Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Eredivisie clash between NEC and FC Volendam, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Aiming to build on success in the KNVB Cup on Thursday night, NEC will welcome relegation-threatened Volendam to Goffertstadion in Nijmegen on Sunday afternoon in the Eredivisie.
The hosts ended a run of three matches without a victory by conquering second-tier opposition in the cup, whilst Volendam were in league action at Ajax, losing quite convincingly in Amsterdam. ...Click Here To Continue Reading>>
NEC return to Eredivisie action for the first time since last weekend’s worrying events in the final stages of their trip to face AZ Alkmaar at AFAS Stadion, where former Netherlands international striker Bas Dost collapsed to floor and had to be resuscitated by members of the emergency services.
The ex-Wolfsburg attacker had put Nijmegen into a first-half lead and then set up Magnus Mattsson to double the visitors’ advantage, and after AZ scored in the second period through Evangelos Pavlidis to pile the pressure on NEC, the concerning scenes surrounding Dost forced the contest to be abandoned.
After a very difficult couple of days for everyone associated with the club, Rogier Meijer’s men were back in action during the first round of the KNVB Cup against second-tier outfit Roda JC on Thursday night, when makeshift striker Roberto Gonzalez bagged a brace to help NEC to a 5-3 victory.
Having won just one of their last six Eredivisie standings, Nijmegen have slipped down to 12th in the top-flight standings after collecting nine points from their opening nine matches, with 16th-placed Vitesse only one point behind – although the Arnhem-based club have played a game more.
An early relegation six-pointer at the Johan Cruijff Arena is certainly not what Volendam fans were expecting at the beginning of this term, but on Thursday night that is exactly what they were provided with, and the visitors were unable to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
John van’t Schip out-of-form side took the lead in the second period courtesy of former Tottenham Hotspur man Steven Bergwijn – netting his fifth goal in only seven league appearances – before last season’s Championship Golden Boot winner Chuba Akpom doubled his team’s advantage off the bench.
After defeat last time out, Volendam are lying in 17th place in the Eredivisie standings having earned seven points from their first 10 games, although a very congested middle section of the table means that Sunday’s visitors are only four points behind PEC Zwolle in ninth.
The Other Oranje have fared woefully on their travels so far in the 2023-24 league campaign, failing to pick up any points during their opening five outings away from Kras Stadion, losing to Go Ahead Eagles, Fortuna Sittard, PSV Eindhoven, RKC Walwijk and most recently Ajax.
NEC Eredivisie form:
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NEC are set to make a couple of changes to the side that eased off second-tier opposition in the cup on Thursday, with first-choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen to replace Robin Roefs in between the sticks.
Striker Dost is understandably taking a break from football for the foreseeable future following last weekend’s events, meaning the likes of Koki Ogawa will shoulder more of the goalscoring burden.
Brayann Pereira is still a doubt for Sunday hosts, with the 20-year-old Frenchman having not featured in the league since the 4-0 loss at PSV back on September 16.
Volendam are expected to be without the services of right-back Brian Plat this weekend after the 23-year-old missed the majority of his side’s October fixtures due to a knock.
NEC possible starting lineup:Roefs; Van Rooij, Ross, Nuytinck, Verdonk; Proper, Schone, Gonzalez, Mattson, Hansen; Ogawa
FC Volendam possible starting lineup:Backhaus; Payne, Benamar, Flint, Cox; Mirani, Twigt; Ould-Chikh, De Haan, Johnson; Muhren
We say: NEC 1-0 FC Volendam
NEC will miss the presence of marksman Dost in the coming months, however the hosts will be determined to put on a good show with the 34-year-old watching on TV.
Volendam have been poor on the road so far this season, and we cannot envisage this changing at Goffertstadion on Sunday afternoon in the Eredivisie.For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals 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.Over 2.5:data
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Friday’s Transfer Talk Update: Joel Matip, Maxence Lacroix, Douglas Luiz
Sports Mole rounds up the latest confirmed transfer news and speculation from across the footballing world.
