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

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Eredivisie Promotion Playoff final between SBV Excelsior and NAC Breda, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With one foot back in the Eredivisie after a crushing first-leg win, NAC Breda will aim to finish the job against fellow playoff finalists SBV Excelsior on Sunday.

The second-tier side made the most of Excelsior going down to nine men on Tuesday evening, so they have a four-goal lead in hand for the decider in Rotterdam.


Match preview

Having only taken the final spot in this season’s promotion-relegation playoffs – after finishing eighth in the Eerste Divisie on goal difference – NAC Breda have since put together an incredible run of results.

The one-time Dutch national champions swept aside both Roda JC and Emmen over two legs to book their place in the final, to which they made a fast start by scoring within 12 minutes of the first leg kicking off.

Aime Omgba put NAC in front, but Excelsior’s Lance Duijvestijn levelled matters soon after; however, the latter then went from hero to villain as he conceded a penalty and was shown a game-changing red card.

Breda’s Dominik Janosek duly converted his spot kick to put the hosts in control, and with the visitors leaking more goals before having another man sent off after half time, substitute Elias Mar Omarsson completed the rout by scoring twice late on.

A remarkable 6-2 victory at Rat Verlegh Stadion leaves Jean-Paul van Gastel‘s side unbeaten in nine games, and they have scored 18 times in just five playoff matches thus far.

Therefore, a return to the Eredivisie surely awaits for a club last relegated from the top flight in 2019 – unless complacency creeps in ahead of the second leg.

Breda-born boss Van Gastel is unlikely to countenance any slip in standards, as he prepares to manage his hometown club for the final time before departing; Belgian coach Carl Hoefkens is set to replace him.

Albeit partly explained by being at least one man down for most of the match, Excelsior’s midweek collapse came as a major surprise, as they had previously thumped ADO Den Haag 9-2 over two legs, with Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott firing in a 31-minute hat-trick on home soil.

Marinus Dijkhuizen‘s men now return to Stadion Woudestein in need of a minor miracle to retain their Eredivisie status – they finished 16th on goal difference at the end of a tough top-flight campaign.

It seems Excelsior’s ill discipline has cost them dearly, and demotion is on the cards, yet the Rotterdam club tend to score freely at their second-city headquarters and will not have given up just yet.

SBV Excelsior Eredivisie Promotion Playoffs form:

SBV Excelsior form (all competitions):

NAC Breda Eredivisie Promotion Playoffs form:

NAC Breda form (all competitions):


Team News

Signed from Almere City in January, Excelsior’s Lance Duijvestijn has registered six goals and five assists in 2024, but the attacking midfielder must miss Sunday’s game through suspension – a goal-line handball saw him sent off in midweek.

Arthur Zagre was dismissed for a second bookable offence later on in the first leg, so the French full-back will also be unavailable.

In Duijvestijn’s absence, Republic of Ireland striker Troy Parrott shoulders the Kralingers’ attacking burden.

Meanwhile, Dominik Janosek is NAC Breda’s most productive forward this season, with 21 goal involvements; he should support Sigurd Haugen up front, with Tuesday’s opening goalscorer Aime Omgba also operating in the final third.

Vastly experienced NAC captain Cuco Martina returns to his home city of Rotterdam, where he will helm the visitors’ back four.

SBV Excelsior possible starting lineup:
Van Gassel; Benita, Horemans, Widell, De Moes; Goudmijn, Baas; Lamprou, Sandra, Driouech; Parrott

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


We say: SBV Excelsior 3-2 NAC Breda (NAC Breda win 8-5 on aggregate)

Neither side is renowned for their defensive stability, so more goals should flow as Excelsior seek to close their four-goal deficit.

The home side may restore some pride by securing victory on the night, but NAC Breda will claim the ultimate prize of a place in next season’s Eredivisie.

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


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