, Ruiz 63, Bruma 75.

BOOKINGS: Locadia 60.

RODA: Kurto, Dijkhuizen, Luijckx, Ramos, Van Peppen, Fledderus, Kali (Bonevacia 81), Djoum, Hupperts (Höcher 79), Donald, Paulissen (Demouge 76).

SUBS NOT USED: Prus, De Beule, Monteyne, Shkurtaj.

GOALS: Paulissen 41.

BOOKINGS: None.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 29 – PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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Just four games this weekend in the Eredivisie and Will Burns returns with his selections and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Saturday 22nd March

GroningenVitesse

FC GRONINGEN vs. VITESSE (17:45 GMT)

Third placed Vitesse visit FC Groningen looking to leapfrog FC Twente into second, taking an advantage of most their rivals for second place not in action this weekend.

Last weekend, Peter Bosz’s men great run of three wins in a row was halted by a 2-1 loss to PSV but Vitesse are level on points with Twente in second and are eyeing the Champions League qualifying place. Groningen are themselves chasing a European football hoping to clinch a Europa League playoff place but Erwin van de Looi’s side have been in poor form, winning only one game in the whole of 2014.

The visit of Vitesse will be too strong for Groningen and I see Bosz side sitting in second by the end of Saturday evening. Bet Victor have them as favourites but at 23/20 the price has great value.

BEST BET: Vitesse to win (23/20 – BetVictor)

HeerenveenNEC

HEERENVEEN vs. NEC NIJMEGEN (18:45 GMT)

NEC Nijmegen, desperate for points head to the Friesland to face Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen in what I think will be a tight game, but will promise goals!

NEC’s English striker Michael Higdon cannot stop scoring at the moment, notching six goals in last nine outings and he will be the one to watch for the Heerenveen defence. Heerenveen have no troubles in attack with Alfred Finnbogason leading their line. The Icelandic international has now scored 23 times in 25 appearances, so it no wonder he wanted by some of Europe’s top clubs.

Our best bet has to be Over 3.5 Goals. Games involving NEC this campaign sees an average of 4.07 goals per game (the highest in the Eredivisie). For Heerenveen, well their matches are the second highest in the league, with an average of 3.64 goals per game, so it’s a no brainer that we take 21/20 at Bet Victor for our best bet.

BEST BET: Over 3.5 Goals (21/20 – BetVictor)

PSVRodaJC

PSV vs. RODA JC (19:45 GMT)

PSV are on fire and after winning their last seven games you would fully expect them to defeat Roda who sit rock bottom of the Eredivisie and six points from safety.

PSV’s run is largely due to the goalscoring exploits of Memphis Depay and Jürgen Locadia. One, or both, have scored in each of those seven victories and both have 10 league goals this season. However, after suffering a broken cheekbone last weekend, Depay may not feature this weekend, although it is reported that a protective mask has been moulded for the young winger.

Roda prop up the league where goals have been a problem. Before their 3-1 win over fellow strugglers NEC Nijmegen two weeks ago, Roda had failed to find the net in four successive matches. Jon Dahl Tomasson’s influence in 2014 for the side has not had the desired effect as he has witnessed his side scored just nine goals in the last ten matches.

PSV will win this one to extend their winning streak and I cannot see Roda getting past the PSV defence. Best bet, PSV to win and keep a clean sheet which is valued at 11/10 at Bet Victor.

BEST BET: PSV to win to nil (11/10 – BetVictor)

Sunday 23rd March

AZPECZwolle

AZ ALKMAAR vs. PEC ZWOLLE (13:30 GMT)

Ron Jans takes his PEC Zwolle side to Alkmaar after a great victory last weekend at home to Go Ahead Eagles. While Dick Advocaat’s side may feel a little jaded after a Europa League game in Moscow this past Thursday against Anzhi.

Zwolle have found a little form in recent weeks and I can see this continue into a tough match in Alkmaar. With Kamohelo Mokotjo back in the heart of the midfield, he pulled all the strings in last weekend’s 2-0 win at home to Go Ahead. Without him, Zwolle held their own claiming three away victories in their last six.

AZ will be jubilant and looking forward to a Europa League quarter-final to Benfica but I can see Thursday hard-fought 0-0 draw away to Anzhi maybe slow their progress in this game down. Zwolle can snatch a draw and at 15/4 at Bet365, this bet shows the best value.

