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Eredivisie Preview – 14th, 15th & 16th August

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This Friday sees the second round of fixtures in the Eredivisie and after the first week of fixtures saw many games postponed due to police strikes, there were only four games played on the weekend and five games will be played throughout the week.

Ajax are the league leaders currently after one game and will be keen to stay top as they look to rival PSV for the title. Here is your Eredivisie Review:

The Game to Watch:

PSV v FC Groningen – Date – 16/08/15 – Venue – Philips Stadion – Kick-Off – 11.30

PSV play their first home game of the season and it’s against Europa League outfit FC Groningen who they defeated in the Dutch Super Cup a few weeks ago, 3-0. PSV will be confident that they can repeat the result from that game once again. Groningen have been heavily tipped for a good season and performing well at the Philips Stadion will give them good standing for the rest of the season. PSV were last seasons’ champions and will be looking to defend their crown whist Groningen will be pushing for a second successive year in the Europa League, however this time qualifying through league position rather than winning the cup – although, both would be an impressive feat.

PSV’s first game against ADO Den Haag ended in a 2-2 draw. Goals from Luuk de Jong and Adam Maher gave the reigning champions the lead twice during the game however equalisers from Alberg and Hansen stopped PSV in their tracks. Groningen are yet to play as their game against FC Twente was postponed due to police strikes. They will play on Wednesday night and fatigue may show in the game on Sunday.

The Player to Watch in this game is Luuk de Jong, the Dutch striker was the star of the show when the two sides faced off in the Super Cup earlier this month. His goalscoring record in the Eredivisie alone is impressive and should he keep up his goalscoring form again this season then he’ll be up amongst the top goalscorers again. He’s already off the mark in the league with a goal against ADO Den Haag and he’s fully expected to add to his tally against FC Groningen. If they fail to contain him, then he will punish the Europa League outfit.

My Prediction for the game is a 2-1 win for PSV with goals coming from new boy Andres Guardado and Luuk de Jong. Guardado is likely to cause many problems down the wing for Groningen and de Jong’s natural poacher insticts will be pivotal to any success PSV get this season. Should he be on form this weekend then Groningen will have a lot of problems. However, they are not to be underestimated and will give PSV a good game unlike in the Super Cup. Michael de Leeuw is their biggest threat going forward and he could cause some unrest to the PSV backline – 17 goals last season.

Ajax v Willem II – Date – 15/08/15 – Venue – Amsterdam Arena – Kick-Off – 18.45

Ajax look to build on their good start with a win against Willem. Ajax won their first game against AZ Alkmaar, 3-0. Goals from Gudelj and El Ghazi secured the victory for last seasons’ runners-up. El Ghazi was the star of the show as he scored two goals but an impressive strike from Gudelj sealed the three points for Ajax. Willem’s first game ended in a 1-1 draw against Vitesse which by their standards was an impressive result to the start the campaign off with and in this game on Saturday night, they will undoubtedly be the underdogs.

The Player to Watch in this game is the Dutch prodigy, Anwar El Ghazi who was the Man of the Match against AZ with two goals. Willem will find it difficult to handle the menacing forward as his tricky footwork will cause a lot of problems defensively. Many people will be expecting a similar performance from El Ghazi and more goals as the 20-year-old is setting out to prove a point this season – his second in an Ajax shirt.

My Prediction for this game is a 2-0 Ajax win. I expect more goals from El Ghazi but I also think other players such as Klaassen and Bazoer will contribute massively towards another Ajax victory. Willem overall will struggle with the force Ajax have going forward and their defensive troubles won’t help either.

Vitesse v Roda JC – Date – 14/08/15 – Venue – GelreDome – Kick-Off – 19.00

Vitesse started off their Eredivisie campaign with a draw against mid-table outfit Willem II whilst Roda JC enjoyed their return to the top division with a 3-1 win against fellow relegation rivals Heracles. Vitesse are famously known as Chelsea’s second team as an array of the Premier League champions’ young talents are at the club. A few will even feature for Vitesse against Roda JC.

Vitesse will be without Oliynyk – the scorer of Vitesse’s only goal in their 1-1 draw with Willem II in the opening week – as he was sent off for an elbow. On loan Chelsea youngster Isiah Brown is the Player to Watch in this game for me as he’s an exceptional young talent with great goalscoring ability, speed and agility. He boasts natural technical skill for an 18-year-old and will cause many problems for the Roda JC defence. Roda JC will be without Henk Dijkhuizen and Gibril Sankoh who are both injured.

My Prediction for this game is a 1-0 win for Vitesse with Izzy Brown being the only goalscorer.

FC Twente v ADO Den Haag – Date – 15/08/15 – Venue – De Grolsch Veste – Kick-Off – 18.45

FC Twente are yet to play their first Eredivisie game due to police strikes but will play on Wednesday against FC Groningen whilst ADO Den Haag picked up an impressive 2-2 draw against reigning champions PSV. A last minute Zlatan-esque equaliser from goalkeeper Hansen got Den Haag the point that was needed and deserved. FC Twente will be eager to improve on last season after finishing in mid-table – 10th – a rather underwhelming season.

The Players to Watch in this game are Jesús Corona for FC Twente and Roland Alberg for ADO Den Haag. Corona’s a very tricky winger with great speed and good end product. He will cause ADO Den Haag a lot of problems down the flanks if they give him the space and time. Alberg’s been at ADO Den Haag since 2013 and the attacking midfielder has proved to be a fan favourite. Alberg scored in the opening game of the season for Den Haag through a penalty and the midfield won’t be shy to score even more goals against Twente.

My Prediction for this game is a 1-1 draw. Den Haag proved great ability in their first game of the season against PSV and I believe they can get a draw against a weakened Twente team.

Ajax AZ Alkmaar eredivisie Feyenoord PSV

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