Our prediction for this Netherlands Eredivisie match:
Goffertstadion will host Saturday’s Eredivisie game between NEC and Sparta Rotterdam. NEC enjoyed a very successful first half of the season, but they have been struggling at the back of late. Rogier Meijer’s troops conceded 11 goals in total in the previous three league fixtures, but a win over Sparta will see them climb to the top half of the table. Midfielder Souffian El Karouani is banned for the hosts, while Jordy Bruijn remains in the recovery room.
The Rotterdammers, on the other hand, aim to build on a hard-fought 1-0 win over Go Ahead Eagles. Sparta, though, are not regarded as good travelers, and given their poor away record (1-3-6) in the 2021/2022 season, we are tempted to put our money on NEC. Defender Tom Beugelsdijk, who limped off with injury at the weekend, is unlikely to feature against Rogier Meijer’s troops.
Highlighted Player (Bryan Smeets):
Bryan Smeets is a product of MVV Maastricht football academy who plays for Sparta Rotterdam in the Dutch Eredivisie. Smeets scored 23 goals in 144 league appearances for MVV before joining De Graafschap in 2015.
After his spell with the Superboeren, the midfielder moved to Cambuur in the 2017/18 season. The following season he joined Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv where he scored 12 goals in 37 appearances in the elite division. Bryan Smeets then decided to return to Netherlands as he joined Sparta Rotterdam in the 2019/20 season. He scored his first goal with De Kasteelheren in a 4-0 win over RKS Waalwijk on September 21, 2019.
His main position is attacking midfielder, but he is used as both central midfielder and right winger as well. Bryan Smeets has a contract with Sparta Rotterdam which should expire on June 30, 2021. He is a two-footed player.
Highlighted Team (Sparta Rotterdam):
Founded back on April 1, 1888, Sparta Rotterdam is considered one of the oldest clubs in the Netherlands. De Kasteelheren (the Castle Lords) welcome their opponents at Het Kasteel, and they have a great rivalry with Feyenoord. Yet another Rotterdam club Excelsior are considered Sparta’s fierce rivals as well.
Sparta Rotterdam wear white shirts with red strips when playing on home soil, while sky blue is the dominant colour of their away kit. De Kasteelheren have won six Eredivisie trophies. Sparta were the dominant force in the Dutch football in the 1910s, with the team winning their last league title in the 1958/59 season.
De Kasteelheren have won three Dutch Cup trophies as well (1957/58, 1961/62, 1965/66). In the 1985/86 season Sparta last participated in the UEFA Cup, with the team beating Hamburger SC in round 1, while suffering elimination to Borussia Monchengladbach in the second round. Sparta’s stadium Het Kasteel can hold up to 11,926 spectators.