BEST BET: Draw (15/4 – Bet365)

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Week 28 Eredivisie Report: PSV up to third

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PSV extended their winning run to seven games in a row with a great 2-1 win away to Vitesse to lift the Eindhoven side up to third in the league, leaving Philip Cocu thinking… what could his side achieved this season without the mid-season blip he suffered before Christmas.

Saturday 15th March 2014

VitessePSV

VITESSE 1-2 PSV

In a ferocious high-octane game where nine yellow cards were handed out by referee Kevin Blom, PSV defeated Vitesse 2-1 in the loud and raucous GelreDome.

PSV wint weer in Gelredome en nadert plek twee

PSV needed no inspiration for this fixture after suffering an embarrassing and heavy 6-2 defeat in the reserve fixture at the Phillips Stadion back in December, the Boeren headed into Arnhem looking for revenge. Cocu men’s exploded out of the blocks and got off to a great start after just six minutes.

Vitesse’s number one Piet Velthuizen received a back pass from Rochdi Achenteh and the experienced goalkeeper stuttered with his kicked clearance as Jürgen Locadia closed down. Velthuizen miss-kicked the boot up field and the ball fell perfectly for Locadia to tap the ball home. Not the start Vitesse manager Peter Bosz would have wanted.

PSV were relentless as they sensed Vitesse’s nervousness and on a six game winning streak and brimming with confidence, Cocu’s men pressed for a quick fire second. The usually composed Guram Kashia lost the ball to Locadia on the edge of the box but Memphis Depay unusually failed to get a shot off and let the Vitesse defenders recover and block any efforts on goal.

The hosts began to keep the PSV attacks at bay and calmed themselves down before former PSV midfielder Zakaria Labyad equalised on 19 minutes with a tremendous effort from outside the area. After Kashia laid the January signing on the edge of the box, the PSV defenders were too late in closing Labyad down and he curled his right footed shot past Jeroen Zoet.

Just before the half-hour, the visitors regained the lead in controversial fashion. After a great run down the left wing from Jetro Willems, the left-back was fouled by Jan-Arie van der Heijden in the area and Kevin Blom pointed to the spot. Replays showed that Willems had skipped Van der Heijden’s challenged but the defender trailing arm looked to brush the PSV’s man legs and Willems went down a tad easy.

Memphis Depay stepped up to the take the spot-kick and blasted his shot straight down the middle only to see his effort saved by the legs of Velthuizen. The rebound flicked up high to the back post where Ji-Sung Park headed the ball back across goal so Depay could nod home to make it 2-1.

Velthuizen and his defence protested as they thought that Depay was offside when Park’s header came back to the winger but video showed that the linesman may have made the right decision even though it was a close one. The GelreDome exploded in anger with spurred the home side on and they instantly pressed for an equalising goal.

After the break, the game continued as the first half ended with Vitesse on the all out attack. The defence of Santiago Arias, Jeffrey Bruma, Karim Rekik and Willems held strong and protected their goalkeeper Zoet well, blocking effort after effort, frustrating the hosts even further.

On the hour mark, both sides looked tired as the tempo died down and Depay was replaced by Luciano Narsingh as the young winger has caught an elbow from Renato Ibarra and was groggy as a black eye started to create on Depay’s face.

The game petered out as Vitesse pressed but hardly bothered Zoet in the PSV goal, apart from the odd cross that the Oranje goalkeeper assertively caught every time. They had their chances but Bruma and Rekik stopped any shot before it made to their stopper in goal.

In the dying embers of the game, substitute Lucas Piazón had a glorious opportunity to snatch a point for his side but fluffed his chance as Philip Cocu celebrated his seventh win in a row on the touchline.

PSV temporarily move into third with just two points off Vitesse in second but Twente or/and Feyenoord could leapfrog them with wins in their fixtures tomorrow.

TEAMS

VITESSE: Velthuizen, Van der Struijk (Piazón 69), Kashia, Van der Heijden, Achenteh, Vejinovic, Pröpper, Labyad (Djurdjevic 85), Atsu, Havenaar, Ibarra (Qazaishvili 69).

SUBS NOT USED: Room, Mori, Traore, Van Aanholt.

GOALS: Labyad 18.

BOOKINGS: Ibarra 14, Van der Heijden 28, Havenaar 29, Labyad 33, Achenteh 57.

PSV: Zoet, Arias, Rekik, Bruma, Willems, Schaars, Hiljemark, Park (Maher 79), Ruiz, Depay (Narsingh 69), Locadia (Hendrix 90+4).

