Date: Thursday, 20 May 2021
Kick-off at 18:45 UK/ 18:45 CET
Venue: Goffertstadion (Nijmegen)
A 4-0 thrashing of Almere has set up this semi-final with Roda, a team NEC Nijmegen are unbeaten against in seven straight H2Hs (W6, D1). After being ousted at the semi-final stage in their previous two appearances in the promotion playoffs, that H2H run could be a real morale boost for a club that’s featured in two different UEFA Cup campaigns since the turn of the century, and is looking for an Eredivisie return after being relegated in 2016/17.
Five wins from their last seven home games (D1, L1) is promising, albeit Nijmegen did concede the opener in the last three. That won’t be a huge surprise to their fans as during 2021, the hosts have scored 78.95% of their home league goals after HT.
Roda fought back from a 2-1 HT deficit to win 3-2 as they continue their attempt for an Eredivisie return after being relegated in 2017/18. Just four wins from their previous 12 matches shows the shaky form they bring into this clash (D4, L4), during a period that saw them concede before HT in seven games, and witness over 3.5 match goals at FT on seven occasions.
Having finished runners-up in the Netherlands’ top tier twice before, Roda will feel their natural place is at football’s top table. However playing away could be their downfall as they recorded just a 36.84% win rate on the road during the regular season (W7, D5, L7), whilst their average of 1.95 goals conceded per away outing put them in the bottom half for that metric.
Players to watch: Nijmegen’s Jordy Bruijn missed a penalty and scored before HT vs Almere – he netted a first-half penalty in the last H2H. Erik Falkenburg scored and was sent off in that same meeting, but he’s been Roda’s first goalscorer with his last five strikes.
- Nijmegen’s form in last 5 matches: WWLLW.
- Roda’s form in last 5 matches: WLWLL.
PREDICTION: Home and Over 1.5