Our prediction for this Netherlands Eredivisie match:
Utrecht and Groningen face each other at Stadion Galgenwaard in the first game of the year. Utrecht have been in a fine form in the Eredivisie ever since they suffered elimination in the Dutch Cup, with the team beating Utrecht on the road, while holding AZ Alkmaar to a draw at home. Rene Hake’s troops aim to give fans yet another reason for celebration, and they are likely to stick to their attacking style of play against Groningen.
Experienced attacker Eljero Elia, who has found his goalscoring touch of late, will be one of the men to watch in the home team. The Green-White Army, on the other hand, continue life without injured ace Arjen Robben. Groningen are eager to make amends for a 1-0 loss to Heracles, and seeing that they defeated Sparta 3-2 in their last away game, both teams to score betting option should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Eljero Elia):
Eljero Elia began his senior career at ADO Den Haag. The pacey winger scored six goals in 59 league appearances for the club and in 2007 he moved to fellow Eredivisie team Twente. Elia, who was born on 13 February, 1987 in Voorburg, spent two years at Twente and on 5 July, 2009 he moved to Germany, signing a five-year deal with Hamburg for a fee of €8.5 million.
The Dutch winger made his Hamburg debut against Freiburg on 8 August, 2009 and he scored his first goal for the club in a 4-2 victory over Wolfsburg on 23 August. Elia played for Italian giants Juventus in the 2011/2012 season, but he made no more than four league appearances for the club. In the summer of 2012 he returned to Germany, signing a deal with Werder Bremen and he played for die Werderaner between 2012 and 2015.
Speaking of his international career, Elia represented Netherlands at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and he won the silver medal with the Oranje as they were beaten by Spain in the title game.
Highlighted Team (Groningen):
Groningen is a Dutch football clubs that competes in the Eredivisie. Founded on June 16, 1971, Groningen play home games at Euroborg. The venue was built by Ballas Nedam, Royal BAM Group and VolkerWessels, and it can hold up to 22,525 people.
The Trots van het Noorden (Pride of the North) are well known for their white home shirts with red stripes, while purple is the dominant colour of their away kit. Volendam are considered the club’s fiercest rivals, but they have a rivalry with Twente as well after the 1980s incidents between their fans. Groningen have yet to win the Eredivisie trophy, but they did well to go all the way in the Dutch Cup in the 2014/15 season.
The green and whites defeated Zwolle 2-0 in the title game. Speaking of their European success, it has to be noted that Groningen participated in the Europa League on two occasions. In the 2015/16 season the Trots van het Noorden booked their place in the group stages of the competition, but they failed to record a win in the process.