Tag Archives: FC Twente

Total Dutch Football 2014/15 Player of the Season

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After yet another set of entertaining Eredivisie and KNVB Beker campaigns, the TotalDutchFootball.com workforce has been voting all week and we are now ready to dish out our prestigious first ever ‘End Of Season’ awards.

All staff were asked to name their top three players. Each first pick received three points, second place received two points and one point was awarded for the third pick. The results are below…

Awards-PlayerOfTheSeason

Sticker-MemphisDepay

Winner – MEMPHIS DEPAY (PSV) 15 points

Like his manager, Philip Cocu, Depay was a unanimous winner picked first by all five voters. Over the past season no-one can doubt that without Depay, PSV would not have experienced the success they have this term. Depay notched 22 Eredivisie goals along with five assists that earned him major plaudits across the globe and a four-year deal at Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United next season.

His superb free-kick technique led to seven of those goals  – leaving most goalkeepers stranded as he lined up the set pieces from the edge of the area.  The flamboyant winger hit an average of 5.4 shots per game (according to Opta) and three assists (from 2.1 key passes per game).

With his tremendous determination, speed, skill and awareness, Depay has linked up well down the left with Jetro Willems (our runner-up). Connecting with the left-back has helped the 20-year-old create 13 goals in the league (an Eredivisie high).

This cocky youngster is heading to the Premier League, to a team who used to try and contain the cockiness of one Cristiano Ronaldo. He has all the attributes and swagger to hold his own in comparison to the now-Real Madrid star.

PSV and Eredivisie watchers will thank Depay for the memories this season and it is sad to see him go abroad but I’m sure all, including all the readers of this website, wish him good luck and keep chasing those dreams.

2nd – JETRO WILLEMS (PSV) 6 points

Depay’s team-mate is runner-up after a successful season appearing in 30 out of the 34 leagues games for PSV. Willems was a vital part of the Eindhoven set-up this year under Philip Cocu and they will be hoping to hold onto him as long as they can.

OTHERS

JASPER CILLESSEN (Ajax) 2 points

GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM (PSV) 2 points

LUUK DE JONG (PSV) 2 points

MICHIEL KRAMER (ADO Den Haag) 1 point

HAKIM ZIYECH (FC Twente) 1 point

MARKO VEJINOVIC (Vitesse) 1 point

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Total Dutch Football 2014/15 Breakthrough Talent of the Season

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Throughout this year’s campaign, we have seen some great talents emerge as scouts from all over Europe honed in on them. Myself and the remainder of the staff at TotalDutchFootball.com have been assessing who can be declared as the best ‘Breakthrough Talent of the Season’.

All staff were asked to name their top three talents. Each first pick received three points, second place received two points and one point was awarded for the third pick. The results are below…

Awards-BreakthroughTalentOfTheSeason

Sticker-JesusCorona

Winner – JESUS CORONA (FC Twente) 5 points

The little Mexican nicknamed “El Tecatito”, signed on a free transfer aged 20 from Liga MX side Monterrey after rejecting a new contract from the Mexican club in 2013. After taking a while to settle in under Albert Schreuder, Corona now 22-years-old, has shown he is perfect example of a pacy winger with a tremendous dribbling ability to torment full-backs down either flank.

He appeared in 27 games for Twente this year, notching nine goals and supplying four assists, showing to be a shining light, in a what has been a disappointing season for his side. Tecatito’s consistency has enhanced his already impressive skills. His speed and trickery make him a very elusive footballer who provides depth to the team, which results in goal opportunities.

Due to Twente’s crippling financial status, Corona looks to be moved on next season and could end up leaving the Eredivisie. However, the young Mexican has finally shone in Holland and he is surely set to raise a big chunk of funds for the Enschede club.

Joint 2nd – MARK UTH & SAM LARSSON (Heerenveen) 4 points

The Heerenveen pair have been surprising successes for Dwight Lodeweges this year. Both used as replacements for summer sales, Alfred Finnbogasson and Hakim Ziyech respectively have excelled. The stocky German striker, Uth has scored 15 times in 32 outings to become the club’s top scorer and managed to use his strength to hold the ball up and created 10 assists. Also notching goals is Swedish winger Larsson with eight with four assists. Both players have linked with moves away themselves this coming summer, not an unusual process for Heerenveen.

