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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 2

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WEEK TWO – 14TH-16TH AUGUST 2015

Ajax and Feyenoord lead the way as PSV picked up their first win of the new campaign and Will Burns is on hand to give you the lowdown of all this weekend’s action.

Ajax sit top of the pile and are yet to concede a goal with their second 3-0 win in two weeks, this time over Willem II on Saturday evening at the Amsterdam ArenA. Anwar El Ghazi shined the brightest of them all, adding another two goals to his tally, but again like last Sunday against AZ Alkmaar, the score flattered the Amsterdammers as they did not seem to be at full tempo as of yet this early into the season.

Polish striker Arek Milik opened the scoring on 18 minutes after some sloppy passing from Willem II defender Stijn Wuytens. Jurgen Streppel’s side, throughout the game, played the ball from the back and on this occasion, Wuytens laid the ball straight into the path of Ajax midfielder Nemanja Gudelj. The Serbian spotted Davy Klaassen sitting on the right of the attack and played the ball into the playmaker. Klaassen whipped a ball into the back post where the unmarked Milik headed home to give Ajax the advantage.

Ajax went in at half-time a goal up and the second-half began slowly and very cagey as never team looked like they wished to take the risk to go for the next goal. After hitting an effort from close range on the post minutes later, El Ghazi finally brought the second goal for the hosts on the 67th minute lashing a powerful curling shot into the net from the edge of the area.

Frank de Boer’s men looked comfortable and the game seemed wrapped up, so he handed a debut to Czech Republic youth international Václav Černý with 15 minutes remaining. The 17-year-old winger appeared only twice last season for Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie but notched an impressive two goals in those outings.

In added time, Ajax put the cherry on top of the cake with El Ghazi’s second goal with a clinical counter attacking move. Arsenal loanee Yaya Sanogo, whom came on late in the second-half, held the ball up well in the middle of the pitch as Černý sprinted down the right-wing. The young Czech collected the ball and hit a first time pass into the path of Lasse Schöne. The Danish international fired the ball across the edge of the area to find El Ghazi who powered a shot at goal and the effort was far too strong for Willem II stopper Kostas Lamprou to keep out. El Ghazi (number #9 in the TDF Top 50), has four goals in just two appearances and looks to be the Amsterdammers’ main man in this year’s title charge.

Ajax and their bitter rivals Feyenoord are the only two teams with back-to-back wins as the Rotterdammers made a successful trip to SC Cambuur on Sunday afternoon. Marking his arrival with a goal was Michiel Kramer, who replaced Colin-Kazim Richards just after the hour mark. The €1.5m signing from ADO Den Haag netted with a diving header after a cross from the right from Bilal Başaçıkoğlu. The result finished 2-0 to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men after Dirk Kuyt, took his tally to two in two and doubled the lead deep into stoppage time.

Also on Sunday, defending champions PSV easily dispatched FC Groningen with a 2-0 triumph. After a wonderful deep through ball from Maxime Lestienne, fellow winger Luciano Narsingh breached Groningen’s offside trap to finish coolly after just six minutes of play to put the Eindhoven side in front. Philip Cocu’s side pressed for a second goal and looked comfortable throughout with Groningen failing to break down the PSV midfield, commanded by the industrious Andrés Guardado.

After being spoilt rotten last year with the championship-winning performances, the Philips Stadion was fairly silent until Narsingh hit the winning goal deep into the second-half. It was a run-of-the-mill outing for PSV and their upcoming match with Feyenoord on August 30th is a mouth-watering prospect, and could be a real thriller in the title race.

Vitesse opened up the weekend’s festivities thrashing ten-man Roda JC by 3-0 after Ard van Peppen was dismissed on the stroke of half-time for a handball on the line. Lewis Baker, on-loan from feeder club Chelsea, converted the penalty. The visitors fought and had chances to claw back the game, however on 68 minutes, after a wonderful through ball from teenage full-back Kevin Diks (TDF Top 50 #33), Nigerian striker Abiola Dauda slotted home first-time to double the lead. The third and final goal was sublime and a beautiful effort from another Chelsea loanee, Nathan. The young Brazilian cut inside from the left wing and curled the perfect shot past Roda stopper Benjamin van Leer.

