This weekend's football action is set to deliver some heart-pounding moments, with critical matches across Turkey, Belgium, and the Netherlands that could redefine the standings and impact relegation battles and European qualification dreams.

In the spotlight, we have the Turkish Super Lig clash between Samsunspor and Rizespor, a relegation skirmish with both teams desperate for points. Meanwhile, the Belgian Jupiler Pro League offers an intriguing face-off between Mechelen and Kortrijk, with Mechelen aiming to continue their impressive unbeaten streak against the struggling Kortrijk. Lastly, the Eredivisie showcases a top-six battle as Twente takes on Go Ahead Eagles, with both sides eyeing European spots. Dive into our comprehensive analysis and predictions to find out why these matches are not to be missed and how the dynamics of each league could shift this weekend.

Samsunspor v Rizespor

Friday, 5pm

There is a case to be made to suggest that this Turkish top flight clash between Samsunspor, who are 12th, and Rizespor, who sit in 6th, could be classed as a relegation battle. This 20-team league has practically three-quarters of the league separated by relatively few points, despite covering several places. Samsunspor sit just two points above the bottom-four, whereas Rizespor are only eight-points in advance of the drop zone. 12th to 19th alone only has a five-point gap.

Therefore, three points this weekend will be key for both sides. Rizespor are actually closer to the bottom-four in terms of points compared to 4th; which is where Besiktas currently occupies the final European qualification spot. Things therefore can change very quickly in this extremely tight division. Although six places separates them in the table, both actually have an identified record from across the last 15 league games (W6, D4, L5).

However, there is quite a noticeable statistic which rightly places Samsunspor as favourites this weekend. Since the start of October, only Galatasaray and Besiktas; both in the top-four, have managed to leave Samsunspor with maximum points. The Samsun 19 Mayıs Stadium has very much become a fortress for Friday’s home side, and a case always has to be made when they appear here. That case is strengthened knowing Rizespor have major issues playing away from home, where they claimed only nine of their 36 league points. It is ten away games in a row where they’ve failed to win, meaning September was when they last earned three points on their travels.

Samsunspor are further boosted by Olivier Ntcham returning from suspension as well; a player who really makes this team tick and is their second-highest scorer. Getting 2.00 (10Bet) on a home victory here just cannot be ignored. I expected it to be a shade of odds-on and there is every chance it will be nearer to kick-off.

Mechelen v Kortrijk

Saturday, 7:45pm

Whilst four of the top-five meet in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League this weekend, it is the clash between Mechelen and Kortrijk that catches my eye across the weekend card. Mechelen have been on the upgrade for a little while now and are on a six-match unbeaten streak since returning from the winter break. Kortrijk are bottom of the table and whilst they have suffered back-to-back defeats, they did go unbeaten in four prior to that, taking points against Club Brugge and Standard Liege in the process.

Mechelen themselves have been taking recent points off the top-tier clubs at this level recently, too. Only last weekend they came away from Antwerp with an impressive 1-0 victory; ending Antwerp’s unbeaten home record in the process. They’ve also defeated Gent early last month, whilst also earning creditable draws with Anderlecht and Genk. A strong case therefore is made for them to gain three points over the bottom club on Saturday.

This weekend’s home team have already beat Kortrijk 3-0 this season when facing them away, and whilst they have been impressing against the top clubs since the league resumed, they tend to get the job done against the weaker clubs. They’ve won five of their seven meetings this season versus clubs currently in the bottom four, including three from three at home, and all finished below 4.5 goals.

Kortrijk do look more than at risk of seeing their lengthy stay in this division come to an end. It would be a surprise if they improved their form enough to finish outside of the Relegation Group once the league splits in a few months. They possess the unwanted combination of scoring few and conceding plenty. They’re the lowest scorers in the league and have the joint second-worst defensive record. Whilst they’re underperforming in relation to their xG, it is still the worst in the division.

A home win has to be the way forward here and combining it with Under 4.5 gives us a nice price of 2.00 (Coral). Only one Mechelen match all season has managed to contain a minimum of five goals, whilst for Kortrijk only three have surpassed this figure, as well.

Twente v Go Ahead Eagles

Sunday, 1:30pm

Twente and Go Ahead Eagles are in the top-six heading into the weekend, with the potential of European football firmly the target for them both. Twente have loftier ambitions in relation to the UEFA Champions League and currently hold the third and final qualification spot. GOE on the other hand are probably chasing UEFA Europa League at best, which would still be a hell of an achievement given they were playing in the second-tier as recently as three years ago.

The away side are seeing their league contests average 3.00 goals per game, so it is no surprise a case can be made for goals to flow once more. This is a very aggressive, front-foot team that always looks to get forward and offer a threat going forward. They’ll be slightly more reserved compared to when playing at home, and the game plan shall be more a case of sitting back and hitting Twente on the break. The hosts have earned only three clean sheets at De Grolsch Veste, so GOE are not without hope.

Go Ahead Eagles are also unbeaten on the road in league action since September and all three away losses came against PSV, Feyenoord and AZ; all currently sitting in the top-four. Twente are third in the standings and will be aiming to join that pack, and will be particularly eager to bounce back after losing to Utrecht at home in their last match. That was only the fifth occasion all season when failing to score, so manager Joseph Oosting will demand a big reaction.

The thinking here is that this is two teams that are big threats in front of goal and that is backed up by the figures. Each side are also very strong defensively, and although there will be some respect on show for the opponent, the fact is they’ll look to play to their strengths. Twente should see more of the ball, however they’ve kept one home clean sheet since the beginning of October.

Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals pays out at 2.10 (BoyleSports) and it is because of the two strong defensive numbers why we can get an odds-against price. Both goalkeepers should be busy here and a chance is taken at the prices.

Weekend Betting Tips

  • Samsunspor v Rizespor – Samsunspor (2.00 10Bet)
  • Mechelen v Kortrijk – Mechelen and Under 4.5 Goals (2.00 Coral)
  • Twente v Go Ahead Eagles – Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals (2.10 BoyleSports)
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