OTHERS

ALBERT RUSNAK (FC Groningen) 3 points

TJARONN CHERY (FC Groningen) 3 points

ANWAR EL GHAZI (Ajax) 3 points

TOM VAN WEERT (Excelsior) 2 points

TERENCE KONGOLO (Feyenoord) 2 points

WESLEY HOEDT (AZ) 1 point

NEMANJA GUDELJ (AZ) 1 point

DALEY SINKGRAVEN (Ajax) 1 point

BERTRAND TRAORE (Vitesse) 1 point

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How does PSV replace Memphis Depay?

The announcement last week of the transfer of Memphis Depay to Manchester United has left PSV with a significant hole to fill.  Luckily for PSV, they have money in the bank now in order to try and fill this hole.  We all know and appreciate Memphis’ talents and he might be one of those once in a generation footballers but PSV need to ask the question “How do we Replace Memphis”? Even with Memphis leaving, PSV still have a very talented side but they will certainly miss the X-Factor that he provided.  Replacing Memphis will be a hard task but there are some options at PSV’s disposal.  Rogier Waalder looks at the candidates:

Jesus Manuel Corona (FC Twente)

One of the only players in the Eredivisie this year who catches the eye as much as Depay does, is the Mexican winger Jesus Corona, who plays for FC Twente.  A very tricky and skilful winger, he certainly has the ability to turn a game like Memphis does.  He has scored 13 goals in his 32 games this season and his dribbling, first touch and technique are in the same class as Memphis.  He does lack the power and free-kick abilities of Memphis but is only 22 years old.  FC Twente will be holding a fire-sale in the summer to clear their debts and so Corona is very much on the market.  A big stumbling block, though, is his wage demands with a recent poll showing that 85% of PSV fans do not think he is worth the reported 1 million EURO salary that he is after.

Sam Larsson (SC Heerenveen)

Swedish international Larsson is a new arrival to Heerenveen this season, after joining from Goteburg in the off-season.  He has proven to be yet another potential Scandinavian jewel that the Heerenveen scouting team has delivered over the years.  Has all the same hallmarks as Corona but represents a more powerful, cheaper option.  Larsson has contributed 8 goals and 6 assists in his 20 games this season. Heerenveen have already offered him a new contract, but he has refused to consider this at present.  He has a contract until 2018 so Heerenveen aren’t in any rush to sell but PSV might be tempted to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Ricardo Kishna (Ajax)

Yes he plays for Ajax presently and yes this is probably the biggest obstacle in Kishna going to PSV, but transfers between PSV & Ajax are not unheard of.  Kishna is a year younger than Memphis and despite his young age has already proven that he can light up the Eredivisie.  His flair, trickery, dribbling and pace are very comparable to Memphis and he has a return of 5 goals and assists from 20 matches this season.  This current Dutch youth team player only has 1 year to run on his Ajax contract, so he could force the issue if PSV make a serious play for his services.

Elvis Manu (Feyenoord)

Plays for Feyenoord, so again some question marks surrounding a desire to sell him to PSV but he also has the hallmarks of someone who could replace Memphis.  A 21-year old natural Left Winger, Manu has had a good season for Feyenoord with 14 goals in 34 matches, including some great performances in the Europa League.  Manu has great pace and strength but his overall technique and consistency would need some improvement to reach Memphis levels but definitely a great raw talent.

Steven Berghuis (AZ Alkmaar)

Berghuis has been a standout performer for AZ this season with 10 goals in 22 appearances.  The former Twente youth player can play on either wing or as Striker and has excellent technical and passing abilities.  He has a strong desire to succeed (much like Memphis does) and would arguably be the cheapest of the options presented thus far.  He probably isn’t quite at the standard that Memphis is but would be a good squad player, in conjunction with another big name signing.

Bilal Ould-Chikh (FC Twente)

If PSV are looking at a longer term prospect that they can bring up to Memphis’ standard then Ould-Chikh might be their guy.  Only 17 years old he has already played 15 full games for FC Twente this season.  An out and out winger with great technique, pace and dribbling abilities Ould-Chikh certainly has the potential to rival Memphis one day.  FC Twente might be needing cash to satisfy their creditors at the moment, but surely they’ll want to hang on to their star prospect and try and build a team around him.

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United)

Januzaj has been on the outer at Manchester United since Van Gaal’s arrival and was rumoured to have been offered as part of any deal taking Memphis to England.  It doesn’t look like this has eventuated but a cashed up PSV could do a lot worse than taking the talented Belgian to Eindhoven, even if it is on loan.  Even though he has not scored in the Premier League this year, the footballing world is very aware of Januzaj’s abilities with a ball at his feet and his technique and flair do rival those of Memphis.  He is on a massive salary at Man Utd and this is why a loan move but be the best for both teams, particularly as Memphis will certainly be a direct rival for Januzaj.

