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Eredivisie | Gameweek 32
May 3, 2024 at 7pm UK
Yanmar Stadion

Almere City
1 - 1

Hansen (47')
Resink (77'), Cathline (87')
Koopmeiners (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Sahraoui (80')

Preview: Almere City vs. Heerenveen - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Eredivisie clash between Almere City and Heerenveen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With the chance to guarantee their Eredivisie safety, Almere City will welcome Heerenveen to the Yanmar Stadion on Friday.

With three games remaining, the hosts sit eight points clear of the bottom three in the Dutch top flight, while their visitors are just three points better off in 10th place.

Match preview

Almere City return to action on Friday aiming to bounce back to winning ways in the Eredivisie and move out of reach of the relegation zone, having slipped into the bottom six as a result of a tough run in recent weeks.

In their fight for a top-half finish in their first-ever Eredivisie campaign, De Zwarte Schapen sat in a strong position in mid-February, as a victory over PEC Zwolle left them on an impressive tally of 27 points from 22 outings in the Dutch top flight, but they have since failed to add an eighth notch to their wins column in the last nine attempts.

Admittedly, only three of those games have ended in defeat for Alex Pastoor's side, who initially fell short at home to high-flying Feyenoord before maintaining a lower mid-table standing with six straight draws between early March and early April, sharing points with Heracles, Utrecht, Vitesse, Volendam, RKC Waalwijk and Go Ahead Eagles along the way.

Having aimed to extend an unbeaten streak and end the season on a high while searching for a return to winning ways, De Zwarte Schapen now head into Friday's contest on the back of consecutive losses, with the run of draws firstly ended by a 3-2 home defeat at home to Sparta Rotterdam, before they most recently visited Twente last Wednesday and left empty-handed with Kornelius Hansen having pulled the scores back to 2-1 in the second half before the hosts made it 3-1 through Daan Rots.

Still with positives to take from an impressive first season in the top flight, having built an eight-point lead over the bottom three while only trailing their 10th-placed visitors by three points with three games remaining, Almere City will bid to bounce back at the Yanmar Stadion and confirm their survival while also climbing through the mid-table pack in the final weeks of the term.

Their opponents, meanwhile, will also go in search of a return to winning ways on Friday in a bid to extend the gap between the two sides in the middle of the division in the final weeks of the Eredivisie campaign, after suffering a historic defeat last time out.

Following last season's eighth-placed finish, Heerenveen look confined to the bottom half of the Dutch top flight this time around, albeit without any threat of a fight for survival having amassed 36 points from their 31 games thus far to sit 10th.

Of the Superfriezen's 10 league wins this campaign, only one has come in their last seven attempts, as they saw off Heracles away from home in mid-April, thanks to goals from Che Nunnely and Pelle van Amersfoort, before most recently hosting runaway leaders PSV Eindhoven on Thursday.

Such a tough test would produce a miserable day for Heerenveen, who went on to suffer their heaviest ever defeat in a competitive game, falling to an 8-0 thrashing at the Abe Lenstra Stadion as Guus Til and Malik Tillman netted first-half braces alongside a Joey Veerman goal, before Johan Bakayoko, Luuk de Jong and Patrick van Aanholt added their names to the scoresheet after the interval.

With spirits in the camp bound to have taken a hit following that home beating, Kees van Wonderen's side will be keen to bounce back on Friday and avoid slipping any further down the Eredivisie table with an improved run in their final three outings.

Almere City Eredivisie form:

Heerenveen Eredivisie form:

Team News

Almere City continue to deal with several injury issues heading into the weekend, as midfielders Adi Nalic and Danny Post are set to remain confined to the treatment room alongside striker Yann Kitala.

Thomas Robinet is bound to again lead the line in their 3-5-2 shape, having hit a team-high tally of 12 goals this season including 11 in the Eredivisie, while Kornelius Hansen will hope to return from the outset and join him up top having netted eight of his own so far this term.

Stije Resink and Peer Koopmeiners are mainstays in midfield, while Alvaro Pena will also bid to come back in from the start to rejoin them, after settling for a substitute appearance last time out with Jochem Ritmeester van de Kamp preferred.

Kees van Wonderen may opt to make several changes to his Heerenveen side after their 8-0 thrashing at the hands of PSV Eindhoven last time out, with Pawel Bochniewicz and Simon Olsson likely to drop to the bench having been withdrawn at half time in that game.

Pelle van Amersfoort should again lead their line, having netted a team-high tally of 13 goals this season, including 10 in the Eredivisie, while Osame Sahraoui will likely come into a supporting trio from the outset alongside Luuk Brouwers and either Patrik Walemark or Che Nunnely.

Elsewhere, Espen van Ee may join Thom Haye in the engine room, while Syb van Ottele may earn a start in the middle of the defence after replacing Bochniewicz on Thursday.

Almere City possible starting lineup:
Bakker; Jacobs, Barbet, Van Bruggen; Akujobi, Koopmeiners, Pena, Resink, Floranus; Robinet, Hansen

Heerenveen possible starting lineup:
Van Der Hart; Johansen Braude, Van Beek, Van Ottele, Kohlert; Van Ee, Haye; Nunnely, Brouwers, Sahraoui; Van Amersfoort

SM words green background

We say: Almere City 2-1 Heerenveen

Both teams are fighting to return to winning ways on Friday, but the visitors should be particularly wounded from last week's beating, and we envisage them falling short in a result which would see the two sides move level on points with two games left to play.

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

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