Michael Bell takes you through the main things to look out for in the Eredivisie this weekend, including two big derbies and a potential slip up for Ajax.

twente turmTwente turmoil

Its been a week to forget for FC Twente, with last weekends 5-0 defeat to Feyenoord followed up by the leaking of the Doyen contract documents, which led to president Aldo van de Laan resigning. If the KNVB find any wrong doing’s by Twente then serious sanctions could follow. Not only could the cash-strapped club be fined, but they may also be relegated or even have their professional license revoked.

Twente’s players will have to try and put the panic behind the scenes behind them on Saturday when they host Willem II in a crucial tie. Twente currently sit one place above Willem II, who occupy the third relegation spot, and a defeat coupled with a win for Cambuur on Friday could leave the Enschede club second bottom by the end of the weekend.

How the mighty have fallen.

fey excThe Rotterdam derby

Saturday’s action also sees the first Rotterdam derby of the season as Excelsior host Feyenoord at the Stadion Woudestein. Feyenoord go into the game on the back of hammering Twente last week and know that a win would take them level on points with league leaders Ajax.

However Excelsior will be determined to to dent their rivals title hopes and record their first victory over Feyenoord since the 3-2 win back in August 2010. Feyenoord came out on top in both games last season and have won 26 out of their 33 meetings.

nec vit djdjThe Gelderse Derby

While Excelsior v Feyenoord may be a friendly derby, there is definitely no love lost between Gelderse rivals Vitesse and NEC Nijmegen, who meet in the early game on Sunday.

Ties between the two clubs are usually tight and fiery affairs, and this weekends clash will be even more intriguing with the fact that both clubs are currently separated by two points in the table. NEC currently occupy 5th with Vitesse a place behind them.

At the GelreDome Vitesse hold the upper hand over their rivals and you would have to go back to January 2012 to find NEC’s last success in Arnhem. That 1-0 win ended a 27 year wait for a victory in the Gelderse capital for the Nijmegen side, and they go into Sunday’s game as slight favourites after three wins in a row, while Vitesse haven’t recorded a win since the end of October.

aja pec dzWill PEC Zwolle continue to be a bogey side for Ajax?

There is something about PEC Zwolle that Ajax just can’t get their heads around with Ron Jans side frustrating the Eredivisie leaders in five of their last six meetings, including that extraordinary 5-1 KNVB Cup final win. The last Ajax win over PEC Zwolle came in a 2-1 success at the Amsterdam Arena back in September 2013.

Ajax currently lead second placed Feyenoord by three points and PSV by four, but that lead could be significantly reduced should PEC Zwolle once again prove too difficult for the Amsterdam club. PEC Zwolle’s form hasn’t been great recently but they stopped the rot of four games without a win by hammering Roda JC 5-0 and they will go into the game on Sunday brimming with confidence.

cerny ajaWill Vaclav Cerny be handed an Ajax start?

With Anwar El Ghazi struggling with injury, and Daley Sinkgraven out for months 18-year-old winger Vaclav Cerny has been given his chance to impress in the past two matches. Cerny made an impressive cameo in the 5-1 win over Cambuur before coming off the bench to score the winner in the 2-1 win over Celtic in the Europa League.

The Czech youth international is full of pace and trickery and many Ajax fans have been calling for Frank de Boer to hand him a start this weekend. Will the coach give the fans what they want or will Cerny have to once again be content with a cameo?

de graafsch vfThe win-less run for either Cambuur or De Graafschap to end?

Friday evening’s tie sees rock bottom De Graafschap travel to 17th placed Cambuur, with both sides still looking for their first victories of the season. The first season back in the top flight has been a struggle for De Graafschap so far, and they have only managed to gain two points from the opening thirteen games, while Cambuur are slightly better off after managing seven draws so far, and only the six defeats. Despite not winning any games, Cambuur haven’t tasted defeat in Leeuwarden since September and that will make them slight favourites against De Graafschap.

Surely it won’t be a draw on Friday?


de jong psv v nThe battle of the in-form Dutch strikers in Eindhoven

The final game of the Eredivisie weekend sees PSV Eindhoven host AZ Alkmaar at the Philips Stadion. The big talking point from the match will be the form of striker’s Luuk de Jong and Vincent Janssen.

De Jong, who currently leads the Eredivisie scoring charts, will be looking to net for his fifth consecutive Eredivisie game, while Janssen has scored seven goals in his last six games for both club and country (U21’s).

Those wondering who will eventually replace Klaas jan Huntelaar or Robin van Persie in the Netherlands national team will be pleased with the duo’s encouraging form at the moment.




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