Eredivisie Preview: Bottom four meet, Ajax host Cambuur
By Football News
All eyes turn to the foot of the Eredivisie this weekend as the division's bottom four sides meet in two crucial relegation clashes.
Talk leading up to the last round of top-flight fixtures in the Netherlands was dominated by the 176th edition of 'Der Klassieker' between two of the country's footballing giants - table-toppers Ajax and fourth-placed Feyenoord.
However, attention switches to the wrong end of the table this week, as basement club Roda entertain second-bottom NEC on Saturday before the teams immediately above them - RKC Waalwijk and ADO Den Haag - meet 24 hours later.
Roda, who only avoided the drop to the second tier last year by virtue of a play-off victory over De Graafschap, once again find themselves deep in the relegation mire following a run of just one win in their last 15 Eredivisie games.
Jon Dahl Tomasson's side were beaten 3-0 at title-chasing Vitesse last Saturday, with defender Roly Bonevacia set to miss the NEC game after being sent off at the GelreDome.
NEC sit 17th, three points clear of Roda, and will be buoyed by the fact they came from 2-0 down to record a thrilling 4-3 victory in the reverse fixture between the sides back in December.
Waalwijk and Den Haag, meanwhile, are just a point above NEC in 16th and 15th places respectively, and the latter head into their match at the Mandemakers Stadion in good form, having not lost in four Eredivisie outings.
Elsewhere, Ajax - fresh from their 2-1 'Klassieker' win - will look to continue their march to a fourth straight title at home to Cambuur.
The champions' victory in Rotterdam moved them eight points clear at the top with just eight games remaining and, having won 11 of their 13 league games at the Amsterdam Arena this term, they will be confident of at least maintaining that lead on Sunday.
Hoping for an unlikely Ajax implosion are Twente and Vitesse, who sit joint second and face trips to Go Ahead Eagles and NAC Breda this weekend.
Feyenoord will hope to bounce back from their 'Klassieker' defeat with a win at ninth-placed Groningen, although they will have to do without top scorer Graziano Pelle.
The club announced on Monday that the Italian has been stripped of the captaincy and will not be considered for selection in their next two fixtures due to recent on-pitch indiscipline.
In-form PSV go in search of a sixth straight league victory when they entertain Utrecht, while sixth-placed Heerenveen will once again look to Alfred Finnbogason - who has scored 22 goals in 23 top-flight appearances this season - for inspiration against PEC Zwolle.
Meanwhile, seventh-placed AZ welcome mid-table Heracles to the AFAS Stadion on Saturday.