NEC vs Heerenveen by Meese
Another low score from NEC last week (0:0 against Roda). The game was a derby one and the interesting fact is that NEC stayed unbeaten for the second consecutive away game, something that was difficult to achieve to the past seasons they played away from home. NEC had some chances to score, especially to the first minutes of the match where Navarone Foor had a shot to the post, but generally NEC put more emphasis on maintaining the zero in defence, something they already did from the start of the new season. Against Roda they just had a slight superiority and a small number of final efforts, but to second half both teams seemed to be OK with the draw.
After the summer coaching change NEC has nothing to remember from last season in second division. Of course now there are no weak teams, higher competition, and they need to play more defensive oriented if they are about to achieve something this season. They already collected seven points with defensive tactics, but the only two goals they managed to score so far, surely leaves me with question marks. Main right back Marcel Appiah did not overcame his injury problem in the ankle and will miss another game, while Joshua Smits is expected to return after the winter break.
Heerenveen had three consecutive draws with the same score (1:1), but met their first defeat this season in the local derby away to Groningen (3:1). There was not a good performance from Heerenveen and the final result flatters them as the hosts missed several chances to achieve more goals. Their fans, coach, etc are surely troubled by the image of their team so far. They have not played well in any of their last three games and it is interesting the way they will react tonight. The problems for Heerenveen tonight have to do with their attacking line. Main striker Mitchell te Vrede will be missed for second straight game, while another striker, Luka Zahovic will miss the game due to injury too. Young sub striker Pascal Huser is injured, so the only available striker is Henk Veerman.
Heerenveen after losing the derby against Groningen has to find some reaction, but they are missing options in attack tonight, while NEC already proved that they will be a clearly defensive side this season. I do not think that we will watch plenty of goals to this game. It will not be easy, but surely the odds are worth giving it a good try. Good luck to all!