Preview of all the action from round 20 of the Eredivisie with Ajax looking to cement their place at the top.

  • By Leo Walker
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thomas aRound 20 of the Eredivisie season gets underway on Friday evening when Heracles, who lie in 13th, take on the side in 14th, RKC Waalwijk. Three points separate the two and a win for either side would prove vital in their bid to stay away from the bottom three zone. The visitors, RKC Waalwijk, last recorded a victory over the hosts in the 2006/07 season, since then 10 games between the two have taken place with Heracles dominating proceedings. RKC Waalwijk are however undefeated in their last six games and are confident heading into the tie that they can get something out of it.

Saturdays action commences with two old rivalries going head to head when Feyenoord make the short trip to bottom side, ADO Den Haag. By the standards of ADO Den Haag, it has been an extremely disappointing season and following the defeat last week at NEC Nijmegen, automatic relegation is a serious threat. Feyenoord suffered midweek heartbreak in the Dutch Cup away at Ajax, however they inflicted a heavy defeat on FC Utrecht in round 19 and will be looking to pick themselves up from the midweek disappointment with a similar strong performance to put pressure on their title rivals.

It is FC Utrecht who will kick off an hour later when they take travel to Roda to take on Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side, in what will be his first Eredivisie home game in charge of the bottom three outfit. An heroic draw against sc Heerenveen last week however was not enough to avoid dropping in the bottom zone as results went against them. FC Utrecht are low on confidence following the 5-2 home defeat last week against Feyenoord, whilst they also suffered a midweek defeat away at NEC which saw them knocked out of the domestic cup. Jan Wouter’s side will be looking to rally his troops and get their season back on track.

PEC Zwolle and NAC Breda currently retain 11th and 12th positions respectively and they will face off on Saturday evening. The two sides are evenly matched and earlier on in the season they were involved in one of the few 0-0 draws of the season so far. A win for either side could see one of them lift into the top half and further away from the battle towards the foot of the table.

Saturdays action will conclude with PSV entertaining AZ Alkmaar in what promises to be feisty affair. The two Dutch Cup finalists of last season were involved in a tight game in round 8 with the 2-1 scoreline identical to that of the final last season. PSV are desperate to get revenge for that final defeat and manager Philip Cocu is desperate for a win as they look to salvage their season. Dick Advocaat will be returning to the Philips Stadion and the welcome return could be one of mixed emotions from the home supporters following his supposed retirement at the end of last season.

Sunday is derby day in the Eredivisie as two fierce rivalries will reacquaint themselves on the pitch. First up is the Derby of Friesland when sc Heerenveen make the short trip to SC Cambuur. In the first Friesland Derby in 13 years, it was Marco van Basten’s side who would take the honours in a narrowly fought contest in which sc Heerenveen won 2-1. A similar tight game is expected as SC Cambuur prove difficult to beat at home, however in 13 matches between the two, the side from Leeuwarden have just two victories to their name.

Kicking off at the same time on Sunday morning is the De Gelderse derby at the Gelredome between Vitesse and NEC Nijmegen. The fixture in Nijmegen was a thrilling affair when a last minute Vitesse goal ensured they recorded a 3-2 victory over their rivals. Confidence in both camps is high, NEC lifted out of the bottom three for the first time this season in round 19 and during midweek defeated FC Utrecht to reach the Dutch Cup semi-finals, whilst Vitesse continue to mount a serious title challenge as they extended their undefeated Eredivisie run to 10 games last week.

Incredibly you have to go back to 2007 for when FC Groningen last recorded a victory over FC Twente when they won 1-0 at the Euroborg Stadion. Since then, 15 fixtures have taken place with FC Twente winning 13 and the two remaining games ending in stalemated. FC Groningen will be looking to get one over their bogey side at the Euroborg Stadion and end their winless drought against the club from Enschede and dent their title challenge.

The Champions of last season, Ajax, will conclude the weekends action when they travel to Deventer, and the home of the Go Ahead Eagles. The last two times the teams have met has seen emphatic 6-0 score lines and victories for Ajax in a fixture that in the history of the tie, Ajax have dominated recording 48 victories from 58 meetings. Frank de Boers side last suffered an Eredivisie defeat at home to Vitesse, since then they have turned it around and won 7 league games in a row, scoring 19 goals and conceding just 3.

Leo Walker (36 Posts)