With just seven games to go in the Eredivisie campaign there are four sides within four points of each other at the bottom of the table fighting to beat the drop.

  • By Nick van Ruiven
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rkc adoIt seems likely that one of those sides will be travelling to places like Maastricht, Den Bosch and Emmen in the second tier of Dutch football next season.  ADO Den Haag, RKC Waalwijk, Roda JC and NEC Nijmegen are all fighting for their lives.

As it stands at the moment, Den Haag are in 15th with 29 points, 4 points clear of NEC and Roda JC who share the bottom spot on 25 points. RKC are sandwiched in between Den Haag and NEC/Roda on 27 points.

Although Heracles and FC Utrecht (both on 30 points) are not a million miles away from danger it seems unlikely that they will face the agony of relegation come May.

A breakdown of the four teams under real pressure:

ADO Den Haag

Den Haag began the season under the guidance of  local boy Maurice Steyn. After a string of poor result he was eventually sacked on February 5 and replaced by his former assistant Henk Fräser.

Fräser’s approach seems to have spurred new life into the Den Haag players as they have gained 9 points since he took over from Steyn and to date are still unbeaten under their new boss (as of March 12).

Four of those points came against fellow strugglers RKC and Roda, which could be major boost for Fräser’s men.

Remaining fixtures for ADO Den Haag:

15/3     ADO Den Haag – FC Groningen,                                                                                                                                                                                               30/3     ADO Den Haag – PEC Zwolle,                                                                                                                                                                                                   02/4     FC Twente – ADO Den Haag,                                                                                                                                                                                                     06/4     ADO Den Haag – FC Utrecht                                                                                                                                                                                                               13/4     Ajax – ADO Den Haag                                                                                                                                                                                                                   27/4     ADO Den Haag – AZ                                                                                                                                                                                                                       03/5     Cambuur – ADO Den Haag

RKC Waalwijk

RKC Waalwijk are in a familiar struggle at the foot of the table. Their budget is among the lowest in the league so it is no surprise that they find themselves in this position.

Before the turn of the century they were famous for always surviving the post-season relegations play-offs but in recent years they have gone down, either directly or via those play-offs.

Current boss Erwin Koeman has already announced that he will be leaving Mandemakers Stadion at the end of this campaign.

Remaining fixtures for RKC Waalwijk:

14/3     Cambuur – RKC Waalwijk
30/3     Roda JC  – RKC Waalwijk
02/4     RKC Waalwijk – Ajax
06/4     Feyenood – RKC Waalwijk
13/4     RKC Waalwijk – PEC Zwolle
27/4     NAC Breda – RKC Waalwijk
03/5     RKC Waalwijk – sc Heerenveen

Roda JC

Roda JC are currently rooted down the bottom of the Eredivisie team, only having the edge over NEC on goal diffirence. Poor results during the final stages of last season and early on in this campaign by former manager Ruud Brood eventually lead to his dismissal.

His successor Jon Dahl Tomasson has made matters even worse and for some time it seemed that Roda were destined for the drop.Media reports suggest that there is a lot of unrest in the Roda JC board room which also does not help their case.

Remaining fixtures for Roda JC:

15/3     Heracles Almelo – Roda JC
22/3     PSV – Roda JC
30/3     Roda JC – RKC Waalwijk
06/4     Roda JC – AZ
12/4     FC Twente – Roda JC
27/4     Roda JC – FC Groningen
03/5     Go Ahead Eagles – Roda JC


NEC are currently in the dreaded relegation spot but as mentioned above they are only there on goal diffirence. Alex Pastoor was sacked very early on in this campaign as the teams kept on underperforming like they had done in the latter stages of the previous campaign.

Under new boss Anton Janssen performances have slightly improved, but having gone without a win  in their last three games they find themselves in this dire position yet again.

Remaining fixtures for NEC:

16/3     NEC – FC Utrecht
22/3     sc Heerenveen – NEC
29/3     NEC – Heracles Almelo
05/4     NEC – Cambuur
13/4     AZ – NEC
27/4     NEC – FC Twente
03/5     Ajax – NEC


Looking at the run-ins of the respective teams it seems likely that those four teams will more or less finish in their current positions. ADO Den Haag should just about be safe in 15th spot.

RKC Waalwijk look destined to face yet another play-off campaign to save their souls.

With Roda JC and NEC level on points the battle for the final play-off spot is still wide open. Roda still have to travel to PSV and FC Twente with both sides still in a battle for second so that should prove  stern tests for the Kerkrade side.

NEC play four of their remaining seven fixtures at home and that could be key to their hopes of escaping going straight down.
Bottom 4 prediction:

15. ADO Den  Haag
16. RKC Waalwijk
17. NEC
18. Roda JC

As teams like Sparta Rotterdam and VVV Venlo have already booked their places in the play-offs from the Jupiler League  it could prove to be a stern test for the Eredivisie sides involved.

Nick Van Ruiven (37 Posts)