FC Twente suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to ADO Den Haag to leave head coach Alfred Schreuder under immense pressure this early into the season. ADO debutant Mike Havanaar got the ball rolling just 12 minutes in. Ruben Schaken made it 2-0 on 27 minutes before Hakim Ziyech gave the home fans hope on a comeback after notching just before the hour mark. ADO central defender Vito Wormgoor cemented the points before French striker Edouard Duplan added a fourth with ten minutes remaining to add insult to injury for Twente.

Excelsior held AZ Alkmaar to a 2-2 draw in the late Saturday night game in a very even contest that could have went either way. Jeff Stans opened the scoring for the hosts however, the lead only lasted five minutes as Norwegian midfielder Markus Henriksen levelled the game up with an excellent counter attack goal. Tom van Weert put the Rotterdam outfit back in front just after the half hour mark. Substitute Robert Mühren nabbed an equaliser on 64 minutes as AZ pressed for a winner. However, never side could find that all important winner as the sides shared the points with Excelsior boss Fons Groenendijk was the happier of the two manager at the full-time whistle.

PEC Zwolle swept past De Graafschap on Saturday with three goals in sixteen second-half minutes to win 3-0 in Doetinchem. Wouter Marinus, Bart van Hintum and Sheraldo Becker scored the goals in a comfortable victory for Ron Jans’ men.

FC Utrecht and sc Heerenveen drew 1-1 with Luciano Slagveer scoring with just ten minutes to go to cancel out Sébastien Haller’s opener.

Finally, in their first game inside the brand-new Polman Stadion, Heracles handed N.E.C. Nijmegen a 3-0 defeat after the Eredivisie newcomers were reduced to ten-man as Marcel Appiah was dismissed before the hour mark. Oussama Tannane scored an early goal five minutes in to give the Almelo outfit the lead with Thomas Bruns adding a second before Appiah’s sending off. Wout Weghorst wrapped up the win and gave John Stegeman a boost after last weekend’s appalling defeat at the hands of Roda JC.

RESULTS

Friday 14th August

Vitesse 3-0 Roda JC

Saturday 15th August

De Graafschap 0-3 PEC Zwolle

Ajax 3-0 Willem II

FC Twente 1-4 ADO Den Haag

Excelsior 2-2 AZ Alkmaar

Sunday 16th August

PSV 2-0 FC Groningen

FC Utrecht 1-1 sc Heerenveen

SC Cambuur 0-2 Feyenoord

Heracles 3-0 N.E.C. Nijmegen

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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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EREDIVISIE: SC Cambuur 3-0 FC Groningen

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SUNDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 2014

Cambuur-Groningen

SC CAMBUUR 3 – 0 FC GRONINGEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TEAMS

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

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

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

BOOKINGS: Andriuškevičius 78.

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

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

GOALS: None.

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

SENT OFF: Lindgren 62.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Etiënne Reijnen (SC Cambuur)

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EREDIVISIE: SC Cambuur 3-2 ADO Den Haag

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SATURDAY 30TH AUGUST

Cambuur-ADO

SC CAMBUUR 3 – 2 ADO DEN HAAG

SC Cambuur and ADO Den Haag exchanged five goals in an exciting match that saw the hosts nab a winner through a Michiel Hemmen goal writes Will Burns.

ADO started the game without star striker Mike van Duinen which started the transfer rumours that he may be leaving before Monday’s deadline, Xander Houtkoop took his place in the line-up.

 

At the beginning it was end to end stuff as both sides hit the woodwork within seconds of each other. After some good work down the left wing from Aaron Meijers, Michiel Kramer was presented a lovely ball at the back post which he hit on the volley but unfortunately his effort crashed off the crossbar.  The ball rebounded kindly for Cambuur, and they hit on the break. The ball ended up in the area with Nigerian striker Bartholomew Ogbeche, and the Nigerian hit the bar with his effort seconds later.

Timothy Derijck, a signing from PSV midweek, made his re-debut for ADO midway through the first-half replacing Gianni Zuiverloon who picked up an injury.

Five minutes before the break, we had our first goal from Erik Bakker after his effort deflected off ADO defender Wilfried Kanon and past Martin Hansen in goal.

Within eight minutes of the restart, ADO were level due to a mistake from Dejan Meleg and bad judgement from keeper Leonard Nienhuis. The on-loan Ajax man, Meleg lost the ball to Kanon, who subsequently hit a long ground-skimming through ball to Michiel Kramer. Kramer collected and skipped past the onrushing Nienhuis and planted the ball into the empty net.

