THURSDAY 30TH JULY 2015
SOUTHAMPTON vs. VITESSE ARNHEM (20:05 BST)
Southampton have already played some pre-season friendlies in the Netherlands against FC Groningen and Feyenoord (both 3-0 victories). The difference between the Saints and those two clubs was crystal clear. Which is not that strange based on their budget and that of Groningen & Feyenoord writes Martijn Hilhorst. Unfortunately for Vitesse, they are not that different from the teams who were already beat by Ronald Koeman’s men. The ‘Arnhemmers’ did have a great season with superb tactician Peter Bosz as their manager, but they did took a big hit this transfer window. Losing Marco Vejinovic and Davy Pröpper to Feyenoord and PSV respectively while first choice striker Bertrand Traoré returned to Chelsea after a loan spell at the Dutch outfit. Apparently, Chelsea was highly satisfied with the cooperation with Vitesse, because they have send Nathan, Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown & Danlio Pantic all on loan to ‘FC Hollywood aan de Rijn’ for the upcoming season.
One of the players who played wonderfully in both matches was Dusan Tadic. The Serbian playmaker played for FC Groningen and FC Twente in the Eredivisie before making the move abroad. He’s well known in the Netherlands, which could come in handy when Vitesse are facing him and ten other Southampton players this Thursday. It’s safe to say that Tadic is one of Saints’ key players; on the other side, we have a very similar player in Valeri Qazaishvili. The Georgian playmaker really showed his potential last season (he was our number 12 in #TDFTop50). ‘Vako’ now has the burden on his shoulder to take control at midfield with his fellow colleagues Vejinovic and Pröpper leaving.
Koeman has already stated in Dutch media that his side are favourites for the double confrontation with his former club Vitesse, because ‘Southampton are better in every aspect than Vitesse, especially when it comes to physique’. While we at TDF would love to see every Dutch club succeed, we do not expect that Vitesse will qualify for the next round as the Saints are basically too good to conquer. Thankfully, we can also ‘cheer’ for ‘The Saints’, who are the proud owners of the Eredivisie finest footballers we have produced over the last couple of seasons.
Date: 30-7-2015 (20.05PM UK Time) UK TV: BT Sport 1 Stadium: St Mary’s (SOLD OUT; 32.500 fans, 1.500 from Vitesse) Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano Assistants: Angel Nevado Rodríguez / José Miranda Fourth Official: Santiago Jaime
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg, Soares, Yoshida, Fonte, Targett; Wanyama, Clasie; Mané, Davis, Tadic; Pellè
Vitesse (4-3-3): Room; Diks, Kashia, Leerdam, Achenteh; Baker, Vako, Nakamba; Brown, Durjdjevic, Oliinyk.
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