NEC Nijmegen demanded the leading position again last week and hopes to create a considerable gap with the closest competitors. With FC Emmen, the Gelderlanders meet an opponent who should not be underestimated.
FC Emmen :
FC Emmen is currently one of the toughest teams in the Jupiler League. The current number seven produced the least goals from all clubs in the top seven, but also got the least. In short, the team of trainer Dick Lukkien is doing well and that’s what the figures show. FC Emmen only scored three times and the club from Drenthe is at the top of the list of the lowest losses. The only point of criticism is actually the high number of equal games. FC Emmen already dealt the points eleven times with the opponent and because of this the formation of Lukkien is now seventh and not much higher in the ranking.
Recently, FC Emmen booked the third loss of the season on a visit to FC Eindhoven, but that did not seem to bother the team. At home RKC Waalwijk was defeated 2-1 and last week FC Emmen even scored one of the best victories of the season. Candidate candidate Fortuna Sittard had the home advantage, but FC Emmen nevertheless managed to take the points to the north. Anco Jansen and Alexander Bannink had secured a 0-2 lead early in the game. After the tea, the Limburgers fought back into the match when Finn Stokkers scored with nineteen minutes to play, but that was it.
FC Emmen will therefore work with the necessary confidence towards the confrontation with NEC. A setback is that Lukkien will have to do without Keziah Veendorp. The central defender missed one minute this season, but on Friday night he will not be able to take action due to a suspension. This will give Tim Siekman a new chance to show his qualities from the first minute. Siekman will cover the left side and as a result Nick Bakker moves to the heart of the defense.
NEC Nijmegen is the favorite favorite this season to take the title and any other result will be experienced as disappointment by the board, the trainer staff and the supporters. The Nijmegen team seemed to take a decisive lead during the first months of the season, but later the instability struck. NEC left here and there some points and that offered teams like Fortuna Sittard and Jong Ajax the chance to close the gap with the men of trainer Pepijn Lijnders. Last week, NEC made a much-needed win over FC Den Bosch and that proved to be enough to take over the lead from Fortuna Sittard. Winter champion Fortuna Sittard recorded the second loss in a row and that will have been received with great cheer in Nijmegen.
NEC does not, however, also perform in the best form. The start of 2018 seemed to shake things up when NEC won 5-1 vs. Go Ahead Eagles, but after that game, defeats followed defenselessly against FC Oss and Almere City. As said, NEC succeeded last week in striking back with a victory, but it was not really convincing. FC Den Bosch was a good party in the Goffert and therefore the hosts had to go deep to keep the three points in-house. Steeven Langil finally gave NEC the victory by scoring from the penalty spot.
Lijnders is likely to make a change before meeting with FC Emmen. The coach may have the Arnaut Groeneveld recovered from a back injury and he will start immediately. Langil, last week still good for the only goal, is struggling with physical discomfort and he is not expected in the base. He may be able to sit on the bench if he can show his fitness on the competition day.
Insider TIP: Over 2.5 goals – 1.61