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

GOALS: Locadia 7, Depay 29.

BOOKINGS: Park 32, Bruma 42, Schaars 56, Willems 74.

HeraclesRoda

HERACLES 2-1 RODA JC

The in-form Bryan Linssen has now scored nine goals in his last nine games as he notched a brace to lead Heracles to a 2-1 win over the relegation troubled Roda JC.

Heracles Almelo, Roda JC, Guy Ramos, Bryan Linssen, Heracles Almelo - Roda JC

Roda headed into Almelo with their first win in seven games last weekend against NEC and they started well with Guus Hupperts scoring his eighth goal of the season after quarter of an hour gone. The 21-year-old had the goal put on a plate from after Mitchell Donald combined with Berry Powel before setting up Hupperts to score.

Just before the interval, Heracles settle down their restless crowd with the equalising goal. After some great work down the left by Mark Uth, the ball was played into Bryan Linssen on the penalty spot to slot the ball past Filip Kurto to send the fans in at half-time happy.

With 12 minutes left remaining in the game, Linssen popped up with the winner after some slack tired Roda defending. Collecting Jason Davidson’s pass, the Heracles’ top scorer netted with a lovely calm low finish on the turn inside the area, giving Kurto no chance of stopping.

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s Roda sit down in the drop zone in 17th, five points adrift of safety with other relegation candidates Utrecht and Go Ahead Eagles still to play tomorrow. The win lifted Heracles up into 12th place, six points ahead of the bottom three.

TEAMS

HERACLES: Pasveer, Schenkeveld, Streutker (Quansah 45), Davidson, Te Wierik, Rienstra, Tannane, Cziommer (Bruns 45), Rosheuvel (Bel Hassani 84), Linssen, Uth.

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

GOALS: Linssen 43 & 78.

BOOKINGS: Tannane 54.

RODA: Kurto, Ramos, Van Peppen, Letschert (Monteyne 87), Luijckx, Höcher (Fledderus 68), Donald (Demouge 80), Kali, Sutchuin, Hupperts, Powel.

SUBS NOT USED: Dijkhuizen, Prus, Paulissen, Bonevacia.

GOALS: Hupperts 14.

BOOKINGS: Donald 54.

ADOGroningen

ADO DEN HAAG 2-1 FC GRONINGEN

ADO has got that ‘Fraser’ feeling as caretaker manager Henk Fraser has now lead his side to three wins and three draws in his six game in charge and has now surely lead the club out of relegation trouble with today’s 2-1 home win over ten-man FC Groningen.

After a goal-less and dull first-half, it took an Eric Botteghin sending off to liven up the game just past the hour mark. The Brazilian was penalised for pushing Ronald Alberg down while through on goal on the counter. It was a terrible error by referee Reinold Wiedemeijer as he awarded a penalty for the foul but the contact was made well outside the box. Ronald Alberg sent goalkeeper Marco Bizot the wrong way to open the scoring.

On 77 minutes, Groningen’s 17-year-old striker Richairo Zivkovic restored parity with a great strike after Filip Kostic had put the youngster through on goal with a ball over the top of the ADO defence. The youngster set to sign for Ajax in the summer had a ineffective game in the lone striker role before finding the net.

Dion Malone grabbed a 89th minute winner to give the hosts breathing space in their battle for survival. Alberg chipped the ball into Malone’s bearing down on goal for the finish.

TEAMS

ADO: Coutinho, Zuiverloon, Wormgoor, Beugelsdijk, Meijers, Malone, Bakker, Gehrt (Kramer 84), Schet (Van Haaren 90), Van Duinen, Alberg.

SUBS NOT USED: Zwinkles, Buwalda, Kanon, Merencia, Cabral.

GOALS: Alberg 63, Malone 89.

BOOKINGS: Malone 8, Wormgoor 71, Schet 85.

GRONINGEN: Bizot, Hateboer, Kappelhof, Botteghin, Burnet, Van Nieff (Zeefuik 90+1), Kieftenbeld, Chery, Van der Velden (Kostic 64), Zivkovic, Kirm (Wijnaldum 68).

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Lei, Hiariej, Lindgren, Adorjan.

GOALS: Zivkovic 78.

BOOKINGS: Van Nieff 51, Bizot 62, Hateboer 70, Burnet 90+4.

