Preview: Sparta Rotterdam vs FC Utrecht
Sports Mole preview Sunday’s Eredivisie clash between Sparta Rotterdam and FC Utrecht, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Sparta Rotterdam and FC Utrecht locks the horns on Sunday, as both teams look to end winless streaks of form.
A run of seven games without a win has seen the hosts fall to the bottom three of the Eredivisie table, while their visitors sit in seventh place despite having failed to win any of their last five games.
Sparta Rotterdam struggled through a tough first half of the Eredivisie season, winning just two of their 19 games and amassing a worrying tally of 14 points.
After a rare 3-0 victory over Willem II in November, henk fraserThe men failed to add another notch to their win column in seven attempts, first suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of FC Twente, Ajax and AZ Alkmaar.
However, De Kasteelheren could be showing slightly more encouraging signs recently, having drawn their last four games in the Dutch top flight, holding Heerenveen, Vitesse and RKC Waalwijk before scoring another point against Cambuur last weekend. .
Fraser’s men trailed 1-0 before the final 15 minutes after Tim Coremansown goal in the first half, but Adrien Dalmau scored a 77th-minute equalizer to extend their draw streak, with a seven-game unbeaten streak quickly becoming a four-game unbeaten streak.
Nonetheless, the Rotterdam side remain in the bottom three and, with Willem II four points clear, they will know they need wins if they are to move out of the bottom three and retain their top-flight status again. this season.
Utrecht also arrive looking to snap a winless run but without the threat of relegation this season.
Rene MerluThe team enjoyed a strong start to the domestic campaign, collecting 26 points in their first 14 Eredivisie fixtures, but have since endured slightly more difficult times.
After league leaders PSV Eindhoven handed them a fifth league defeat of the season, Domstedelingen played draws with Go Ahead Eagles, Fortuna Sittard and FC Twente before facing the daunting task of a clash with Dutch giants Ajax.
Anthony opened the scoring for the Amsterdam team and Brian Brobbey added a brace before half-time to seal a dominating 3-0 away win, seeing Utrecht fall even further behind the top six in the league.
Although they may be concerned about a five-game winless streak, the only defeats in this period have come against the league’s two runaway teams, and Hake’s side are now hoping to correct their form against a Sparta side. Rotterdam in trouble.
Sparta Rotterdam Eredivisie form:
Form of Sparta Rotterdam (all competitions):
Form of FC Utrecht Eredivisie:
Form of FC Utrecht (all competitions):
After a series of commendable draws, Sparta Rotterdam will once again field their preferred 3-5-2 system, with only minimal changes expected from last weekend.
Adrian Dalmau will lead the line against his former club, having opened his account for Sparta the first time he last asked after a January switch from Utrecht.
Bart Vriends, Tom Beugelsdijk and Dirk Abel should line up again in a back three, protecting goalkeeper Tim Coremans.
The attack on Utrecht will be led by Anastasios Douvikas, who has scored four league goals since his summer spell from Volos NPS.
He could again be flanked by Sander van de Streek and Mimoun Mahi with Quinten Wood, Adam Maher and Naoki Maeda should take care of business in the engine room.
Possible starting line-up of Sparta Rotterdam:
Coremans; Vriends, Beugelsdijk, Abels; Masouras, Namly, Van Crooy, Mijnans, Meijers; Ton, Dalmau
Possible starting line-up of FC Utrecht:
De Keijzer; Ter Avest, Van Der Hoorn, Van Der Maarel, Warmerdam; Wood, Maher, Maeda; Van De Streek, Douvikas, Mahi
We say: Sparta Rotterdam 1-1 FC Utrecht
Sparta Rotterdam have been resilient in preventing some strong team wins in recent weeks, and we see the same thing happening on Sunday.
While Utrecht possess the ability to put the relegation-threatened side to the sword, they have struggled for form recently and may have to settle for a share of the spoils.