The January transfer window is almost here and clubs around the UK and Europe are lining up moves as they look to take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen.
Friday morning’s headlines:...Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Juventus are reportedly unwilling to pay the majority of Kalvin Phillips’s wages during a proposed loan switch, placing the deal with Manchester City in jeopardy. Read more.
Liverpool are reportedly eyeing up a move for Wolfsburg centre-back Maxence Lacroix, after defender Joel Matip suffering a potentially season-ending injury last week. Read more.
Chelsea are reportedly set to turn down any offers for Armando Broja during the January transfer window, despite apparent interest from local rivals Fulham. Read more.
Manchester United are reportedly willing to listen to offers for Casemiro, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane ahead of the upcoming January transfer window. Read more.
Manchester United are reportedly making a serious move for Lille defender Leny Yoro, but they may have to battle Manchester City to secure the teenager’s signature. Read more.
AC Milan are reportedly set to step up their efforts to sign Arsenal’s Jakub Kiwior and are ready to open discussions over a possible move for the player in January. Read more.
Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester United remain interested in Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, according to a report. Read more.
Manchester United are willing to listen to January offers for Raphael Varane and Casemiro, according to a report. Read more.
Arsenal reportedly learn the asking price of Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz, who is believed to be the Gunners’ primary midfield target for 2024. Read more.
Liverpool could be forced into signing a defender in the January transfer window following the ACL injury sustained by Joel Matip, according to a report. Read more.
Ferran Torres is reportedly prepared to consider his future at Barcelona given his lack of regular starts under Xavi. Read more.
Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag explains Scott McTominay’s importance to the team this season after a summer of exit speculation. Read more.
Tottenham Hotspur may reportedly be prepared to consider any lucrative offers for Richarlison during the January transfer window. Read more.
Winger Noni Madueke is reportedly ready to push for a January exit away from Chelsea due to his lack of game time. Read more.
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Aaron Ramsdale has been training well, Arsenal will only allow permanent transfer
Arsenal will only consider a permanent transfer for goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale amid speculation that he would be interested in joining Newcastle United in January, David Ornstein claims.
The England international has fallen down the pecking order under manager Mikel Arteta this term and he has been the second-choice behind David Raya since September.
Raya has been guilty of some high-profile mistakes including a couple at Luton Town in midweek, but manager Mikel Arteta is likely to continue to back his summer signing.
It was recently reported that Ramsdale would be open to joining Eddie Howe’s side next month with Nick Pope sidelined for months with a shoulder injury but a move seems unlikely.
In an Q&A session on The Athletic, Ornstein said that the Gunners would only allow a permanent transfer and that would also need to be at a level that provides them with proper finances to play with.
He added that Ramsdale has been training well despite the lack of playing time and the north London giants would ideally want to address his situation at the end of the season.
He said: “I don’t think Arsenal would allow a loan only a permanent transfer, and that would need to be at a level of fee that gives the proper finances to play with, and I’m not aware of any movement on that front yet.”
“Of course, Ramsdale wants and needs to be playing but I hear, unsurprisingly, that he has been training well and being a model pro. Ideally for Arsenal, this would be addressed next summer.”
Ramsdale likely to stay at Arsenal until next summer
The Gunners currently value their shot-stopper at £50 million and it is unlikely that any European club will make such a huge outlay on a goalkeeper midway through the campaign.
The Magpies need to find quality cover for Pope to keep their top-four hopes alive, but they also have Financial Fair Play concerns to deal with and may not meet the demands.
A loan deal is an option at their disposal but the Gunners are unlikely to accept, considering the Magpies are now direct rivals to them for one of the Champions League positions.
Hence, a decision over Ramsdale’s future could be delayed until the summer. The Englishman could yet have the opportunity to displace Raya between the sticks at the club.