SENT OFF: Botteghin 61.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 28 – SATURDAY PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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Will Burns returns with his selections for the Eredivisie for the Saturday’s three games and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Saturday 15th March

VitessePSV

VITESSE vs. PSV (17:45 GMT)

Phillip Cocu and PSV may have finally found his stride and they have eventually started to gel and knocked up six wins on the trot. Vitesse themselves suffered a sticky patch at the beginning of 2014 and have now hit three wins in a row, at least one of the winning streaks will end when they both meet at the GelreDome this Saturday evening.

In undoubtedly the game of the weekend, both sides have different goals. Vitesse are six points behind defending champions Ajax in second, whether PSV are only five points away from Vitesse in second and would love to end up with the Champions League qualification place. This would salvage on what can be classed as a poor season for the Eindhoven side.

Both Peter Bosz and Cocu have virtually full strength squads to choose from and recent history shows that PSV may have Vitesse’s number as the Eindhoven side are undefeated in their last 14 away matches against Vitesse in all competitions.

Watching the last three games for Vitesse we have seen them victorious against relegation contenders RKC and Roda at home and NAC Breda narrowly away last weekend. No great shakes from those three sides so I see PSV a great price at 19/10 at Bet Victor to continue their winning streak to seven in a row.

BEST BET: PSV to win (19/10 – Bet Victor) – Click here to bet on this market and receive up to £25 in free bets.

HeraclesRoda

HERACLES vs. RODA JC (18:45 GMT)

After receiving a 4-0 pasting courtesy of AZ Alkmaar last weekend, Heracles are in real danger of being dragged into the relegation dogfight sitting just three points above the drop zone. Roda are deep into the relegation places and sit four points adrift but will head to Almelo with the confidence of last weekend’s 3-1 win over NEC Nijmegen.

Yes… shock horror… Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side stopped a run of six defeats on the bounce and scored three goals after not finding the net in four games in a row. The returning Guus Hupperts netted twice and he will be a real threat in this game. Heracles will look to Bryan Linssen, who has scored seven goals in his last ten outings to inspire them to victory.

I see the full-time whistle bring blown ending the game with a result neither side will want – a draw. Both need points but I feel this pressure may cause each side to cancel the other out. For the teams to end the game level, Betfair has offered a great 16/5 and I feel this is our best bet for value.

BEST BET: Draw (16/5 – Betfair)

ADOGroningen

ADO DEN HAAG vs. FC GRONINGEN (18:45 GMT)

Another two sides struggling this season are ADO Den Haag and FC Groningen, they meet on Saturday evening. However, for the home side, caretaker manager Henk Fräser has yet to taste defeat in his first five games.

Due to their decent form, ADO have gradually moved out of the drop zone with two wins and three draws they now sit two points clear of the bottom three. Groningen on the other hand have only won once and lost three in their last six and Edwin van der Looi will be eager to improve their point total of 30, to steer them away from being dragged down to the bottom.

To play it safe and for our best bet I look at the goals market. Groningen have scored just four in the last six outings with ADO going a tad better scoring six in six. If the current form runs on into this game, then we have to look at Under 2.5 Goals as our best bet. The highest price I can find is at Bet Victor at 5/4.

BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals (5/4 – Bet Victor) – Click here to bet on this market and receive up to £25 in free bets.

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Week 27 Eredivisie Report: PSV on a roll as Vitesse move into 2nd

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The resurgent PSV won their sixth game in a row, AZ continued their winning ways with a 4-0 thumping of Heracles, Roda ended their losing streak to lift themselves off the bottom and Vitesse Arnhem leapfrogged into second place in Saturday’s Eredivisie action.

Saturday 8th March 2014

AZHeracles

AZ ALKMAAR 4-0 HERACLES

For the second home game in succession AZ handed out a 4-0 beating, this time, Heracles were on the wrong end of the lashing in Alkmaar.

AZ dominated throughout and the scoring began on 17 minutes after some excellent work on the right-wing by Steven Berghuis holding the ball up until Swedish full-back Mattias Johansson arrived. The Swede collected the ball in the area and put the ball on a plate for American striker Aron Jóhannsson to fire the ball in the roof of the goal.

Heracles were a goal down and Milano Koenders was blamed for placing his team under further pressure on 24 minutes. The defender was shown a straight red card by referee Jeroen Sanders for bringing down Jóhannsson when through on goal, replays shown that Sanders had got it wrong and no contact was made.

