Sunday, June 16, 2024

Prediction: NAC Breda vs SBV Excelsior

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 27 May 2024

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Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 8/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

NAC Breda and SBV Excelsior are set to battle fiercely for the final spot in next season’s top flight as they clash in the first leg of the Eredivisie Promotion Play-off final at Rat Verlegh Stadion on Tuesday night.

The Pearl of the South displayed remarkable resilience and skill in their semi-final second leg to secure their place in this decisive round. Meanwhile, the Kralingers shattered several records during their dramatic encounter with ADO Den Haag, demonstrating their formidable form heading into the final.

NAC Breda

NAC Breda’s journey to the final stage of the Eredivisie Promotion Play-offs is nothing short of remarkable, especially considering their eighth-place finish in the Eerste Divisie with 56 points from 38 matches. This unexpected rise through the play-offs showcases their resilience and determination to play at a higher level.

The Pearl of the South put on a dazzling performance at De Oude Meerdijk in the second leg of their semi-final against Emmen. Goals from Sigurd Haugen, Jan van den Bergh, and Roy Kuijpers secured a 3-0 victory on the day and a comprehensive 4-1 aggregate win, propelling them into the final.

Despite being the lowest-ranked team entering the playoffs, Breda’s current form is quite formidable. They are unbeaten in their last eight matches, with their last defeat coming at home against Dordrecht on April 12th.

Their offensive prowess has been particularly noteworthy. Outscored by 13th-placed Cambuur during the regular season, NAC Breda have turned their attacking fortunes around since it ended, scoring 12 goals in just four play-off matches. This newfound scoring ability will be crucial as they aim for promotion.

Jean-Paul van Gastel, returning to Dutch football after an 18-month stint in China with Guangzhou City, stands on the brink of a significant achievement. Leading NAC Breda to the Eredivisie would mark a triumphant return for the club, which has been absent from the top flight since the 2018/19 season.

Team News

After netting his fourth goal of the season and playing a pivotal role in NAC Breda’s clean sheet against Emmen, Belgian defender Jan van den Bergh is expected to maintain his position at centre-back alongside Cuco Martina for Tuesday’s crucial first leg against Excelsior.

However, there are still uncertainties regarding the configuration of NAC Breda’s backline. Boy Kemper was forced to leave the pitch at half-time during Saturday’s match, casting doubt on his availability. If Kemper is unable to recover in time, Patrick Brouwer may step in at left-back, despite having spent the majority of the season playing on the opposite flank.

SBV Excelsior

With their Eredivisie status at risk following a 16th-place finish, Excelsior showcased their top-tier capabilities against ADO Den Haag, achieving a remarkable 9-2 aggregate win over two legs and earning a spot in the final showdown with an in-form NAC Breda.

Excelsior’s journey to this final began with a hard-fought 2-1 victory in the first leg at Bingoal Stadion. Despite this narrow lead, Marinus Dijkhuizen’s side still faced a challenging second leg on Saturday to keep their survival hopes alive. However, they delivered a record-breaking performance, overwhelming their opponents and scoring seven goals for the first time since April 2014 and the first time at home since 2004. Contributions came from Couhaib Driouech, Julian Baas, Kenzo Goudmijn, and Lazaros Lamprou.

Among the standout performers was Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott, who netted a 31-minute hat-trick, becoming the first Excelsior player since Thijs Dallinga in November 2021 to achieve such a feat. Parrott’s exceptional display, along with a solid team performance, helped Excelsior secure their place in the final of the Promotion Play-offs.

As they prepare to face NAC Breda, Excelsior will aim to avoid a repeat of their last visit to this opponent’s ground during an Eerste Divisie clash in October 2021, where they suffered a 4-1 defeat. With momentum on their side, Dijkhuizen’s men will be determined to leverage their recent form to secure their spot in the Eredivisie for next season.

Team News

Dijkhuizen will likely aim to maintain consistency by fielding a similar starting XI to the one that triumphed 7-1 in the semi-final’s second leg. Consequently, Kenzo Goudmijn and Julian Baas are expected to continue their partnership in the midfield engine room.

However, Excelsior are still without several key first-team players for Tuesday’s clash. Serano Seymor remains sidelined with a foot injury, Lennard Hartjes is out with a knee issue, and Kik Pierie is also unavailable due to a foot problem.

Conclusion

Given the recent goal-scoring exploits of both teams, an exciting encounter is expected at Rat Verlegh Stadion on Tuesday night.

NAC Breda have been in remarkable form lately, showcasing their offensive prowess. However, the Eredivisie experience and quality of Excelsior will present a significant challenge for the hosts. Despite Breda’s impressive performances, the visitors’ higher-tier experience might give them a slight edge.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 8/5

Bookmaker: 888sport

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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