Preview: NEC vs. SBV Excelsior – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Eredivisie clash between NEC and SBV Excelsior, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

NEC and SBV Excelsior will kick off their respective Eredivisie campaigns on Sunday, when they square off in the curtain-raiser at the Gofferstadion.

Both sides successfully avoided relegation from the Dutch top flight last year and will aim to kick off the new campaign in positive fashion.

Match preview

In their second consecutive Eredivisie season, NEC enjoyed a relatively pleasing campaign last time around, eventually finishing on 39 points, one more than in the previous term but one place lower in the division.

That was largely down to their impressive resilience, with no side outside of the top seven having suffered as few of the 11 defeats that they did in their 34 outings, albeit having also recorded the fewest victories out of any side outside the bottom three.

After that season ended in three consecutive defeats and a draw, denying Rogier Meijer‘s side a place in the top half of the Eredivisie, he led them towards a third successive year in the Dutch top flight, and they started their pre-season preparations with a friendly triumph over Altrincham, before beating Al-Taawoun 3-1 at the end of July.

NEC would then play their final friendly at home to Italian outfit Venezia last Friday, and they continued to build confidence with a 3-1 victory, as Sontje Hansen opened the scoring before Magnus Mattsson netted a second-half brace.

Meijer’s side will now aim to follow up their encouraging pre-season with a strong start to the Eredivisie campaign and make a winning start at the Gofferstadion in their bid to again maintain their top-flight status and push towards the top half this time around.

They meet an Excelsior side who will also hope to kick on after securing survival last season, in what was their first term back in the top flight since suffering relegation in 2019.

The Kralingers Roodzwarten eventually finished 15th last year with 32 points, four points and one place above FC Emmen in the relegation playoff spot.

Following that survival, which was confirmed in the penultimate round of games with a 3-0 beating of Fortuna Sittard thanks to goals from Kik Pierie, Couhaib Driouech and Kenzo Goudmijn, Marinus Dijkhuizen‘s side kicked off their preparations for the new campaign with contests against Luzern and NAC Breda, both of which ended in defeat.

Their final pre-season outing then came away at Belgian side Zulte Waregem last Saturday, and Dijkhuizen’s men were able to score a victory as Noah Naujoks hit the only goal of the contest in the dying minutes, and Excelsior will now aim to build on that and start their second straight Eredivisie campaign on a positive note with an opening-day win on their travels.

NEC Eredivisie form:

SBV Excelsior Eredivisie form:

Advert – content below:

Team News

NEC have experienced plenty of change to their squad over the summer, with winger Ibrahima Cissoko having departed for Toulouse in the club’s highest sale in over 10 years, while regular defenders Joris Kramer, Souffian El Karouan and Ivan Marquez have also exited, as has last season’s top scorer Landry Dimata, who netted 10 league goals in his loan spell from Espanyol.

They have taken steps to strengthen the squad, though, with wingers Lars Olden Larsen, Sontje Hansen and Rober Gonalez having arrived alongside forward Koki Ogawa, midfielder Mees Hoedemakers and defenders Mathias Ross, Bram Nuytinck, Youri Baas and Brayann Pereira.

Ross and Nuytinck could line up in a new-look centre-back partnership, while Hansen will hope to start in the attack after his goal in their last friendly, with Ogawa and Pedro Marques likely battling to lead the line in Dimata’s absence.

Excelsior have been able to keep the majority of their key players from last season at the club over the summer, although they do head into the new term without midfielders Kenzo Goudmijn and Peer Koopmeiners and winger Marouan Azarkan, after all three saw loan spells come to an end.

They have been able to capture defenders Kik Pierie and Arthur Zagre permanently, though, after they also spent last season on loan with the Kralingers Roodzwarten, and the latter could partner up with new signing Casper Widell at the heart of a back four.

Fellow new arrivals Oscar Uddenas, Mimeirhel Benita, Lennard Hartjes and Richie Omorowa will also hope to earn competitive debuts and places in the starting XI, with Hartjes battling with Adrian Fein and Yassin Ayoub to take Goudmijn’s place alongside Redouan El Yaakoubi in the engine room.

NEC possible starting lineup:
Cillessen; Van Rooij, Nuytinck, Ross, Baas; Hoedemakers, Schone; Hansen, Tavsan, Larsen; Ogawa

SBV Excelsior possible starting lineup:
Van Gassel; Horemans, Widell, Pierie, Zagre; Hartjes, El Yaakoubi; Uddenas, Naujoks, Lamprou; Omorowa

SM words green background

We say: NEC 2-0 SBV Excelsior

While the opening day could throw up some surprises, NEC do have more quality throughout their squad than the visitors and should fancy themselves to come out on top with home advantage also on their side.

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

ID:520874:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect12655:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole‘s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!