Dutch Eredivisie: Tight at the top as second play third
Dutch Eredivisie: Tight at the top as second play third


Friday: Vitesse Arnhem - ADO Den Haag

Saturday: Heracles Almelo - NAC Breda; Cambuur Leeuwarden - FC Dordrecht; Willem II - Heerenveen; FC Utrecht - Go Ahead Eagles

Sunday: PSV Eindhoven - Excelsior; AZ Alkmaar - FC Twente; Feyenoord - Groningen; Ajax - PEC Zwolle

Matchday eight in the Dutch Eredivisie and already the battle towards the top of the table is in full flow. Just a point separates the top four sides, and there's just three bridging the gap between ninth and first. PSV Eindhoven still sit at the summit as they prepare to host Excelsior, but only on goal difference as Ajax, PEC Zwolle and Heerenveen breathe down their necks.

At the other end of the table Hercules Almelo will be looking for their first points of the season when they host NAC Breda. Go Ahead Eagles and FC Dordrecht will be looking to escape the relegation zone against FC Utrecht and Cambur Leeuwarden respectively.

All to play for then, and this weekend promises some tasty fixtures for your eyes to feast upon.

Vitesse Arnhem vs ADO Den Haag

After going 13 games without a win, Vitesse have won two of their last three fixtures, which bodes well coming into this home tie against ADO Den Haag. Their opposition have managed just one victory this season and are struggling down in fifteenth. The head-to-head records don't do ADO Den Haag any favours - Vitesse are unbeaten in the last five home games between these two - but injury concerns might give the away side some hope. Vitesse are still without captain Guram Kashia, whereas Zakaria Labyad and Davy Pröpper will also miss the game through injury.

Prediction: Vitesse 2-1 ADO Den Haag

Heracles Almelo vs NAC Breda

Even the most optimistic of Heracles fans will struggle to see them getting anything from this game after an abysmal start to the 2013/14 campaign. They have lost all seven of their opening fixtures, shipping almost three goals per game, and scoring just six in total. Their opponents NAC Breda, however, are not in great form themselves, having losing five of their last six games on their travels. They have, however, managed to record two victories this season, and should have no trouble against Heracles on Saturday.

Prediction: Heracles Almelo 1-3 NAC Breda

Cambuur Leeuwarden - FC Dordrecht

Matchday eight sees the battle between two teams that have returned to the Eredivisie in the last 18 months. Last season, Cambuur were a revelation, and they have continued this campaign where they left off. Cambuur have made a solid start with three wins and three draws already, losing just one game - to league leaders PSV. Their opponents are not doing as well and sit second bottom after failing to win in their last 6 Eredivisie games. All signs point to a home win.

Prediction: Cambuur Leeuwarden 2-1 FC Dordrecht

Willem II - Heerenveen

Willem II host Heerenveen on Saturday, with the away side looking to keep in touch with the teams jostling for position near the top of the table. Heereveen are unbeaten in their last six Eredivisie games, and sit in fourth place, just a point off the summit due to their victory over PSV last time out. This game promises goals, as Willem II, who have settled back into Eredivisie life well, have seen over 2.5 goals in each of their last 9 games against Heerenveen in all competitions.

Prediction: Willem II 1-2 Heerenveen

FC Utrecht - Go Ahead Eagles

Things don't look too good for Go Ahead Eagles fans coming into this game. Utrecht have managed victories in five of their last six home games, whereas Go Ahead Eagles have struggled on their travels, failing to win in 12 of their last 13 away games. Both teams are looking to bounce back from defeats last week, but Utrecht will fancy their chances against a Go Ahead Eagles outfit that haven't managed a win since late August. The visitors have a tough job on their hands.

Prediction: FC Utrecht 2-1 Go Ahead Eagles

PSV Eindhoven - Excelsior

League leaders PSV will be looking to bounce back after tasting defeat to Heerenveen 1-0 last time out. They still have a slender lead on goal difference at the top of the Eredivisie but as the international break looms they'll be hoping they can keep themselves there. Strong at home - winning 10 of their last 12 games there - they will fancy their chances against a Excelsior side sluggish on their return to the Eredivisie. They have won just one game in their last five and will struggle against the league leaders.

Prediction: PSV Eindhoven 4-0 Excelsior

AZ Alkmaar - FC Twente

This fixture promises to be one of the games of the weekend, as AZ Alkmaar - sat in seventh place - take on fifth-placed FC Twente. Twente are now the only team that remains unbeaten in the Eredivisie after PSV's loss, and have now gone 12 games without tasting defeat. New AZ coach John van den Brom makes his home debut and has said: "I didn't come here to finish sixth, I came here to really achieve something. I urge my players to go and do it." This one promises to be a real battle.

Prediction: AZ Alkmaar 1-1 FC Twente

Feyenoord - Groningen

Both of these two teams will be looking to stop the run of bad results; at home for Feyenoord, and away for Gronigen. Both have lost their last three at home and away respectively and will be looking to get a real grip of their season in this fixture. Groningen just have the edge in this fixture after a decent season so far. They sit eighth just three points off the summit and if they can fix their away form they will be a real threat.

Prediction: Feyenoord 2-2 Groningen

Ajax - PEC Zwolle

Our last Eredivisie fixture of the weekend promises to be the best. Ajax and PEC Zwolle sit second and third respectively, on the same points. The home side will be seeking revenge for their humiliating 5-1 defeat at the hands of PEC in April's KNVB Beker final, after being overwhelming favourites. This top of the table clash could be a real treat, with both teams fiery and up for the battle. Ajax have a phenomenal record in the Eredivisie, undefeated in 27 of their last 29 games, but will be wary of the threat PEC cause.

Prediction: Ajax 2-1 PEC Zwolle