Raya needs to redeem himself over the coming games. If the Spaniard continues to stay error-prone, Arteta may have to contemplate replacing him with Ramsdale in goal.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
Preview: Clermont vs. Lille – prediction, team news, lineups
Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash between Clermont and Lille, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Lille can stretch their unbeaten run to 13 matches in all competitions when they travel to Stade Gabriel Montpied on Sunday for a date with Clermont.
CF63 began this month with a 3-0 defeat at Brest and are currently three points below the relegation line, while Les Dogues are fourth in the Ligue 1 table, following a 2-0 triumph over Metz....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
The positive results have been few and far between for Clermont, who followed up a 1-0 victory versus Lorient with a pair of 3-0 defeats against Lens and Brest while playing to a 1-1 draw with Montpellier in the middle of all that.
Pascal Gastien got them into the top-flight during the 2020-21 Ligue 2 season, but the 60-year-old is having difficulty keeping them afloat.
A late surge down the stretch of the 2022-23 season kept them in the top flight as they won eight of their final 10 league fixtures, but after 14 matchdays in this campaign, Les Lanciers have only claimed three points on two occasions.
It would be an understatement to say that this side have been poor in the attacking third throughout this competition, netting a mere nine times thus far, fewer than every team in the top five European leagues.
They have scored just a single goal in four all-time meetings with Lille in this competition, though that one strike was enough to earn them a 1-0 triumph at home during the 2021-22 campaign.
Only four of their 10 points this season have come at home, though this team have been much more compact on the back end at Stade Gabriel Montpied, conceding a goal or fewer in five of seven encounters.
Heroic goalkeeping and clinical finishing powered Lille to another domestic triumph last Sunday, their third successive victory by a 2-0 score in all competitions.
With 26 points in league play this season, Les Nordistes have equalled their second-highest total after 14 matches in this competition, earning just three fewer points than they had at this same stage of their title-winning campaign in 2020-21.
Although Paulo Fonseca’s men won their previous away fixture in Ligue 1 against Lyon (1-0), Les Dogues have not recorded consecutive league triumphs as the visitors since August-September 2022 (two).
Their impressive unbeaten run has earned them a place in the knockout stage of the Europa League and put them within striking distance of a Champions League berth next season, a point behind Monaco for third place in Ligue 1 and just two back of Nice, who are second.
From the beginning of the new campaign until now, Lille have never lost a competitive match when netting multiple times, dropping points in only one of those contests (2-2 away at Rennes in Ligue 1).
Lille have only suffered one defeat versus Clermont in all of their top-flight fixtures, outscoring them 6-1 in four encounters.
Clermont Ligue 1 form:
Lille Ligue 1 form:
Lille form (all competitions):
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Clermont will be without three players this weekend because of suspensions, including Cheick Oumar Konate, Maxime Gonalons and Maximiliano Caufriez.
Johan Gastien is likely a few weeks away from recovering after previously sustaining a muscle sprain, while Florent Ogier is out until late December with a knee injury.
After collecting a clean sheet in a November victory over Lorient, goalkeeper Mory Diaw has conceded seven goals in his last three domestic affairs.
Les Dogues will be without Tiago Djalo for at least another week due to an ACL sprain, while Ivan Cavaleiro should be back by late December following his thigh injury.
Last Sunday, Lucas Chevalier became the second goalkeeper in Ligue 1 this season to stop two penalty kicks, saving Simon Elisor in the opening half and doing the same to Lamine Camara in half number two.
Yusuf Yazici and Jonathan David each found the back of the net in stoppage time of the opening half against Metz to propel them to victory.Clermont possible starting lineup:Diaw; Pelmard, Caufriez, Borges; Cham, Magnin, Keita, Allevinah; Boutobba, Nicholson, Kyei
Lille possible starting lineup:Chevalier; Santos, Yoro, Alexsandro, Gudmundsson; Andre, Gomes; Haraldsson, Yazici, Cabella; David
We say: Clermont 0-3 Lille
Given the contrasting forms of each side, not to mention the significantly superior quality of the visitors we project, Clermont will suffer another blow that will take them further into the relegation zone.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals 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.Under 2.5:data
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