• Friday, 12 March 2010

    Eredivisie round 17

    Twente v Den Haag
    NAC v Groningen
    AZ v Waalwijk
    VVV Venlo v Utrecht
    NEC v Roda
    Feyenoord v Heracles
    Vitesse v Heerenveen
    Willem II v Sparta
    Ajax v PSV

    Sunday sees the latest instalment of one of the longest running rivalries in European football as PSV go to the Amsterdam ArenA with it's extraneous extra capital A and all. PSV come into the game in what for them represents poor form. One loss in a calendar year would suit most people, but bouncing back from defeat is something a lot of these players simply haven't had to do. How they react here is key. Conversely, Ajax had their wobble at the start of the season and stuck another three away last week despite the absence of their talismanic skipper Luis Suarez. Ajax are in no way out of the title fight, but even if they win here, the big winners could easily be Twente, in action in the Friday night game against Den Haag. The Tukkers retook the lead last week and, like PSV, have just the one loss on their record for the season. It's unthinkable, especially in Enschede, to see ADO spring a surprise and win. This is a pivotal weekend in terms of the championship.

    Things are equally unclear at the bottom except for one thing; Waalwijk are going down. They're 13 points from safety and don't look like picking up anything like enough. They face an improving AZ this week who themselves need the points to maintain what looks a forlorn pursuit of Feyenoord, third place and a Europa Cup spot. The play-offs look a more likely route back to Europe for the outgoing champions. Willem II and Sparta face off with the former desperate for points and the latter trying to avoid being sucked into the basement battle. Vitesse and Heerenveen are both just outside the drop zone and they're head-to-head as well this week. Everyone from tenth down in really not out of trouble with Roda heading that list and they face NEC, currently 12th, this week.

    Feyenoord look safe in fourth and avoiding defeat to one of their pursuers, Heracles, this week will all but seal it. Even if not, someone else will have to put one hell of a run together to unseat them. Utrecht could, theoretically, starting with an away win at VVV Venlo. NAC too harbour hopes of European football, but again look more like play-off contenders. They're at home to Groningen this week.

    No comments: