Tag Archives: Standard Liege

Champions League: PSV can set example for the future of Dutch football

It’s a huge European tie this Tuesday night as PSV travel to Belarus to face BATE in a Champions League qualifier, Will Burns previews what is a one of four most important nights for Dutch football in the next fortnight.

Hirving Lozano PSV

BATE Borisov vs. PSV

Tuesday, 20:00BST – Live on BT Sport 3

Tuesday night sees PSV Eindhoven embark on their Champions League qualification in a two-legged affair that is one of the most significant games in recent history for Dutch football.

Last December, on the release of the new UEFA rankings, it was declared that the champions of the Eredivisie would not automatically qualify for the Champions’ League group stages. For at least the next two seasons, the Dutch champions have to go through the preliminary rounds before competing in the group phase. This was a huge blow to the country that has claimed three different European champions – Feyenoord, Ajax and PSV.

The Netherlands are now 14th in the UEFA rankings behind neighbours Belgium and the likes of Austria, Czech Republic and Switzerland who arguably host weaker leagues. Unfortunately, due to the lack of success in previous European competitions, this has what has become of Dutch football now as the Eredivisie has become a significant exporter of young talent to bigger leagues.

The Dutch teams need to act to improve the situation for the future of the league, and there’s certainly one way to start on Tuesday night: PSV to clinch the win away to Belarusian’s BATE Borisov. I predict this will be a hard task for Marc van Bommel’s side as history has proved that BATE are always a tough proposition at the Borisov Arena. In the last ten European ties at home, BATE have been dealt one defeat, a 4-2 Europa League loss to Arsenal last season.

BATE have a lightning quick counter attack that should be spearheaded by Montenegrin international Mirko Ivanić. The 24-year-old attacking midfielder/winger showed off this prowess in the last round at home to Azerbaijani opponents Qarabağ FK in a second leg 1-1 draw. Ivanić capitalised on a wayward pass across the defence and powered a run through onto goal to place the ball confidently in the net.

However, they did look suspect at the back that PSV may find rewarding. Using the counter attack, BATE received a lot of pressure over the two leagues against the Azerbaijan champions, outscored heavily 29-13 over the two legs. One has to think with the quality in the PSV attack (Hirving Lozano, Gaston Pereiro, Steven Bergwijn and Luuk de Jong) this defence can and should be breached and give the Eredivisie champions victory that themselves and Dutch football greatly need.


PSV win

£10 on 2.15 Bet Victor

Current Season Record


Profit – £18.25

Team news

BATE Borisov

The Belarusian Premier League has been on a short summer break throughout August so BATE are fully refreshed with no injuries announced.

PSV Eindhoven

In the 2-1 win away to a physical Fortuna Sittard on Saturday evening, in which Luuk de Jong stated: “We were lucky to snatch a late win”, Marc van Bommel named an unchanged side. It is thought he will do the same against BATE. No first team injury worries.

Key Fact

BATE Borisov have lost just one game in the last ten European home ties – a 2017/18 Europa League group stage fixture vs. Arsenal that finished 4-2.


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Champions League: Back Ajax’s Dusan Tadic to deliver knockout blow to Standard

After securing a healthy profit on the weekend’s Eredivisie games, Will Burns is on hand to try and add to the pot with his selection for the big Champions League qualification game at the Johan Cruijff Arena on tonight.

Dusan Tadic Ajax

Ajax vs. Standard Liege

Tuesday, 19:30

After dropping a 2-0 lead away in Belgium last week, Ajax host Standard Liege with hopes of clinching a slot in the next round of Champions League qualification. The Amsterdammers took a 2-0 half time lead with goals from Klass Jan Huntelaar and new summer signing Dušan Tadić.

However, Standard hit back from a Moroccan striker Mehdi Carcela-González wonder strike but Erik ten Hag’s side looked to be hanging on to take the win back to the Netherlands. Unfortunately for the travelling fans it was not to be, as in the dying seconds of stoppage time, young right-back Noussair Marzaoui was penalised for a soft foul on Moussa Djenepo in the area and Renaud Emond dispatched the resulting penalty.

This past weekend, the Eredivisie season did not get off to a perfect start for Ten Hag as his side were held to a 1-1 draw to Heracles with 19-year-old central defender Matthijs de Ligt heading home an equaliser to save the Amsterdammers’ blushes.

I’m focussing on one player for my pick, Dušan Tadić. I found it a great surprise when I read that the former Southampton winger had signed on the dotted line for Ajax this past summer. Dropping back to the Eredivisie, especially since Tadić was fifth in the Premier League last year for chances created (66) with five assists left me startled.

I rate the Serbian very highly and he’s already made his mark in this tie being involved in both goals last week in Belgium, creating Huntelaar’s opener and then smashing home an edge of the box strike to double Ajax’s lead.

I think he stands a great chance to fire in another goal against Liege who seemed to grant him a lot of space a week ago.

Recommended Bet: Dušan Tadić to score anytime – £10 on at 2.46 to win £24.60 at 888Sport/Unibet



Bets – 3

Wins – 2

Losses -1

Profit – £32.00


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Magic from Dolberg enough to make Liege challenge disappear

A lone Kasper Dolberg strike in the 28th minute of their Group G encounter with Standard Liège was enough to see Ajax make it two wins from two in group play in the UEFA Europa League reports Steven Davies.

