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Preview: Heerenveen vs. RKC Waalwijk - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Eredivisie clash between Heerenveen and RKC Waalwijk, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Heerenveen play host to RKC Waalwijk on Thursday evening looking to end a run of three successive defeats in the Eredivisie.

While the home side begin the week in eighth position, the visitors are down in 14th place after losing four games in a row.


Match preview

When Heerenveen started the season with five wins from seven matches, there was genuine hope that the club could make a challenge for the league title.

However, just four points have been recorded from their last eight contests, leaving De Superfriezen cut adrift from the teams challenge for Europa League qualification.

To further complicate matters, boss Johnny Jansen has recorded a positive coronavirus test, leaving him unable to fulfil his duties on the bench for the foreseeable future.

His side followed that development by going 3-0 behind against Fortuna Sittard within 37 minutes, ensuring that confidence continued to drain away from this group of players.

While the upcoming schedule is generous to Heerenveen, Jansen will be aware that getting their first win on the board since November 1 will prove to be a difficult task.

A lack of belief is also a factor at opponents Waalwijk, who have lost each of their last four encounters in the Dutch top flight.

The latest setback came at home to fellow strugglers ADO Den Haag, and Fred Grim knows he is under pressure to deliver a change in fortunes as soon as possible.

With neither Ajax or Feyenoord on their fixture list until April 11 and just six points separating them and ninth-placed Sparta Rotterdam, there is an opportunity to make headway up the standings.

Nevertheless, a fifth successive defeat will leave the Waalwijk hierarchy with decisions to make regarding Grim's long-term future, aware that an extended run without success will inevitably result in a spell in the bottom three.

Heerenveen Eredivisie form: DDDLLL

RKC Waalwijk Eredivisie form: WWLLLL


Team News

Heerenveen delivered an improved second-half showing against Sittard on the back of substitutions being made during the second half.

That could lead to Jansen handing opportunities to Arjen van der Heide and Ibrahim Dresevic on Thursday night.

Grim will also make changes to his Waalwijk XI, which should include Sylla Sow being provided with a chance in the final third.

Vitalie Damascan is also pushing for a recall to the team with James Efmorfidis expected to drop down to the substitutes' bench.

Heerenveen possible starting lineup:
Mulder; Akujobi, Dresevic, Bochniewicz, Woudenberg; Kongolo, J.Veerman, De Jong; Van der Heide, H.Veerman, Van Bergen

RKC Waalwijk possible starting lineup:
Lamprou; Bakari, Meulensteen, Touba, Quasten; Azhil, Anita, Venne; Sow, Stokkers, Daneels


SM words green background

We say: Heerenveen 2-1 RKC Waalwijk

Given their respective losing streaks, do not expect this encounter to be full of quality. Nevertheless, Heerenveen have the better options at their disposal, and this should be the ideal opportunity for the home side to get their season back on track.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


ID:430175:cQx

How you voted: Heerenveen vs RKC Waalwijk

Heerenveen
79.4%
Draw
13.2%
RKC Waalwijk
7.4%
68
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PSV Eindhoven players celebrate in October 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Ajax17132258134541
2Vitesse17122331131838
3PSV EindhovenPSV17114241192237
4Feyenoord17105232131935
5AZ AlkmaarAZ1797141251634
6Groningen179442521431
7FC Twente178453324928
8Heerenveen175752526-122
9Sparta RotterdamSparta176382830-221
10FC UtrechtUtrecht174942224-221
11Fortuna SittardSittard175482534-919
12Heracles175391928-918
13PEC Zwolle173861726-917
14VVV-VenloVVV-Venlo174492745-1816
15RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk173591529-1414
16Willem II1724112036-1610
17ADO Den HaagADO Den Haag1724111641-2510
18EmmenEmmen1705121745-285

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