In the first of a new weekly feature, Michael Bell looks at the biggest games and stories from this weekends Eredivisie action.

AZ Alkmaar to get their first victory?

It has been a terrible start to the league campaign for AZ Alkmaar so far, and they currently sit 13th after three straight draws.

Last time out, AZ completely crumbled defensively and gave away a four goal lead in the draw against Sparta Rotterdam. However, Saturday should see AZ finally get their first victory of the campaign when VVV-Venlo visit the AFAS Stadion.

Calvin Stengs is back from suspension and should start on the wing, while Bruno Martins Indi will make his debut at the back.

VVV have had a decent start, but AZ should be too strong, and Slot side can build confidence ahead of their Europa League clash against Napoli next week.

High Flying Twente clash with Willem II

The most intriguing clash on Saturday for me is the game between Willem II and unbeaten FC Twente.

I have really enjoyed watching FC Twente so far this season and it looks as if Ron Jans has really injected confidence into the Tukkers. Danilo has added a goal threat up front, while we may finally be seeing the best of Vaclav Cerny.

Willem II are struggling at the moment and I was shocked at how easily Feyenoord hammered them in their last game. However, Vangelis Pavlidis is in good form up front and will always pose a threat.

It is an unpredictable game, but Twente can show their credentials for a European playoff spot with a victory in Tilburg.

A Rotterdam derby stroll for Feyenoord?

The first Rotterdam derby of the season should be an easy one to predict on paper with Feyenoord top of the table, while Sparta Rotterdam are second bottom without a win.

I think Feyenoord will win this game comfortably, especially with Steven Berghuis in such good form up front, while defensively, Dick Advocaat’s side should be able to deal with Sparta.

Sparta may have won this fixture last season, but it is one that Feyenoord cannot afford to drop points in if they expect to challenge Ajax and PSV.

Klaassen back as Ajax host unbeaten Heerenveen

The big game of the weekend will see Ajax, looking to bounce back after their shock loss to Groningen, host Heerenveen who are still unbeaten after four games.

Erik ten Hag’s side face Liverpool in midweek but cannot afford to take Heerenveen lightly after their excellent start to the season.

Davy Klaassen will make his first appearance since returning to the club and we shall what plan Ten Hag for the midfielder, who appears to be coming back as a number six rather than a number ten. Ten Hag also needs to sort his attack with goals a big issue so far. Does Zakaria Labyad remain as the central forward? Or does Ten Hag have another plan?

Heerenveen have nothing to lose in Amsterdam and can afford to take the game to Ajax on Sunday. Joey Veerman is an excellent player and can grow his reputation even further in Amsterdam, while Mitchell van Bergen and Henk Veerman can cause Ajax’s defence issues.

Nine times out of ten, Ajax would win this game comfortably, but there are still question marks around Ten Hag’s side. They need to find confidence from this game ahead of the Liverpool clash.

Arjen Robben to return?

After returning to full training on Friday, Arjen Robben is in contention for Groningen’s clash at Utrecht on Sunday.

The winger’s debut against PSV on the first weekend of the season didn’t go to plan and Robben will understandably be cautious. Danny Buijs could name the veteran on the bench though. He has no reason to make changes after his side beat Ajax last time out.

Utrecht are unbeaten this season, but two draws out of three is not the start that the club was looking for. John van den Brom is aiming to challenge the top four and they need a win to kick-start their season. Will Eljero Elia finally get a chance to start?

First look at the new look PSV Eindhoven

All eyes will be on Mario Gotze this Sunday when PSV Eindhoven travel to PEC Zwolle this weekend and the German midfielder is in line to make his debut.

I was surprised, like everyone was, that Gotze has chosen PSV and it is an excellent signing for the club and the Eredivisie as a whole. If on form, he can undoubtedly lift PSV into title challengers.

Roger Schmidt’s squad is looking very exciting at the moment and we will get our first look at Ibrahim Sangare in the midfield too, along with Adrien Fein. It is an exciting time to be a PSV fan at the moment, especially with Donyell Malen and Erin Zahavi up front. The latter netted a hattrick for Israel in midweek, but is struggling with an injury and is 50-50 for the game

PEC Zwolle have had a mixed start to the season, but may be unable to compete with a confident PSV.

Elsewhere

Heracles Almelo should get their second win of the season when they host RKC on Saturday, but it will be intriguing to see Ola John in action if he is fit enough.

Ravel Morrison could make his ADO Den Haag debut when they host Vitesse Arnhem on Sunday. Can the Englishman finally live up to his expectations in the Eredivisie? Vitesse look good so far this season and I have been really impressed with Riechedly Bazoer as a centre-back.

The final game of the weekend sees Emmen host Fortuna Sittard. Both sides are looking for their first win of the campaign.

Player to watch

There is plenty of players making their debuts in the Eredivisie this weekend, while Robben’s potential return is intriguing.

However, the biggest story of the weekend will undoubtedly be Mario Gotze, who has caused so much excitement in Eindhoven since his signing was sealed.

The 28-year-old has struggled for form over the last few years, but a new challenge could be just what he needed and PSV may have just got themselves a superstar.

Bet of the week

If you think Mario Gotze will mark his first Eredivisie appearance with a goal, you will get odds of 8/5 with BET 365, but for me it is more likely that Davy Klaassen could mark his Ajax return with a goal.

Ajax to win and Klaassen to score anytime would get you 11/10.




admin (9495 Posts)

Follow @Footballoranje_ on Twitter