Two minutes, Nienhuis made the same mistake again. Another long ball from the back by Kanon, this time looped perfectly in the air for Xander Houtkoop and all the striker had to do was wait for Nienhuis to commit himself again and placed the ball under the keeper and ADO had the lead.

Cambuur were handed a lifeline from debutant Derijck after he fouled on-loan Man City midfielder Albert Rusnák in the box and referee Martin van der Kerkhof pointed to the spot. Erik Bakker converted perfectly and we were level.

Ten minutes before the end, Cambuur stole all three points. After ADO failed to clear a corner, Lucas Bijker was on the edge of the area and blasted a low drive towards goal, for Michiel Hemmen to stick his leg on it to deflect it past Hansen.

A great win  for Cambuur but Henk Fraser will not be happy with his defence in a game which ADO could have easily won.

TEAMS

CAMBUUR: Nienhuis, Pereira, Reijnen, Bijker, Andriuškevičius (Dijkstra 46), E. Bakker, El Makrini, Rusnák, Ogbeche, Hemmen (Barto 84), Meleg (Schepers 59).

SUBS NOT USED: Zeinstra, De Ridder, Van der Streek, Mac-Intosch.

GOALS: E. Bakker 40 & 67P, Hemmen 80.

BOOKINGS: None.

ADO: Hansen, Zuiverloon (Derijck 26), Kanon, Malone, Meijers, Kristensen (Owobowale 87), Alberg (D. Bakker 80), Jansen, Schet, Kramer, Houtkoop.

SUBS NOT USED: Zwinkles, Buwalda, Ebuehi, Merencia.

GOALS: Kramer 53, Houtkoop 55.

BOOKINGS: None.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Erik Baklker (SC Cambuur)

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 4: Saturday’s Preview & Betting Tips

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The Eredivisie on Saturday brings four games and Will Burns returns to provide you of his top four bets to make an profit this weekend.

SATURDAY 30TH AUGUST

Cambuur-ADO

SC CAMBUUR vs. ADO DEN HAAG (17:30 BST)

After a great win last weekend demolishing of FC Groningen, ADO Den Haag travel to Leeuwarden to face a Cambuur side that are undefeated in three games including an away win to Heracles last weekend. Will Burns thinks this game could be a low scoring stalemate.

Sixth play seventh in the Eredivisie, and I see this being a game that is tight as those positions are. ADO added Timothy Derjick to their defensive options this week from PSV to tighten up a defence that has only concede three in three games, now in the Eredivisie, that is a great ratio!

This fixture has seen some goals in that past with Cambuur have seen over 2.5 goals in their last four matches against ADO Den Haag in all competitions at Cambuur Stadion. Although, I see these two competing in a midfield battle that may end a 1-1 or even, dare I say it a 0-0.

Betfair offer the draw at 13/5 and I see this being a price too good to ignore.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Draw (13/5 – Betfair)

Dordrecht-AZ

FC DORDRECHT vs. AZ ALKMAAR (18:45 BST)

AZ Alkmaar will look to bounce back from their defeat to Eredivisie newcomers Willem II (3-0) last weekend with a trip to another newly promoted side, FC Dordrecht. Will Burns thinks Marco van Basten may find it tough on Saturday.

Van Basten will be looking to change AZ’s fortunes away from home after failing to win nine of their last ten games on the road in the league. The introduction of Guus Hupperts from relegated Roda JC has not seen the success that many were predicting, however, after just three games who am I to judge?

Dordrecht have made a solid return to the Dutch top flight with a win, a defeat and a draw so far. Going one better than their opponents after AZ have been defeated by Ajax and the aforementioned Willem II, after a opening day win against the poor-looking Heracles.

Once again, Betfair value the draw at 13/5 and this is worth a decent stake to gain some profit.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Draw (13/5 – Betfair)

Excelsior-Heraclesw

EXCELSIOR vs. HERACLES (18:45 BST)

Excelsior’s first choice goalkeeper Jordy Decker is suspended for the visit of Heracles for his red card last weekend’s late defeat against Heerenveen. Debutant Alessandro Damen will replace him however, Will Burns does not think the new stopper will see much action as his side should overcome the boys from Almelo.

