Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Prediction: ADO Den Haag vs Excelsior

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 9/5

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

At the Bingoal Stadium on Wednesday, ADO Den Haag will play host to Excelsior in the first leg of their encounter in the second round of the Dutch play-offs as both sides aim to play in the Eredivisie next season.

Den Haag have already gone past the first hurdle on their journey for promotion, narrowly overcoming De Graafschap, while Excelsior fight to keep their status as they finished 16th in the top flight.

ADO Den Haag

Despite getting through their first challenge, the home side won’t be feeling too confident going into this clash. They did finish fifth in the Eerste Divisie, but they won only twice in their last 10 matches of the regular campaign, and those victories came against Cambuur and Jong FC Utrecht, teams who finished in 13th and 20th place, respectively.

In the first leg of the first play-off round, Darije Kalezic’s side beat De Graafschap away by 3-2 and took a 2-0 lead at home in the first half of the second leg, but then they allowed unnecessary drama to unfold as they conceded twice in the second half and saw wing-back Amir Absalem sent off for a second yellow card. It was a narrow squeak in the end, and it remains to be seen how such a development will impact their mental strength ahead of Excelsior’s visit on Wednesday.

Team News

Kalezic will obviously be forced to make at least one change to his lineup from the previous game, with Absalem suspended. Henri Koudossou is the likeliest candidate to cover the left flank, even though he prefers playing on the right.

The rest of the lineup should, however, remain unchanged, given that De Graafschap’s eventually unsuccessful comeback started after Kalezic made his substitutions in that match.

Excelsior

Excelsior have, on the other hand, been on great form lately, the likes of which had not been seen since October last year. They achieved a pair of four-goal victories in their last five games, as well as earning a respectable 2-2 draw against Ajax.

However, the table rankings going into the final round of the regular season meant they still needed to get something away to second-place Feyenoord, whose desire to see off Liverpool-bound Arne Slot proved very strong. Excelsior were beaten 4-0 at the De Kuip, failing to avoid the relegation play-offs in the end.

But playing against Den Haag is obviously a different proposition, and unlike the home side, Marinus Dijkhuizen’s team should be making this trip in relative confidence, though still aware that they’ll need to put in a good performance to earn a good result.

Team News

Winger Derensili Sanches Fernandes was withdrawn early in the Feyenoord game and remains a doubt for Wednesday. In case he doesn’t make the team, his place should be taken by either Noah Naujoks or Couhaib Driouech.

Much like Kalezic for Den Haag, Dijkhuizen isn’t expected to make further changes to his team, aware of the importance of continuity ahead of a match of such importance as this one.

Conclusion

Nothing is certain in this game, of course, but Excelsior should be able to take a positive result back home for the second leg.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 9/5

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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