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Eredivisie | Gameweek 28
Apr 3, 2024 at 5.45pm UK
Polman Stadion

5 - 0

De Keersmaecker (19'), Hornkamp (38' pen., 40' pen.), Sankoh (90', 90+4')
De Keersmaecker (15'), Hoogma (34')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Belic (45')

Preview: Heracles vs. AZ Alkmaar - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Heracles vs. AZ Alkmaar - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Eredivisie clash between Heracles and AZ Alkmaar, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

AZ Alkmaar make the trip to Heracles on Wednesday evening looking for the win that will strengthen their hold of fourth place in the Eredivisie standings.

In sharp contrast, the home side are searching for the victory that would go some way to ensuring that they avoid relegation to the second tier.

Match preview

While AZ have failed to challenge the likes of PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord this campaign, there is now far more optimism at the club than there was earlier in the season.

For the first time since October, AZ have put together a sustained unbeaten run, recording five wins and two draws from their most recent seven fixtures in the Dutch top flight.

Most notably, 10 goals have been scored in the last three matches with clean sheets being recorded in triumphs over Excelsior, FC Volendam and Vitesse respectively.

The level of opposition should be noted - each of the aforementioned teams sit in the bottom three - yet it has enabled Maarten Martens to boost his chances of remaining at the helm in the long term.

Although the gap to third place remains at four points, maintaining the eight-point advantage over Ajax in fifth is just as important, and victory here would ease the pressure ahead of the weekend game with PSV Eindhoven.

Meanwhile, Heracles head into this contest on the back of collecting just one win from their last six outings, yet more context is required regarding their efforts.

Their solitary success during that period came against seventh-placed Go Ahead Eagles, while they only went down 1-0 away at FC Twente at the weekend.

Nevertheless, sitting just four points above the relegation zone, Erwin van de Looi knows that his side must maintain their recent level to avoid an immediate return to the Eerste Divisie.

In their favour is a strong home record, collecting seven points from their last three fixtures to be played at Erve Asito, but AZ have not lost in five games on their travels.

Heracles Eredivisie form:

AZ Alkmaar Eredivisie form:

Team News

Despite the narrow defeat to Twente, Van de Looi is unlikely to overly tinker with his Heracles XI for this contest.

However, there are plenty of alternatives at his disposal, with Mario Engels the most obvious option for a recall in the final third.

Either Marko Vejinovic and Thomas Bruns may return in central midfield, but none of the five-strong injury list are expected to return.

One change may be made to the AZ starting lineup with Myron van Brederode coming into the team to replace Ruben van Bommel.

Bruno Martins Indi and Mayckel Lahdo are the only two players currently sidelined for the visitors.

Heracles possible starting lineup:
Brouwer; Bakboord, Leerdam, Hoogma, Oppegard; Keersmaecker, Hrustic; Limbombe, Engels, Roosken; Hornkamp

AZ Alkmaar possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Sugawara, Goes, Bazoer, Wolfe; Belic, Clasie; Mijnans, De Wit, Van Brederode; Pavlidis

We say: Heracles 1-2 AZ Alkmaar

Despite their poor run of form, Heracles have been showing the credentials to get something out of this contest. Nevertheless, AZ are also playing with the belief to edge a tight contest, and we expect that to materialise here.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Premier League Table
1PSV EindhovenPSV30263195177881
3FC Twente30186656302660
4AZ AlkmaarAZ30167759352455
7FC UtrechtUtrecht3012994341245
8Go Ahead Eagles30119104439542
9Sparta RotterdamSparta30117124543240
11Fortuna SittardSittard3098133452-1835
12Almere CityAlmere City30712113048-1833
13PEC Zwolle3088144058-1832
15SBV ExcelsiorExcelsior30510154464-2025
16RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk3066182950-2124
17FC VolendamVolendam3047193074-4419
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