• Friday, 13 August 2010

    Eredivisie round 2 previews

    Ajax v Vitesse
    AZ v Groningen
    PSV v De Graafschap
    VVV Venlo v Heracles
    Twente v Heerenveen
    Excelsior v Feyenoord
    ADO v Roda JC
    Utrecht v NAC
    Willem II v NEC

    Table-toppers De Graafschap have a tough task on their hands to retain that position after the second round of fixtures. They're away in Eindhoven against fellow first round winners PSV. It's unlikely that De Graafschap will find the PSV defence as generous as Excelsior's last week and it should be the hosts who emerge two-for-two rather than the team from Doetinchem. Heracles, however, look good to remain up at the top by backing up an opening day 3-0 win by inflicting a second loss on VVV Venlo. Feyenoord were also winners on day one and take on Excelsior this week. Anything other than a big win for Feyenoord seems highly unlikely, especially given more than half of Excelsior's squad this season are Jong Feyenoord players. NEC won last time out and travel to Tilburg to take on Willem II where an away win is the favoured outcome, but Vitesse have a stern test to remain undefeated as they travel to face Ajax.

    Twente were held last week and face Heerenveen at the weekend. This is always a tough battle and there have been some tight games between the clubs in recent times. Twente shade it on paper and, as champions, should certainly fancy beating the Friesians on home soil. AZ drew last week and face another side on one point, Groningen, who came from two behind against Ajax to secure their point. Moussa Dembélé hasn't quite exited stage left yet, Birmingham failing to secure the Belgian striker, but Fulham are the latest Premier League club to show an interest. Either way, he doesn't look likely to feature for the Alkmaarders any time soon. Groningen looked sharp last week and need to make hay while they've a full-strength side out. Once injuries bite, they will struggle, so best to chalk some points up now. ADO take on Roda JC in Den Haag - a low-scoring draw is the place to put your money on this one - while in Utrecht, there's a battle of the prudent and the profligate. NAC are deducted a point having paid players late, one of a number of measures the KNVB have brought in to try to make sure clubs live within their means. Willem II came close to a deduction and some of the big boys - Feyenoord especially - are also in the mire. Not Utrecht though who, like Twente, make a major issue of the fact they carry no debt and are run on strictly commercial lines. Following his goal on opening day, Utrecht striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel made his Oranje debut in midweek as Bert van Marwijk gave his first team a rest and the 21-year old looks set for a big season.

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