Heracles prop up the league with three defeats in three and are on a terrible running that continued at the end of the last campaign, totalling their seven losses in their last eight Eredivisie matches. Manager Jan de Jonge was booed off in last weekend’s home defeat to Cambuur and his job could be in jeopardy if they concede this game to newly promoted Excelsior.

The smaller of the two Eredivisie Rotterdam sides have performed above their station drawing against relegation contenders NAC Breda on the opening day and then defeating Go Ahead Eagles in a five-goal thriller the next week. Their last game was the 2-0 defeat to Heerenveen which they held strong until the 82nd minute dismissal of Deckers.

I predict Heracles’ dreary run to continue and Excelsior claim all three point which is available at 6/5 at Betfair.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Excelsior to win (6/5 – Betfair)

Heerenveen-Utrecht

HEERENVEEN vs. FC UTRECHT (19:45 BST)

Dwight Lodeweges found his first win of the season in a ‘lucky win’ over Excelsior but with the talents of Daley Sinkgraven, Luciano Slagveer and Sam Larsson pulling the strings, Will Burns thinks Heerenveen could win again in Saturday’s late game.

Utrecht themselves have returned to winning ways, claiming all six points in their last two games (home to Willem II and away to Feyenoord). Last weekend in Rotterdam, could be seen as a ‘lucky win’ too with Feyenoord crumbling in the second-half to gift Utrecht the victory.

The sale of Jens Toornstra will not help matters for Rob Alflen’s side but signing Liverpool’s Kristoffer Peterson midweek may have calmed supporters nerves. Utrecht are capable of scoring goals however, they have failed to keep a clean sheet in the opening three matchdays and Heerenveen should find a way through here. Sinkgraven, Slagveer and Larsson all have sufficient talent to put Kai Heerings and Ramon Leeuwin under pressure and get past Robbin Ruiter in goal.

Betfair offer a great 2/1 for a Heerenveen win but Utrecht to score and this is my final recommended bet of Saturday’s matches.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Heerenveen to win with both teams to score – (3/1 – Betfair)

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EREDIVISIE: Heracles 0-1 SC Cambuur

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FRIDAY 22ND AUGUST 2014

Heracles-Cambuur

HERACLES 0 – 1 SC CAMBUUR

Ten-man Heracles were undone with a late Michiel Hemmen goal to give SC Cambuur their first win of the season. A result that keeps the Almelo side rock bottom of the league and manager Jan de Jonge with his head in his hands after three defeats in three writes Kalkeren Kieran.

The first half was dominated by the visitors and when Heracles goalkeeper Dennis Telgenkamp fouled Cambuur’s Erik Bakker inside the box but the claims fell on deaf ears, in the opening minutes of the match. There was not a clear cut opportunity for the either of the teams in the first half.

The home side looked lacklustre in front of goal and failed to convert their chances and when Cambuur’s Lucas Bijker was yellow carded on the 23rd minute leading to a free kick awarded to the home side just outside the box, captain Mark-Jan Fledderus wasted the opportunity to the disappointment of the home crowd.

At half-time, the teams went into the dressing rooms goal-less and the away side continued to dominate possession in the opening minutes of the second period.

In the 67th minute, Fadh Aktaou received his second yellow card of the night and was shown a red and Heracles were reduced to ten men for the remaining 23 minutes of the match. The hosts went close in the 73rd minute but Leonard Nienhuis saved well for Cambuur. A ridiculous through ball gave Heracles a chance one-on-one with Nienhuis, however the keeper left his area and cleared the ball before the chance could really come to fruition.

There was five added minutes of stoppage time and Cambuur were awarded a corner and Michiel Hemmen leaped over all the Heracles defence and headed home the winning goal for the visiting side.

At the end of the game the home fans inside the Polman Stadion were obviously not happy and chanted for coach Jan de Jonge to leave the club.

TEAMS

HERACLES: Telgenkamp, Te Wierik, Schenkeveld, Zomer, Aktaou, Pelupessy, Fledderus, Bel Hassani (Cziommer 46), Tannane, Avdic (Bruns 81), Linssen (Weghorst 88).

SUBS NOT USED: Sibum, Gyasi, Fij, Engberink.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Tannane 27, Aktaou 34, Fledderus 49.

SENT OFF: Tannane 67.

CAMBUUR: Nienhuis, Droste (Pereira 53), Reijnen, Bijker, Andriuškevičius, Bakker (Meleg 78), El Makrini, Van der Streek (Barto 64), Rusnák, Hemmen, Ogbeche.

SUBS NOT USED: Zeinstra, Dijkstra, Schepers, Mac-Intosch.

GOALS: Hemmen 90+2.

BOOKINGS: Bijker 22, Droste 52, Andriuškevičius 63, El Makrini 71, Rusnák 89.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Lucas Bijker (SC Cambuur)

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 3: Friday’s Preview & Betting Tips

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FRIDAY 22ND AUGUST

Heracles-Cambuur

HERACLES vs. SC CAMBUUR (19:00 BST)

Sitting rock bottom of the Eredivisie, Heracles will look to Friday’s home game against SC Cambuur as a perfect opportunity to climb off the bottom with three points. However, Dutch tipster Will Burns thinks the game will be a stalemate.

On the road away from the Cambuur Stadion, Henk de Jong’s side have an appalling record, failing to win their last 18 league games away from the comforts of their home. Things do not look too good for Jan de Jonge’s Heracles either, collecting six defeats in their last seven games. Back-to back defeats in this campaign already, has left the Almelo side propping up the rest of the league. What is more worrying is in the ‘goal crazy’ Eredivisie, the Heraclieden have only found the net once in those two outings.

These two defeats have been triggered by defensive disappointments. At home to AZ Alkmaar on the opening weekend, they conceded three without reply and last weekend, Groningen hit them for three again with Moroccan midfielder Iliass Bel Hassani grabbing a consolation.

Cambuur grabbed a great 1-1 draw at home to FC Twente in their opening game, with an excellent free-kick from on-loan Albert Rusnák from Manchester City. Last Saturday, a late Bartholomew Ogbeche goal gained another point away to Vitesse Arnhem in a 2-2 draw.

MATCH ODDS

Heracles are desperate for points and the ever hard-working Cambuur will be hard to break down. The draw is valued at 13/5 with Bet Victor and that is a price too good to ignore. After witnessing Heracles’ defensive lapses against AZ and Groningen, I can see this game providing goals and a 2-2 scoreline is a massive 12/1 and this could be worth a small stake.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Draw (13/5 – Bet Victor)

Correct Score 2-2 (12/1 – Bet Victor)

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EREDIVISIE: Vitesse 2-2 SC Cambuur

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SATURDAY 16TH AUGUST 2014

Vitesse-Cambuur

VITESSE 2 – 2 SC CAMBUUR

After coming back from a goal down, Vitesse were left to rue missed chances as Bartholomew Ogbeche rescued a point for Cambuur with just a minute to go on Saturday evening.

Cambuur got off to a dream start with a goal within the first ten minutes to silence the 13,967 inside the GelreDome. Striker Michiel Hemmen evaded two challenges before striking an effort at goal, which took a wicked deflection off Arnold Kruiswijk before looping over Piet Velthuizen’s head to make it 1-0.

However, the lead did not last long as Vitesse found an equaliser through a deflection of their own on 19 minutes. Marko Vejinovic passed to Zakaria Labyad just before the midfielder approached the area and the former Sporting Lisbon playmaker fired towards goal as the ball flicked up off Lucas Bijker’s challenge. The ball ended up flying over the top of Leonard Nienhuis’ as the keeper managed to get a palm to the ball, but unable to stop it to level the scores.

Before half-time, Vitesse had turned the game on its head when they were awarded a penalty on 36 minutes by referee Eric Braamhaar after Valeri Qazaishvili was fouled by Mohamed El Makrini in the box. Labyad stepped up as Nienhuis dived in the opposite direction, as Vitesse took the advantage into the interval.

Cambuur keeper Nienhuis kept his side in the match with second half efforts from Chelsea on-loan pairing Bertrand Traoré and Wallace denied by the stopper. Ukrainian substitute Denis Oliynyk worked well to get himself into the area and skipped two challenges with just eight minutes of time remaining. The summer signing from Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk tried to place the ball under Nienhuis to seal the win, but the keeper got a leg underneath the shot to parry away.

Missing chances sometimes comes back to haunt teams and that’s exactly what it did to hosts. Former Middlesbrough striker Bartholomew Ogbeche scored his first of the season to grab Cambuur a great away point. When Velthuizen failed to fully stop Martijn Barto’s effort from a Dijkstra corner, the Nigerian forward smashed home the rebound to make it 2-2 and send the 300 Cambuur supporters go wild.

