The programs: PEC, Fortuna, Sparta, Willem II and RKC fight for body preservation

The relegation battle in the Eredivisie is approaching its conclusion. Willem II, Sparta, Fortuna Sittard and PEC Zwolle are fighting for enforcement, while RKC Waalwijk will not feel safe yet. VoetbalPrimeur looks at the remaining programs of the relegation candidates.

PEC Zwolle
PEC Zwolle is currently the last of the Eredivisie, two points behind Fortuna and Sparta. Those clubs also have one and two matches due respectively. It threatens to be a particularly difficult fight for the Bluefingersbecause in the last six games, meetings with AZ (home), Ajax (away), FC Utrecht (home) and PSV (home), among others, are waiting.

Is there no hope then? That is not the case. PEC has started to play better under trainer Dick Schreuder and confrontations with direct competitors RKC and Sparta are still waiting. Especially the clash with the Rotterdam team on 11 May will be circled in red in the Zwolle agenda.

The program of PEC Zwolle
April 10: PEC Zwolle – AZ
April 23: RKC Waalwijk – PEC Zwolle
April 30: Ajax – PEC Zwolle
May 7: PEC Zwolle – FC Utrecht
May 11: Sparta – PEC Zwolle
May 15: PEC Zwolle – PSV

Fortuna Sittard
The victory over competitor Willem II three weeks ago should have given Fortuna Sittard a boost, but last weekend it went wrong against Heracles Almelo. The concerns are therefore only increasing for trainer Sjors Ultee, who will also have found that his team is having a hard time creating opportunities.

It therefore does not look very rosy for Fortuna. Perhaps there is something to be gained in the home game with the virtually safe Go Ahead Eagles, but a lot comes down to the make-up match against Sparta from a week earlier. On April 16, a sledgehammer blow can be dealt in the fight against (direct) relegation.

Fortuna Sittard’s program
April 9: FC Utrecht – Fortuna Sittard
April 16: Fortuna Sittard – Sparta
April 24: Fortuna Sittard – Go Ahead Eagles
May 1: Fortuna Sittard – Feyenoord
May 7: FC Twente – Fortuna Sittard
May 11: Fortuna Sittard – Vitesse
May 15: NEC – Fortuna Sittard

Sparta fought its way to an important draw against sc Heerenveen on Sunday. As a result, Fortuna Sittard was knocked out of sixteenth place. The team of coach Henk Fraser has been successful in collecting points in recent weeks: in the last five matches they have won twice and drawn twice.

With this, the Rotterdammers show that they still fully believe in enforcement, but in the remainder of the season they will still have some tough opponents to choose from. For example, a visit to Ajax awaits on Saturday. However, Sparta also plays crucial duels against direct competitors: it has to happen against Fortuna and PEC.

Sparta’s program
April 9: Ajax – Sparta
April 16: Fortuna Sittard – Sparta
April 19: Vitesse – Sparta
April 22: FC Twente – Sparta
April 30: Sparta – AZ
May 7: FC Groningen – Sparta
May 11: Sparta – PEC Zwolle
May 15: Heracles Almelo – Sparta

William II
The difficult season already cost trainer Fred Grim the head at Willem II. His successor Kevin Hofland seemed to provide the desired shock effect, when the Tilburg team nicely took a point against AZ before the international match. A success against Feyenoord turned out to be too much to ask last weekend, so it remains to be seen how far Willem II really is under Hofland.

The Tricolers are in any case only one point above Fortuna and Sparta, while there is no longer a direct fight with a direct competitor on the program. Number thirteen Heracles, who has thirty points, is the lowest ranked opponent remaining. Willem II will look over his shoulder with concern.

Willem II’s program
April 8: Go Ahead Eagles – Willem II
April 24: Willem II – Vitesse
May 1: PSV – Willem II
May 7: Willem II – Heracles Almelo
May 11: SC Cambuur – Willem II
May 15: Willem II – FC Utrecht

RKC Waalwijk
Like Heracles, RKC Waalwijk seems to be heading for another year of Eredivisie, but they will not be completely reassured in the Mandemakers Stadium yet. The team of coach Joseph Oosting now has 28 points, after great results were achieved in the last duels with Vitesse (1-2 win), Feyenoord (3-3) and FC Utrecht (1-1).

RKC will want to maintain the momentum, among other things by pushing the last of PEC Zwolle further into the swamp on 23 April. The away match against PSV still awaits first.

The program of RKC Waalwijk
April 10: PSV – RKC Waalwijk
April 23: RKC Waalwijk – PEC Zwolle
May 1: RKC Waalwijk – FC Groningen
May 6: SC Cambuur – RKC Waalwijk
May 11: RKC Waalwijk – Heracles Almelo
May 15: AZ – RKC Waalwijk

The score
14. RKC Waalwijk 28-28 (-13)
15. William II 28-23 (-25)
16. Sparta 26-22 (-18)
17. Fortuna Sittard 27-22 (-34)
18. PEC Zwolle 28-20 (-23)

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