Our prediction for this Netherlands Eredivisie match:
Fortuna Sittard Stadion will host Friday’s football game between Fortuna Sittard and Sparta Rotterdam. The hosts aim to build on back-to-back wins over Heerenveen and Cambuur, and they must be high on confidence ahead of the visit of Sparta. With no fresh injury worries to report, boss Julio Velazquez is unlikely to make changes to the team that defeated Cambuur at the weekend.
The Rotterdammers, on the other hand, are undefeated in the previous eight league fixtures, and they are on the right track to book their place in the Conference League playoffs. Anyhow, the share of spoils is on the horizon as Fortuna have been showing signs of improvement of late. Both Abels and Eerdhuijzen are pushing for a start, with Auassar and Vriends likely to drop to the bench. Midfielder Koki Saito should be the only absentee in the away team.
Highlighted Player (Oguzhan Ozyakup):
The 23-year-old Netherlands-born Turkish international Oguzhan Ozyakup is a midfielder who started his professional career at Premier League giants Arsenal. Ozyakup arrived to the London-based club as a schoolboy from AZ and went through Arsenal academy, before making his competitive debut in a League Cup match against Shrewsbury Town, when he supplied the assist for Yossi Benayoun in a 3-1 victory.
The Turkish international however failed to break into the first-team and was transferred to Besiktas in 2012. Turkey international has passed the 100-match mark for his club in 2016 and is considered one of the more experienced and most valuable players of the club, despite he is only 23 years of age.
The talented midfielder was subject of intense transfer speculation during the 2016 summer transfer window with Valencia reportedly expressing interest in signing the Turkish footballer, but Ozyakup remained at Besiktas and went on to extend his contract, which will keep him at the Vodafone Arena until 2018.
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.