Vitesse are now without a league win in an nine-game stretch, there worst record since 2008. Facing immense pressure, Peter Bosz will need to improve things and quick.

TEAMS

VITESSE: Velthuizen, Wallace, Van den Heijden, Kashia, Kruiswijk, Vejinovic, Leerdam, Pröpper, Traoré (Olinyk 75), Qazaishvili (Dauda 90), Labyad

SUBS NOT USED: Room, Djurdjevic, Bosz, Achenteh, Diks

GOALS: Labyad 19 & 37P.

BOOKINGS: Pröpper 53, Velthuizen 90.

CAMBUUR: Nienhuis, Droste, Reijnen, Bijker, Andriuškevičius, El Makrini, Rusnák (Dijkstra 81), Bakker (Barto 64), Meleg (Schepers 56), Hemmen, Ogbeche.

SUBS NOT USED: Zeinstra, Pereira, Schokker, Man-Intosch.

GOALS: Hemmen 10, Ogbeche 89.

BOOKINGS: Ogbeche 4, Bijker 65.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Zakaria Labyad (Vitesse)

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 2: Saturday’s Preview & Betting Tips

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

Eredivisie-Fixture-Week2

SATURDAY 15TH AUGUST

PSV-NAC

PSV vs. NAC BREDA (17:30 BST)

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

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

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

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

RECCOMMENDED BETS

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

Dordrecht-Zwolle

FC DORDRECHT vs. PEC ZWOLLE (18:45 BST)

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

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

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

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

RECCOMMENDED BETS

PEC Zwolle -1 (4/1 – Bet Victor)

Twente-ADO

FC TWENTE vs. ADO DEN HAAG (18:45 BST)

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

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

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

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

RECCOMMENDED BETS

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

Vitesse-Cambuur

VITESSE vs. SC CAMBUUR (19:45 BST)

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

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

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

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

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Vitesse -1 (11/8 – Bet Victor)

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The Man City midfielder excelling in the Eredivisie

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This past Saturday night, Will Burns sat watching the SC Cambuur-FC Twente match and he saw a new name on the team sheet – it was ‘Albert Rusnák’.

I remember researching the 20-year-old earlier last month when I heard Manchester City was allowing the player to cross the North Sea and head into Leeuwarden on a season-long deal.

I discovered that Rusnák played youth football in homeland of Slovakia for MFK Košice before signing for the Citizens in 2010, where he joined the club’s academy on Platt Lane. After approximately three years of youth and reserve-team football, he was farmed out to League One in England, down the road in Oldham to gain some experience. Rusnák made his first senior appearance as a substitute on 31 August 2013 against Tranmere Rovers in a league encounter. Obviously impressing, he did not have to wait long for his first professional start, just three days later, in a Football League Trophy win over Shrewsbury Town. However, later in mid-September, Rusnák’s loan was cut short and he was returned to Manchester after he refused to play for Oldham’s reserve team. On his return to the Etihad, the Daily Mail reported that the head of youth development at the club, Patrick Vieira, ordered Rusnák to go back to Oldham and apologise for his actions.

In the January window this year, Rusnák was on his travels again joining Championship side Birmingham City for a month. Manager Lee Clark selected the Slovakian Under-21 international into his starting eleven for the FA Cup defeat to Swansea City. After three starts in the month spell, he returned to City for the remainder the season and played consistently for Man City’s Elite squad.

This past Saturday, Rusnák was named to make his debut in Cambuur’s starting line-up and from the kick-off you could see this boy was special. In the opening moments, on the ball, he was a delight to watch. Tremendously creative, pacy with a quick brain, spotting players movement and quickly laying the ball into their feet.

Then when things were not working out for his side, he tracked back and with great tenacity, won back the possession and laid the pass off. However, he made a statement after just 13 minutes. Cambuur won a free-kick on the edge of the area; Rusnák stepped up and curled it perfectly into the top corner giving Twente keeper Nick Marsman no chance of stopping. His first game for Cambuur and his first ever goal in professional football.

Starting at 40 seconds check out the goal in the video below shot by a Cambuur fan.

