Seeking to break their concerning streak without a win, RKC Waalwijk, who are struggling to avoid relegation, will face NEC at Mandemakers Stadion on Friday night in an important Eredivisie match.
RKC suffered a big loss to FC Twente, a top-three contender, in their last game, while NEC moved to the next round of the KNVB Beker by defeating ADO Den Haag.
Last weekend, RKC Waalwijk’s streak without a win in the Eredivisie stretched to eight games, which is very worrying. They visited De Grolsch Veste to play against Twente and left with a significant defeat, marking their 13th loss of the 2023-24 season in the top division.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored first for the home team in the opening half, and RKC’s situation didn’t get better after halftime. Goals from Myron Boadu and Younes Taha meant the visitors couldn’t earn any points.
After finishing in the top half last season, Waalwijk is now fighting to stay up under Henk Fraser’s management. Currently 16th in the Eredivisie standings, they’ve gathered just 15 points from 20 games, four points behind Heracles in 15th.
RKC’s performance at the Mandemakers Stadion has been disappointing, with only two wins in 10 home league games. Their last win there was on October 21 against FC Volendam.
So far, Waalwijk has had seven different players score in the Eredivisie, with 35-year-old Michiel Kramer leading with six goals in 19 games. Only he, Yassin Oukili, and Filip Stevanovic have scored more than once for RKC this season.
NEC Nijmegen extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games across the Eredivisie and cup competitions on Tuesday night by beating ADO Den Haag in the KNVB Beker quarter-finals. This puts them two games away from winning a major trophy.
However, their focus now shifts back to the league, where they beat newcomers Heracles last weekend. Goals from Tjaronn Chery and a double from Koki Ogawa secured a three-goal victory at Goffertstadion.
Having lost only one of their last 13 Eredivisie games since early October, Rogier Meijer’s team is seventh in the standings, six points behind fourth-placed AZ Alkmaar and 14 points clear of relegation.
Despite losing top scorer Magnus Mattsson to Copenhagen, NEC has maintained its form into February. They signed several players during the winter window, including Sylla Sow and Yvandro Borges Sanches from Go Ahead Eagles and Borussia Monchengladbach, respectively.
RKC Waalwijk Eredivisie form: L D L L D L
NEC Eredivisie form: W W D W D W
NEC form (all competitions): D W W D W W
RKC Waalwijk might change their lineup from their last game, with Denilho Cleonise and Reuven Niemeijer possibly sitting out.
Ilias Takidine could start Friday’s game due to his impressive performance last weekend, joining Mats Seuntjens in the attack.
For NEC, January signee Sow might start, replacing Sontje Hansen. Ogawa will lead the attack, with Kodai Sano supporting from the sides.
After keeping a clean sheet in the KNVB Beker, Philippe Sandler and Bram Nuytinck are likely to continue as the center-back duo for Meijer’s team.
RKC Waalwijk possible starting lineup:
Lelieveld, Adewoye, Van den Buijs, Lotonda;
Felida, Oukili, Takidine, Min, Lokesa;
NEC possible starting lineup:
Van Rooij, Sandler, Nuytinck, Verdonk;
Proper, Hoedemakers, Sow, Chery, Sano;
Prediction: RKC Waalwijk 1-2 NEC
We predict RKC Waalwijk will face another defeat, losing 1-2 to NEC. Given RKC’s current poor form and NEC’s confidence from their recent KNVB Beker success, we expect the visitors to take all three points at the Mandemakers Stadion.