AZ pressed on and Aron Jóhannsson grabbed another goal in the 37th minute, as again Berghuis and Johansson combined on the right wing to set-up the American in the area to hold off two defenders to finish.

The AZ attacks were relentless and it was three on 79 minutes with Swedish right-back Mattias Johansson netting his own goal after providing two assists earlier with fellow compatriot Viktor Elm adding a fourth in stoppage time.

AZ stay in seventh place in the league 7th this week while Heracles are 12th only four points ahead of the drop zone.

TEAMS

AZ: Esteban, Johansson (Reijnen 83), Gouweleeuw, Viergever, Poulsen, Gudelj (Henriksen 83), Ortiz, Elm, Berghuis, Jóhannsson, Beerens (Lewis 70).

SUBS NOT USED: De Winter, Hoedt, Gorter.

GOALS: Johannson 16 & 37, Johansson 79, Elm 90.

BOOKINGS: None.

HERACLES: Pasveer, Te Wierik, Koenders, Veldmate (Quansah 21), Davidson, Cziommer (Bruns 63), Rienstra, Bel Hassani (Belterman 29), Rosheuvel, Uth, Linssen.

SUBS NOT USED: Telgenkamp, Dijk, Amoah, Tannane.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Bruns 78.

SENT OFF: Koenders 24.

RodaNEC

RODA JC 3-1 NEC NIJMEGEN

At the bottom of the table, Roda JC and NEC Nijmegen switched places as Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side gained ended a six game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over their fellow strugglers.

NEC, Roda JC, Roda JC - NEC

Returning to the side after an injury, Guus Hupperts scored the first of his two goals after half an hour and he will not get an easier goal. NEC goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson tried to clear the ball with a big kick upfield but was charged down by Berry Powel. Powel held the ball up until Hupperts arrived to tap home. It was maybe just the bit of luck Roda had needed after not scoring a goal for four matches.

Marc Hocher made it two on 53 minutes with a looping free-kick, chipping the ball over the Johnsson. It was not the Swedish goalkeeper’s day. Guus Hupperts notched his second three minutes later after Powel had played the winger through on goal.

English striker Michael Higdon reduced the arrears on the hour mark with his 11th goal of the season for the visitors, but it was to no avail and the score finished 3-1.

TEAMS

RODA: Kurto, Letschert, Luijckx, Ramos, Van Peppen, Sutchuin, Kali, Hupperts (Fledderus 90+4), Donald (De Beule 88), Höcher, Powel (Demouge 82).

SUBS NOT USED: Monteyne, Paulissen, Prus, Pluim.

GOALS: Hupperts 30 & 56, Höcher 53.

BOOKINGS: Kali 28, De Beule 90+1.

NEC: Johnsson, Vermijl, Nielsen, Haitz, Conboy, Štefánik (Palsson 54), Rieks, Koolwijk, Jahanbakhsh (Hemlein 54), Higdon, Foor.

SUBS NOT USED: Gentenaar, Disveld, Mulder, Jantscher, Leiwakabessy.

GOALS: Higdon 60.

BOOKINGS: None.

SENT OFF: Palsson 90+1.

HeerenveenPECZwolle

HEERENVEEN 3-0 PEC ZWOLLE

Marco van Basten lead his Heerenveen side to a great 3-0 home win against Ron Jans’ Zwolle at the Abe Lenstra Stadion to stay in sixth place.

After an even first half, where both sides had their chances to take the lead, the opening goal finally came on 37 minutes as Bilal Basacikoglu shrugged off two defenders to slot past Zwolle ‘keeper Kevin Begois after Alfred Finnbogasson had played the midfielder into the box.

In the 68th minute, Rajiv van La Parra made it 2-0 with an excellent goal. After receiving the ball from Joey van den Berg on the left side of the area, the winger took one touch to set himself up to curl home into the top corner giving Begois no chance of stopping.

All three points were cemented for Heerenveen ten minutes later with Alfred Finnbogason once again scoring. It was 23rd goal in 24 games in the Eredivisie this season, finishing Van la Parra defence splitting ball to slide the ball home.

Heerenveen sit in sixth with Zwolle comfortable in eighth, and both will be gunning for European football next term.

TEAMS

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Dijks (Marzo 33), Kum, Van Anholt, Kruiswijk, De Roon, Van den Berg, Ziyech (Sinkgraven 80), Van la Parra, Finnbogason, Basacikoglu.

SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, Otigba, De Kamps, Slagveer, Fazli.

