Our prediction for this Netherlands Eredivisie match:
Utrecht will be looking to build on a 2-0 win over Heracles when they welcome Sparta Rotterdam at their Stadion Galgenwaard on Matchday 18. Utrecht quickly bounced back from a 1-0 loss to Utrecht, but they need to keep on improving their game if they are to represent the Netherlands in European competitions next term. Rene Hake’s men have suffered only one loss at home ground this season, and they are surely capable of beating Sparta at their Stadion Galgenwaard.
Henk Fraser’s troops have been having their ups and downs of late, but given their shaky defence, we believe that there is a big value in betting on the home team. In their last meeting in the Dutch Eredivisie Utrecht hammered Sparta Rotterdam 5-1, and we believe that the history is going to repeat itself. Midfielder Bryan Smeets is unlikely to feature for the visitors as he suffered an injury in the 5-3 loss to PSV.
Highlighted Player (Willem Janssen):
After starting his senior career at VVV-Venlo, Willem Janssen joined fellow Dutch club Roda JC in 2007. The 186-cm-tall centre-back scored 22 goals in 129 appearances for the Black and Yellows in the Eredivisie, and in 2011 he moved to Twente.
After ending his loan spell with Utrecht in 2014, he signed a permanent deal with the Stadion Galgenwaard outfit, and he has been playing for the club ever since. He scored his first league goal for Utrecht in a 1-1 draw with Zwolle on September 1, 2013. Willem Janseen was born in Nijmegen, Netherlands on July 4, 1986, but he has yet to earn a call-up for the national team. Janssen, though, has two caps with the Netherlands U21 team.
His main position is centre-back, but he is used as both defensive midfielder and central midfielder as well. His preferred foot is right. In the 2015/16 season he helped Utrecht make it to the Dutch Cup final, but Feyenoord proved to be a big catch for them in the title game.
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.