With round 17 now amongst us we are at the half way stage of the 2013/14 Eredivisie season.

  • By Leo Walker
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vitesse fThe round gets under way when 8th faces 9th as sc Heerenveen travel to take on PEC Zwolle on Friday evening. The hosts, Zwolle, last recorded a victory in round 10 and last week were dealt a confidence blow when heavily defeated 4-1 by their bitter rivals, Go Ahead Eagles. The two sides have fell down to mid table positions following recent poor runs with both sides desperate for a win on Friday night.

Saturdays action commences with bottom side, NEC Nijmegen, who have recorded just two victories this season, entertaining Roda JC. The two teams have drawn on 6 occasions this season, and a further draw seems the most likely result, though a win for NEC, and if RKC Waalwijk fail to get anything in The Hague, they could be lifted from the bottom.

It is the fixture of ADO Den Haag at home to RKC Waalwijk which follows Saturdays opener. It is a crucial tie down towards the bottom end of the table with ADO Den Haag looking to build on their brilliant win in Groningen last week. Kicking of at the same time is FC Twente at home to the newly promoted, and recent ijsselderby victors, the Go Ahead Eagles. Concluding the days Eredivisie action is the second promoted side from the Eerste Divisie entertaining the Dutch Champions, Ajax who returned despondent from their midweek Champions League fixture in Milan. The 32 time Eredivisie Champions will need to show strong character as they look to put the disappointment of midweek behind them and with a win they can put pressure on Vitesse by going top, ahead of their game on Sunday

It is the league leaders Vitesse, who will look to continue their serious bid for their maiden title, when they entertain NAC Breda on Sunday morning. Reports in midweek stated that NAC Breda have avoided bankruptcy following investments into the club and amendments made to the Stadium lease with the council. It has been a difficult week off the pitch for the club from Breda and as they travel to the Gelredome on Sunday, on the pitch could be a struggle too.

Its then a case of fourth against fifth when Feyenoord entertain FC Groningen at the De Kuip stadion. Feyenoord are known for their formidable home record, though this season they have suffered two defeats. The Green and White army of FC Groningen suffered a shock home defeat against ADO Den Haag last week which saw there unbeaten home run ended and they travel to Rotterdam knowing a loss will see them fall 6 pts behind Ronald Koeman’s side. AZ Alkmaar travelled to Greece on Thursday evening and face a difficult away tie in Almelo to take on Heracles. Dick Advocaat’s side are positioned in 6th currently whilst Heracles lie in 14th after their 3-1 victory over Roda JC last week.

The final game of the round sees under pressure Philip Cocu and his PSV side face a difficult tie in Utrecht against Jan Wouter’s in form side. PSV are without a win since early October and suffered Europa League exit on Thursday and are out of the Eredivisie title race following their recent A further loss for the young and inexperienced side will only add further pressure on Philip Cocu who is desperate for a confidence boost.

Leo Walker (36 Posts)