GOALS: Basacikoglu 37, Van la Parra 68, Finnbogason 77.

BOOKINGS: Van Anholt 64.

ZWOLLE: Begois, Van Polen, Van der Werff, Van Hintum, Broerse, Saymak (Nijland 74), Karagounis (Narsingh 66), Drost, Thomas (Fennich 84), Benson, Hiwat.

SUBS NOT USED: Ter Wielen, Mahmudov, Pereira.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Karagounis 41, Van Polen 47.

NACVitesse

NAC BREDA 1-2 VITESSE

Mike Havenaar secured a 2-1 win for Vitesse away to NAC Breda to put his side into second place on Saturday night.

Three first-half goals decided the game and it was January signing Zakaria Labyad, on-loan from Sporting Lisbon, who notched his first goal for Vitesse within the first eight minutes. The midfielder capitalised on some slack defending by Mats Seuntjens and finished the ball past Jelle ten Rouwelaar with perfection.

The visiting fans were not celebrating for long. NAC were soon back on terms after Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot when he adjudged Jan-Arie van der Heijden to foul Rydell Poepon in the area. Ten minutes gone and it was 1-1 after Jordy Buijs converted the penalty kick.

However, Peter Bosz men walked away with all three points and their third win on the trot thanks to a Mike Havenaar goal on 26 minutes. The Japanese striker volleyed home a Christian Atsu cross at the front post.

Vitesse temporarily moved up into second place with FC Twente to play in Sunday’s game. Breda stay in tenth spot six points above the drop zone.

TEAMS

NAC: Ten Rouwelaar, De Roover, Drost, Buijs, Bodor, Kwakman, Matic, Seuntjens, Hooi, Poepon (Perica 24), Verbeek (Sarpong 35).

SUBS NOT USED: Babos, Suk, El Allouchi, Swerts, Van der Weg.

GOALS: Buijs 10P.

BOOKINGS: Ten Rouwelaar 26.

VITESSE: Velthuizen, Van der Struijk, Kashia, Van der Heijden, Achenteh, Vejinovic, Pröpper, Labyad (Qazaishvili 81), Atsu (Piazón 61), Havenaar, Ibarra.

SUBS NOT USED: Room, Mori, Djurdjevic, Traoré, Van Aanholt.

GOALS: Labyad 8, Havenaar 26.

BOOKINGS: None.

PSVUtrecht

PSV 1-0 FC UTRECHT

Philip Cocu witnessed his side win their sixth game in a row to jump into fourth spot still in hope of clinching Champions League football next season.

PSV, FC Utrecht, Luciano Narsingh, Jürgen Locadia, PSV - FC Utrecht

Dominating the possession the entire game, poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping from Robbin Ruiter stopped PSV running away with the game. The scoreline was not reflective of the hosts’ control as a clutch of first-half chances went begging.

However, the decisive goal arrived on 50 minutes as Jürgen Locadia notched his ninth goal of the campaign with a scrappy goal. After Locadia fluffed his first chance with the ball, Matthieu Delpierre and Kai Heerings failed to clear and the young striker got another bite of the cherry to score.

PSV still have their eyes on the Champions League place and clinching all 18 points out of a possible 18 in their last six games they have gave themselves a great chance.

TEAMS

PSV: Zoet, Arias, Bruma, Rekik, Willems, Hiljemark, Park (Maher 82), Schaars, Narsingh (Ruiz 77), Locadia (Matavz 88), Depay.

SUBS NOT USED: Tyton, Brenet, Zanka Jørgensen, Van Ooijen.

GOALS: Locadia 51.

BOOKINGS: Schaars 40.

UTRECHT: Ruiter, Markiet, Heerings (Bjelica 77), Delpierre, Dorda, Sarota (Agudelo 61), Mårtensson, Toornstra, Ayoub (Van der Gun 62), Oar, De Ridder.

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

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: De Ridder 21, Toornstra 41, Heerings 54, Delpierre 85, Van der Gun 87.

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 27 – SATURDAY PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

Header-EredivisiePreview

After nailing 11 out of his last 14 selections, Will Burns is on fire and he returns with his picks for the Eredivisie for Saturday games and like all his tips, you will not see a ‘best bet’ under evens – good luck!

Saturday 8th March

AZHeracles

AZ ALKMAAR vs. HERACLES (17:45 GMT)

Although Heracles were unlucky to lose at home to Heerenveen last weekend, I cannot see them turning things around in Alkmaar as they travel to face a AZ who thumped RKC Waalwijk 4-0 last Sunday.