After the match, Rusnák was interviewed by NOS Studio Sport (Dutch version of ‘Match of the Day’) regarding the goal, the game and the move to Cambuur: “It’s a perfect start I think, except that maybe we deserved more than a draw but I’m happy with the goal. But if it was a winning goal for three points, it would be better. I’m not a [free-kick] specialist but I hope to be one day. I have been practising all this week and happily, it paid off.”

Rusnák stated he knew very little regarding Cambuur before the move so he did some research: “A week before I first came here, I looked up on the internet and learned about the club and the fans. I read about they are very passionate and that’s what I love about football”

Rusnák also added why he chose the Netherlands to further his career instead of staying in England: “I think the Dutch league is perfect for the young players. They like to play football and Holland develop many young players so I think this is a perfect opportunity for me.”

If the Slovakian continues to play like he did on Saturday night, it will be a happy and productive season for Rusnák and Cambuur. He will gain excellent first-team experience that Karim Rekik achieved last year at PSV, and has now took back to the City of Manchester Stadium to try and win the affections of City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

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EREDIVISIE: SC Cambuur 1-1 FC Twente

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SATURDAY 9TH AUGUST 2014

Cambuur-Twente

SC CAMBUUR 1 – 1 FC TWENTE

A Youness Mokhtar equaliser, with just two minutes to go, denied Cambuur of all three points against FC Twente this evening, after Manchester City loanee Albert Rusnák had put the hosts ahead.

Slovakian midfielder Albert Rusnák stole the show and demonstrated to everyone watching that he could be a real force this campaign for Cambuur. Formerly having loan spells at Oldham Athletic and Birmingham City, this was the 20-year-old’s debut on a season-long loan from Premier League champions Manchester City. He announced his arrival on 13 minutes after Kyle Ebecilio fouled Michiel Hemmen on the edge of the area. The 18-year-old stepped up and curled the free-kick into the top corner out of Nick Marsman’s reach. This was Rusnák’s first goal in professional football.

Twente were struggling to get going and Cambuur looked the more likely team to score. The impressive Rusnák showed great movement throughout and worked hard, showing great tenacity to get back deep into the midfield and win the possession for his team.

Twente coach replaced Robert Schilder with new signing Kamohelo Mokotjo at half-time to try and lift his side, however, even though the link-up play improved, no decent chances were created and Leonard Nienhuis’ gloves stayed cold.

With two minutes of play remaining, the game was tied due to a deflected shot from Youness Mokhtar. The winger cut inside and on the edge the box tried his luck, the ball flicked off the boot of Cambuur defender Lucas Bijker and ended up past Nienhuis for the equaliser. An undeserving goal for the team from Enschede.

Twente will feel fortunate to leave Leeuwarden with a point, for Cambuur, it may feel like two points lost although if you would have asked coach Henk de Jong before the game, I’m sure he would have took a draw. Today was all about Albert Rusnak, the Manchester City youngster that we will all be treated to this season.

TEAMS

CAMBUUR: Nienhuis, Droste, Reijnen, Bijker, Pereira, El Makrini, Bakker, Rusnák, Meleg (Schepers 61), Hemmen (Dijkstra 78), Ogbeche (Barto 90).

SUBS NOT USED: Zeinstra, Mac-Intosch, Janzen, Schokker.

GOALS: Rusnák 13.

BOOKINGS: None.

TWENTE: Marsman, Breukers, Lachman (Tapia 81), Martina, Koppers, Schilder (Mokotjo 46), Ebecilio, Castaignos, Mokhtar, Børven, Kusk (Ould-Chikh 72).

SUBS NOT USED: Stevens, Andersen, Hölscher, Corona.

GOALS: Mokhtar 88.

BOOKINGS: None.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Albert Rusnak (SC Cambuur)

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 1: SATURDAY PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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

Eredivisie-Fixture-Week1

SATURDAY 9TH AUGUST

Heerenveen-Dordrecht

HEERENVEEN vs. FC DORDRECHT (17:30 BST)

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

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

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

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

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

NAC-Excelsior

NAC BREDA vs. EXCELSIOR (18:45 BST)

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

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

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

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

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

Cambuur-Twente

SC CAMBUUR vs. FC TWENTE (18:45 BST)

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

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

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

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

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

Heracles-AZ

HERACLES vs. AZ ALKMAAR (19:45 BST)

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

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

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

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

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

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