Preview: RKC Waalwijk vs. FC Volendam

Preview: RKC Waalwijk vs. FC Volendam

RKC Waalwijk will be aiming to avoid three-straight defeats when they welcome relegation-threatened FC Volendam to Mandemakers Stadion on Friday night in the Eredivisie.

Waalwijk are on the hunt for their highest finish since the 2011-12 campaign in the top flight, while Volendam are trying to secure consecutive seasons at this level.

RKC Waalwijk’s season is in danger of fizzling out after a run of three league defeats in the last four – the most recent of those being a 3-0 loss at AZ Alkmaar in their final match of April.

Sven Mijnans, Mayckel Lahdo and Myron van Brederode bagged the goals for AZ as Joseph Oosting’s side succumbed to a team chasing down a Champions League place for next season.

RKC’s longer-term form is not too attractive also, with the team having lost five of their last seven matches since the beginning of March – the club’s top-half finish in the Eredivisie is under question.

Currently sitting ninth in the league standings, the seven-point gap to seventh-placed FC Utrecht appears unmountable considering Waalwijk’s recent results, but a first top-nine finish for the club since 2012 is still a possibility.

Veteran Michiel Kramer is having a standout season for RKC as they look to achieve their best standing in over a decade, with the 34-year-old netting 12 goals in 23 Eredivisie appearances – a tally he has only bested during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns.

After a 14-year absence, Volendam have returned to the top table of Dutch football with the sole mission of ensuring they are not sentenced to an immediate return to the Eerste Divisie.

Although the job is far from done, Volendam have given themselves a very realistic chance of reaching their goals in the final four matches of the term, especially after maximum points last time out.

Centre-back Damon Mirani bagged his second and third Eredivisie goals of the season to guide Het Nieuwe Oranje to a much-needed victory over bottom side Cambuur in front of their home faithful at Kras Stadion.

Wim Jonk had never experienced managing a senior outfit before taking charge at Volendam in 2019, but the 56-year-old has done a remarkable job in turning a club marooned in the Eerste Divisie to one which is competing at the highest level of Dutch football.

Volendam have relied significantly on their home form this season, with only eight of their 30 league points coming away from Kras Stadion – only two sides in the division have collected fewer points on their travels.

Sitting 14th in the league table and two points away from 16th-placed SBV Excelsior – Volendam’s opponents on the final day – Jonk will realise there is still plenty to do to ensure they remain in the Eredivisie for next season.

RKC Waalwijk Eredivisie form:

FC Volendam Eredivisie form:

We say: RKC Waalwijk 1-0 FC Volendam
Waalwijk have struggled over the past two months, but they now face a Volendam side who have only mustered up a single victory in 15 away matches so far this season.

Volendam are a couple more results away from retaining their Eredivisie status for next term, but we do not see them taking a further step towards safety at Mandemakers Stadion on Friday night.

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