Good news for the visitors is that regular first-teamers Mike te Wierik and Bryan Linssen return from suspension as they look to gain their first win in five games. They do not have a good record at the AFAS Stadion, with AZ winning eight of their last nine home matches against Heracles in all competitions.

I see that record stretching to a ninth win in ten and by a couple of goals. The best bet of the day is in the handicap market at Bet365.com with AZ Alkmaar -1 valued at 6/5. So we need AZ Alkmaar to win by two clear goals for this bet to come in

BURNS’ BEST BET: AZ Alkmaar -1 (6/5 at Bet365) – Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Initial Deposit Bonus.  

RodaNEC

RODA JC vs. NEC NIJMEGEN (17:45 GMT)

The basement boys clash in a vital relegation six-pointer as Roda host NEC and if the home side experience a defeat, then they could be nine points adrift from safety by the end of the weekend.

Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side are in major trouble and they need to find a run of results and quick. Currently six points from safety, they know that this game on Saturday is a must-win fixture but their main problem is front of goal. Roda have not scored a single goal in the last four games.

However, on the other side, why NEC are deep in the relegation quagmire is their away form. The Nijmegen side have failed to win 17 of their last 18 away matches in Eredivisie. However, who will win this game does not interest me when looking at my best bet.

Roda will struggle in front of goal again in this one especially with their main source of goals; Guus Hupperts, Jan-Mark Fledderus, Frank Demouge, Krisztian Németh and Anco Jansen are all out through injury. They may get one since Nijmegen have not kept a clean sheet for seven matches.

Under 2.5 Goals is valued at 6/4 with our friends at BetVictor and I see that our best bet.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals (6/4 – BetVictor) – Click here to bet on this market and receive up to £25 in free bets.

HeerenveenPECZwolle

HEERENVEEN vs. PEC ZWOLLE (18:45 GMT)

After watching Zwolle’s defence concede three goals at home to NEC Nijmegen last weekend, I predict that this one will be a barnburner with goals galore.

Heerenveen are well capable of scoring goals with the astounding strikepower of Alfred Finnbogason leading their line. The Icelandic hitman has hit the back of the net an astonishing 22 times in the 23 appearances this season.

On-loan striker Guyon Fernandez is also in good scoring form for Zwolle, notching six goals in the last nine games. With the unpredictable Mitchell Dijks sitting in Marco van Basten’s defence, Heerenveen are also open to conceding, they have let 44 goals past in their 26 games this season.

The price of 5/4 that Bet365 are offering for Over 3.5 Goals is well worth a punt.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Over 3.5 Goals (5/4 – Bet365) – Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Initial Deposit Bonus.

NACVitesse

NAC BREDA vs. VITESSE (19:45 GMT)

Vitesse seem to have got over the horror show that the start of 2014 brought to Peter Bosz’s side with two home wins in succession. The Arnhem outfit head to Breda with hope that they can clinch the number two spot in the Eredivisie to qualify for Champions League football.

The hosts, NAC Breda, are in good form themselves and are undefeated in six games that has took them to 10th in the league. Although four of those games have ended in draws.

Vitesse have also had their fair share of draws with three in the last seven games ending level. The last two games have brought wins but at home against two of the three clubs in the drop zone, RKC and Roda so I’m not getting excited by those two results. Bet365 are offering a huge 3/1 for the draw in this one and I see this one landing.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Draw (3/1 – Bet365) – Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Initial Deposit Bonus.

PSVUtrecht

PSV vs. FC UTRECHT (19:45 GMT)

The final game on Saturday sees FC Utrecht travel to Philips Stadion to face the in-form PSV, who are currently on a hot five-game winning streak.

Philip Cocu has seen his fortunes turned around, and last week’s fantastic 3-2 win away to the tenacious Go Ahead Eagles showed great character coming back from two goals down to take the three points.

FC Utrecht sit in 13th and are undefeated in their last three and with two respectable draws with FC Twente and AZ Alkmaar sandwiching a 1-0 win over Groningen, Utrecht could be capable of getting a something in Eindhoven and bursting Cocu’s bubble.

I see PSV winning again but to give us some real value I see Over 3.5 Goals as our best bet.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Over 3.5 Goals (11/10 – BetVictor) – Click here to bet on this market and receive up to £25 in free bets.

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