Our prediction for this Netherlands Eredivisie match:
AZ Alkmaar will be aiming to kick off the new Eredivisie campaign in style when they host Zwolle at their AFAS Stadion on Saturday afternoon. AZ are eager to close the gap between Dutch giants Ajax and PSV, but seeing that their represent the Netherlands in the Champions League this term, playing on three fronts could prove to be a difficult task for the team. The club chiefs did well to keep hold of key players in the summer transfer window, and, no doubt, the hosts are capable of beating Zwolle in the season opener.
The Bluefingers, on the other hand, suffered a 2-0 loss to Feyenoord in the opening match of the season, but their display was anything but poor. Anyhow, Zwolle will have a big fish to fry in Saturday’s football match against AZ Alkmaar, who are a real force to be reckoned with at home.
Highlighted Player (Ron Vlaar):
Ron Vlaar is a professional football player who began his senior career at AZ Alkmaar. The right-footed defender made 10 appearances for the club between 2004 and 2006 and then he joined fellow Eredivisie club Feyenoord.
Vlaar made his Feyenoord debut on 15 January, 2006 against Vitesse and he was playing for de Trots van Zuid until July, 2012. The Dutch defender moved to England on 27 July, signing a three-year deal with Aston Villa. He made 27 league appearances for the Villans in the 2012/2013 Premier League campaign and he was named captain on 15 September, 2012. Ron Vlaar participated in the 2014/2015 FA Cup final, but Aston Villa were beaten by Arsenal in the title game.
In 2015 he returns to AZ Alkmaar and he has been playing for the Dutch team ever since. Speaking of his international career, Vlaar won the UEFA U21 Championship with Netherlands on two occasions (2006, 2007). In 2014 he won the bronze medal with the Oranje at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Highlighted Team (Zwolle):
Founded on June 12, 1910, PEC Zwolle is a Dutch football club which competes in the Eredivisie. Zwolle have yet to win the national championship, but they did remarkably well to lift the Dutch Cup trophy in 2014. Ron Jans’s troops impressed in the title game, with the team rolling over Dutch giants Ajax 5-1.
The Blauwingers play their home games at MACPARK Stadion, the venue with the capacity of 14,000 people. The multi-use stadium was opened on August 29, 2009. Zwolle’s home kit is blue and white, while the colour of their away jersey is green and white. In the 2014/15 season the Blauwingers represented the Netherlands in the Europa League, with the team losing to Sparta Prague in the play-off round.
The likes of Henk Timmer (237), Johan Hansma (231), Bert Konterman (219), Arne Slot (208), and Jasper Drost (182) are the players with the most league appearances for the club. Go Ahead Eagles are considered the club’s biggest rivals as both teams are located at the river Ijssel.