Our prediction for this Netherlands Eredivisie match:
Sparta Stadion Het Kasteel will host Saturday’s Eredivisie game between Sparta Rotterdam and AZ Alkmaar, the two teams with totally different ambitions in the season finale. Sparate are fighting tooth and nail to avoid the relegation, while AZ are eyeing a spot in European competitions. The Rotterdammers failed to impress in a 2-0 loss to Twente, and, no doubt, head coach Henk Fraser should opt to make changes to the starting XI. Both Pinto and Engels remain on the sidelines with injuries for the home team.
Pascal Jansen’s troops, on the other hand, quickly bounced back from a 2-1 loss to Zwolle, with the team beating Heerenveen on Matchday 30. AZ Alkmaar are more of a team than Sparta, and seeing that they want to overtake Twente in fourth place, away win should be considered. Midfielder Mohamed Taabouni remains in the recovery room, while Tijjani Reijnders is pushing for a start after scoring a late winner against Heerenveen.
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 (AZ):
AZ Alkmaar are a professional football club that play their home matches at AFAS Stadion. The venue was opened on 4 August, 2006 and the construction of the stadium cost €38 million. AFAS Stadion is able to hold 17 023 spectators.
The Cheeseheads were founded on 10 May, 1967 and they won their first trophy in 1981, finishing the season 12 points clear of Dutch giants Ajax. 18 years later AZ clinched their second Eredivisie trophy, with the team finishing the 2008/2009 campaign with 80 points, 11 clear of second-placed Twente. In 1981 the club made it to the UEFA Cup final, but English side Ipswich Town proved to be a big catch for the Dutch team.
AZ’s home kits are red and white and they wear black shirts when playing on the road. The likes of Shota Arveladze, Jozy Altidore, Ron Vlaar, Joris Mathijsen, Graziano Pelle, Simon Poulsen, Moussa Dembele and Sergio Romero are notable footballers who played for AZ in the past.