Full preview of all the round eight Eredivisie action, which includes the exciting tie between AZ Alkmaar and PSV Eindhoven.

  • By Leo Walker
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depay v zulteThe round will get under way with a mouth watering repeat of last season’s KNVB Cup final when the two Dutch representatives from the Europa League go head to head. The league leaders, PSV, travel to the home of AZ Alkmaar seeking revenge after their 2-1 defeat at the De Kuip. Philip Cocu’s side returned to the summit of the table last week after a 4-0 rout at home to Ajax so they travel to Alkmaar high in confidence whilst the hosts suffered a 3-0 defeat in round seven at the hands of NAC Breda. Kicking off at the same time will be a crunch bottom four tie when RKC Waalwijk take on Heracles Almelo at the Mandemakers Stadion. RKC Waalwijk have fell into the bottom three after suffering three defeats on the bounce, whilst Heracles are just above RKC Waalwijk in 15th after back to back defeats. A win for RKC would see them leapfrog Heracles and leave them in the bottom three; however a loss would see them slip further behind the pack ahead.

FC Utrecht will then take on Roda JC in Utrecht to continue Saturday’s action with the two sides having mixed starts to the season so far as they lie in 14th and 15th retrospectively. Roda JC have been involved in high scoring games this season, notably when defeating ADO Den Haag 4-0 in round four before participating in the thrilling 3-3 draw last week with sc Heerenveen. In the last eight fixtures between these two sides, FC Utrecht dominates proceedings in an unbeaten run which includes an incredible six victories and just two draws.

Saturday will conclude with a double header, firstly PEC Zwolle, who need to stop the rot after suffering two away defeats on the bounce, albeit it against stronger opposition, host NAC Breda who have recorded back to back victories. PEC Zwolle lost their status as the league leaders last week when succumbing to a 3-0 defeat away at the Gelredome, home to Vitesse Arnhem. The remaining game on Saturday sees Frank de Boers, Ajax welcome Go Ahead Eagles to the Amsterdam Arena for the first time in the Eredivisie since the 1995/96 season. The Eredivisie champions have suffered two heavy defeats at the hands of Barcelona and PSV whilst they also had to rely on extra time to progress to the next round of the Dutch Cup against FC Volendam in midweek. Their visitors have made a strong start to the season so far and will visit the Capital with no fear despite not recording a victory in Amsterdam in any of their previous 28 Eredivisie visits.

Sunday’s action will start with the De Gelderse Derby when bottom side, NEC Nijmegen take on Vitesse Arnhem in what promises to be a lively encounter at the Goffertstadion. NEC Nijmegen recorded their first competitive victory on Tuesday since February when defeating amateur side, Harkemase Boys in the Dutch Cup second round. Despite the weaker opposition the win could give them the confidence boost they require after recording four successive draws in the Eredivisie. Feyenoord will then look to continue their charge up the Eredivisie table when they take on bottom three side, ADO Den Haag at the De Kuip. Feyenoord have suffered one defeat in the De Kuip since 2011, and will be hoping to continue that strong run with a victory on Sunday. ADO Den Haag have yet to find their feet this season with just one victory to their name.

An interesting encounter takes place at the Abe Lenstra Stadion when sc Heerenveen, who have scored the most goals this season, take on SC Cambuur who have one of the strongest defences. The Eerste Divisie champions have conceded on just five occasions so far this season whilst Marco van Basten’s side have hit the net 19 times. The home side go into the fixture as strong favourites but victory will only be sought if they can successfully breakdown the visitor’s defence, a task which PSV failed to achieve

The round will conclude when FC Groningen travel to the Grolsch Veste Stadion, home of FC Twente. The hosts were knocked out of the Dutch Cup on Thursday at sc Heerenveen, though their form in the Eredivisie is more encouraging with just one defeat in the seven games so far. The hosts currently lie in mid table and have been involved in some high scoring games so far after scoring on 17 occasions but also conceding 14 times. A high goal scoring game is expected in the final fixture of the round.

Leo Walker (36 Posts)