Image result for AJAX 1-0 STANDARD LIEGE




Following an indifferent performance against Panathinaikos that nonetheless yielded all three points from a tricky trip to Greece, former four time European Champions, Ajax welcomed Belgian side Standard Liege to the Amsterdam ArenA on the back of a six game winning streak that has seen Peter Bosz’s charges reassert themselves into the title picture in the Eredivisie while also recording wins in both domestic and continental cup competitions.

Peter Bosz named a largely unchanged side from the weekend victory over PEC Zwolle –the inclusion of Serbian international, Nemanja Gudelj at the expense of Hakim Ziyech being the only change for the hosts – Chelsea loanee, Bertrand Traore continuing on the right with Kasper Dolberg preferred once again down the middle of the front three while Daley Sinkgraven was again deployed at left back.

Image result for AJAX 1-0 STANDARD LIEGE

Recently appointed Standard Liege coach, Aleksandar Jankovic named the same starting eleven that had begun the 2016 Belgian Cup winners’ 3-0 win over Eupen on Sunday – a line-up that included a return for former Ajax midfielder, Eyong Enoh who spent six years in Amsterdam and was a part of two title winning sides under former coach, Frank de Boer while also lifting the KNVB Beker under Martin Jol in 2010.

In front of a sparse yet vocal crowd, it was the visitors who were out of the blocks the quickest – Benito Raman, high on confidence – having netted in each of his last three games in all competitions, flashing a shot wide of Andre Onana’s right hand upright with just two minutes on the clock while Mathieu Dossevi tested the Cameroon international’s handling four minutes later.

The hosts gradually began to find their feet in the match and it was Traore – looking far more comfortable in his wider role, who carved the host’s first clean cut opportunity in front of goal – cutting in from the right before sidestepping two defenders and testing the handling of Catania loanee, Jean-Francois Gillet in the Liege nets with a low drive with twelve minutes gone.

The man on loan from Chelsea continued to pull the strings for the Amsterdam giants – playing a neat slide rule pass for Amin Younes who then fed Davy Klaassen – the Dutch international drawing a point bank save from the Liege ‘keeper just past the quarter hour before Dolberg worked the Standard glovesman with a neat headed flick on from the resultant corner from Gudelj.

The hosts, who tasted success in the UEFA Cup – the previous guise of the UEFA Europa League, in 1992, continued to turn up the pressure as the game neared the half way point of the first half – Colombian centre half, Davinson Sanchez – who bagged a brace in the weekend victory over PEC Zwolle, dragging an attempt from the edge of the visitor’s area wide of the mark.

The pressure told a couple of minutes short of the half hour mark when Traore picked up the ball from Gudelj on half way before finding Dolberg, who evaded the attentions of Standard skipper, Adrien Trebel – whose wayward pass Gudelj had initially intercepted, before slotting the ball past Gillet for the 18-year-old, Dane’s sixth goal of the season to give the hosts a deserved lead.

The hosts should have extended their lead a minute before the half time break when Traore cut in from the right, finding Klaassen on the edge of the Standard area whose perfect one touch pass found goal scorer, Dolberg who attempted to return the favour as Gillet rushed out to narrow the Dane’s angle of opportunity –Klaassen being beaten to the punch on the line by Cameroonian defender, Collins Fai who cleared the danger to keep the visitors in the game.

Following a quiet opening to the second stanza, the visitors unexpectedly almost found themselves on level terms when a miscommunication between centre half, Nick Viergever and Onana sent the Cameroonian stopper scrambling – managing to stick out a leg to avoid a calamitous own goal twelve minutes after the resumption.

But the Ajax ‘keeper was off his line smartly in the 67th minute to deny Dossevi a goal scoring opportunity when, following a flick on from Algerian target man, Ishak Belfodil, the Togo international had found himself in acres of space at the back post.

The host’s awoke from their slumber as the game entered the final twenty minutes – Nemanja Gudelj sending a free kick from just outside the area inches wide of Gillet’s right hand post with eighteen minutes to play.

Three minutes later, substitute Mateo Cassierra broke free and teed up his captain who in turn laid the ball on for an onrushing Younes whose shot was deflected wide of Gillet’s left hand upright from just inside the area.

Despite time rapidly running out for the visitors, the game was by no means safe for de Godenzonen – just a minute later Standard substitute, Jean-Luc Dompe cut in from the left and burned off the attentions of Dutch international, Joel Veltman before seeing his goal-bound shot blocked by Sinkgraven

Then, with six minutes remaining, Isaac Mbenza picked up the ball on the edge of the Ajax area and bent a wicked curling effort onto Onana’s left hand upright with the home ‘keeper well beaten.

The game continued to seesaw from one end to the other when the hosts again threatened to make the game safe in the 89th minute – substitute, Jairo Riedewald threading an incisive ball through the centre of the visitor’s defence into the path of Cassierra but Gillet was quickly off his line to clear up the danger on the edge of his area.

Then, just seconds after the Colombian forward had fluffed an attempted volley from just outside the box, following a cushioned header from fellow substitute, Anwar El Ghazi, into the grateful hands of Gillet, the visitors threatened to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat – Dompe seeing his right-footed curling effort from just outside the area clawed out of the top left hand corner by Onana in the third minute of stoppage time.

However, try as they might, the visitors couldn’t force a breakthrough and, with six points from six in UEFA Europa League group play, Peter Bosz’s charges next face a trip to Spain to face Celta Vigo on 20th October.

Man of the Match: Bertrand Traore


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