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

Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Eredivisie Promotion Playoffs clash between NAC Breda and SBV Excelsior, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both set to battle to the death for the last spot in next season’s top flight, NAC Breda and SBV Excelsior will clash in the first leg of the Eredivisie Promotion Playoff final at Rat Verlegh Stadion on Tuesday night.

The Pearl of the South produced a remarkable away display in their semi-final second leg to advance into this final round, whilst the Kralingers proceeded to break a number of records during their meeting with ADO Den Haag last time out.

Match preview

Having finished eighth in the Eerste Divisie campaign after collecting a steady tally of 56 points from 38 second-tier matches, it is not an overstatement to say that NAC Breda have produced a significant surprise in reaching the final stage of this season’s Promotion Playoffs.

The Pearl of the South shone brightly at De Oude Meerdijk on Saturday afternoon in the second leg of their semi-final meeting with Emmen, with strikes from Sigurd Haugen, Jan van den Bergh and Roy Kuijpers securing a three-goal success on the day and a 4-1 beating of Alfons Arts‘s troops on aggregate.

Despite entering the playoffs as the lowest-ranked outfit in terms of league position, NAC Breda find themselves in a sensational patch of form heading into a season-defining week versus Excelsior, with Tuesday’s hosts unbeaten in eight matches, last tasting defeat at home to Dordrecht on April 12.

After being outscored by 13th-placed Cambuur in the Eerste Divisie’s regular term, the Pearl of the South have found their goalscoring boots to devastating effect during the Promotion Playoffs, with Breda making the net ripple on 12 occasions in just a quartet of fixtures.

Returning to the Dutch footballing scene following an 18-month spell in China at Guangzhou City, Jean-Paul van Gastel is potentially 180 minutes away from a magical achievement at Breda, who have not enjoyed the luxuries of Eredivisie life since the 2018-19 campaign.

With their top-flight credentials thrown into doubt after a 16th-placed finish in the Eredivisie, SBV Excelsior flexed their first-tier qualities on ADO Den Haag over the past week, recording a sensational 9-2 victory over two legs and setting up a final showdown with in-form Breda.

Having only won the first leg at Bingoal Stadion 2-1 on Wednesday evening, the Kralingers still had plenty of work to do in the reverse fixture on Saturday to keep their survival dreams alive, with Marinus Dijkhuizen‘s men sealing a record-breaking success to blow their visitors away.

For the first time since April 2014 – and the first time in a home fixture since 2004 – Excelsior netted seven to comfortably book their place in the final of the Promotion Playoffs, with Couhaib Driouech, Julian Baas, Kenzo Goudmijn and Lazaros Lamprou all getting onto the scoresheet.

Despite a marvellous team performance, Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott inevitably stole the headlines following his 31-minute hat-trick for the Kralingers, with the Republic of Ireland international becoming the first Excelsior player since Thijs Dallinga in November 2021 to score three goals in a single match.

Dijkhuizen’s troops will be desperately hoping to avoid a repeat of their most recent visit to the home of NAC Breda during an Eerste Divisie clash in October 2021, when goals from Thom Haye, Ralf Seuntjens and Kaj de Rooij fired the Pearl of the South to a convincing 4-1 victory.

NAC Breda Eredivisie Promotion Playoffs form:

NAC Breda form (all competitions):

SBV Excelsior Eredivisie Promotion Playoffs form:

SBV Excelsior Eredivisie form (all competitions):

Team News

After scoring his fourth of the season and being influential in helping his side keep a clean sheet at Emmen last time out, Belgian Van den Bergh is set to retain his spot at centre-back alongside Cuco Martina.

There are still queries surrounding the makeup of the hosts’ backline heading into Tuesday’s first leg, though, with Boy Kemper forced off at half time on Saturday.

The potential absence of the 24-year-old could lead to Patrick Brouwer earning a start at left-back for this one, despite playing most of the campaign to date on the other flank.

Having fired themselves four goals ahead during a brilliant first half against ADO Den Haag, Excelsior were able to hand Cisse Sandra 45 minutes of action in the second period last time out.

Kralingers boss Dijkhuizen will unsurprisingly wish to keep his XI as similar as possible to the one which romped to a 7-1 success in the semi-final second leg, meaning that Goudmijn and Baas will continue in the engine room.

Excelsior are still without the services of a number of first-team stars heading into Tuesday’s clash, including Serano Seymor (foot), Lennard Hartjes (knee) and Kik Pierie (foot)

NAC Breda possible starting lineup:
Van de Merbel; Lucassen, Martina, Van den Bergh, Brouwer; Jensen, Staring, Kuijpers, Omgba, Janosek; Haugen

SBV Excelsior possible starting lineup:
Van Gassel; Benita, Horemans, El Yaakoubi, Zagre; Goudmijn, Baas, Lamprou, Duijvestijn, Driouech; Parrott

We say: NAC Breda 1-2 SBV Excelsior

With both sides heading into this first-leg meeting enjoying a goal-laden spell, we are anticipating an exciting matchup at Rat Verlegh Stadion on Tuesday night.

NAC Breda have been mightily impressive recently, but Excelsior’s Eredivisie quality will provide a considerable test, and we feel that the visitors will take a narrow lead into next weekend’s second leg.

Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats, suggests the most likely outcome of this match is a NAC Breda win with a probability of 52.16%. A win for SBV Excelsior has a probability of 24.96% and a draw has a probability of 22.9%.

The most likely scoreline for a NAC Breda win is 2-1 with a probability of 9.71%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome are 1-0 (8.8%) and 2-0 (8.07%). The likeliest SBV Excelsior win is 1-2 (6.37%), while for a drawn scoreline it is 1-1 (10.58%).

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