RKC Waalwijk v Feyenoord, Eredivisie, February 4, 2010
Two teams headed in complete opposition directions face off in Holland on Thursday night as fourth-place Feyenoord head to bottom side RKC in the Eredivisie.
Along with Grenoble in France, RKC find themselves in the undesirable position of being one of the worst team playing in a top flight division in Europe. After 20 matches this season, Ruud Brood’s charges have the unenviable overall record of four wins and a massive 16 defeats (with no draws) and their statistics become even more damning on closer inspection as the Dutch minnows have failed to record a single clean sheet at home all season.
And it gets worse. Although having managed to claim three home wins this season in ten attempts, RKC have scored a lowly 11 goals at the Mandemakers Stadion (the second least amount in the division) while conceded a whopping 17 goals (the second highest amount in the league). (Under 2.5 goals at 6/5, over at 6/5.)
Away from the miserable stats, RKC also have selection headaches ahead of the visit of the fallen powerhouse Feyenoord. Last time out, in the 2-1 away defeat at Willem II, RKC lost key defender Wouter Gudde to injury and the centre-half seems certain to miss the match as he recovers. Striker Kevin Vink and midfielder Gerard Lifondja are unavailable for RKC due to injury, while playmaker Anton Jongsma remains doubtful after missing the previous two matches.
For RKC to have any chance of picking up the three points, they will need forwards Fred Benson, Derk Boerrigter and Charlison Benshop to have solid performances. The three forwards, who have been virtual ever presents this season, have each chalked up four goals this season and remain the hosts best option the unlock the Feyenoord backline.
Although fourth, Feyenoord are also experienced an underwhelming season this term. A whopping 13 points off league leaders PSV and FC Twente, and four points adrift of Ajax in third, Feyenoord are making a mini-improvement on last season’s woeful campaign in which they ended up in lowly 7th spot whilst at the same time remain a shadow of their former glory as one of Holland’s leading clubs.
Happily for Feyenoord though, Mario Been’s outfit appear to picking picking up momentum at just the right time as we head into the business end of the season. Without defeat since November 1st, Feyenoord are one theÂ leading form teams in the Eredivisie, and away from home they have won three and drawn two of their previous five matches.
Against Ajax in their last match, Feyenoord caused the Amsterdammers all kinds of trouble on Sunday before being forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in De Klassieker. The match was representative of many of the deep-rooted problems in the Rotterdam club as the likes of Sekou Cisse, Leroy Fer and Jon Dahl Tomasson flicked in and out of the game while defensive lapses at the back offered Ajax encouragement through the 90 minutes.
Feyenoord are a club with excellent potential, but they have yet to find the winning formula with a squad brimming with talent. In particular forward Jonathan de Guzman, a former target of Chelsea amongst others, have the ability from both open play and dead-ball situations to hurt the opposition, while, at 18-years-old, Georginio Wijnaldum represents the future of Dutch football as a versatile midfielder with lightning pace and a full arsenal of tricks, however his shooting can often often by wayward at the crucial moments.
Feyenoord will be without Dani Fernandez and Kelvin Leerdam due to injury, while experienced left-back Giovanni van Bronckhorst is doubtful.
101gg predicts: RKC Waalwijk 1 – Feyenoord 2 (15/2)
Full match odds here.