Serge Gnabry (Arsenal)

Another potential loan option is the Arsenal youngster, Serge Gnabry.  Like Januzaj Gnabry burst onto the scene last season before injury curtailed his plans and has had limited game time since.  He may be best suited to a spell in the Eredivisie, whilst also getting guaranteed Champions League action.  Gnabry has fantastic physical attributes and his attacking tendancies would be very well suited to this PSV side.

Ola John (Benfica)

For a 22-year old John seems to have been around for a long time, and certainly his club movements would indicate the same.  Currently at Benfica, the lure of returning home to PSV may be one that suits John as he looks to break back into the Dutch national team setup.  Another out and out pacy winger John could be the perfect provider for Luuk de Jong.

Filip Kostic (Stuttgart)

22-year old Serbian Kostic played 2 seasons in the Eredivisie with Groningen before earning a move to Stuttgart in the off-season.  He has played reasonably well in a struggling side with 3 goals and 7 assists thus far.  He has tremendous cross abilities and is also an accomplished finisher.  If Stuttgart do get relegated this season this might be enough to convince Kostic to return to the Netherlands and the lure of Champions League football.

There are some options available internally at PSV at present headlined by the wantaway Zakaria Bakkali and the raw but very inconsistent Florian Jozefzoon.  A long term potential replacement is the exciting young Steven Bergwijn, who made his Eredivisie debut on the weekend at the age of 17. Bergwijn is very highly thought of at PSV and has tremendous pace and acceleration.  If his technical abilities continue to develop over the next few seasons he is definitely one to watch.

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Unveiling four emerging stars of the Eredivisie

One of the positives of not being one of Europe’s biggest leagues and having relatively small finances is that the Eredivisie is a fertile ground for bringing through young players. A lot of the clubs rely on the money that they receive for their youth graduates to run their clubs.

FC Groningen are well known for their ability to bring players through and have seen the likes of Arjen Robben and Luis Suarez develop at their club in recent years. Although the latter was brought in from Uruguay, it would be wrong to suggest that the club didn’t have an impact on where he is now.

After the news that Depay will join Manchester United, clubs have been reminded of the rewards that come with producing talented players and in this article Jake Jackman talks about some of the young players coming through who may not be well known yet.

Steven Bergwijn (PSV)

An obvious place to start is with a player who is at PSV with the reputation as the next Depay, and that is Steven Bergwijn, who made his debut at the weekend to become the youngest player to feature in the Eredivisie this season. The winger’s style of play has been compared to both Depay and Arjen Robben, which is high praise indeed, but the 17 year old has a long way before he can truly be talked about in the same breath as either. Last summer, he played an integral part in the Holland U17 side as they made the final of European Championships and Bergwijn won the award for the tournament’s best player. The winger is quick and direct which makes him difficult to play against, while he has a very good shot on him. Next season will be key to him as his chances in the first team will increase now that Depay has left the club.

Riechedly Bazoer (Ajax)

Ajax are well known for their ability to produce their own players and one of the most promising coming through at the moment is Riechedly Bazoer. He has been talked about as the future of Dutch football by Frank de Boer, while he has been compared with Clarence Seedord, Frank Rijkaard and Patrick Viera, which is big praise for an 18 year old. He is a complete midfielder as he can pass the ball well and he is more than capable in the tackle. As you would expect from an Ajax player, he has excellent vision on the pitch and has the ability to play defence splitting passes from deep. He has featured in a handful of games this season and showed his ability against FC Twente when he scored a wonderful volley to give his side the lead. He is seen as a key part of the new look Ajax side and it will be surprising if he isn’t a regular in the Eredivisie next season.

Bilal Ould Chikh (FC Twente)

The Twente player is another very talented attacker coming through and like Bergwijn, he is only 17 years old. He has been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks after Louis van Gaal was impressed with the winger’s performances at the U17 European Championships. He has already featured for the first team at Twente, managing to score his first goal against Heracles in January. He is a very good dribbler and has already showed that in the Eredivisie, which is impressive given his tender age. He is another quick and direct attacker, who likes to run with the ball in the final third, which Holland have a lot of. Ould-Chikh is very mobile and stands at only 5’6” which makes him difficult to mark at times as he likes to weave in and out of defenders. He is set to leave FC Twente this summer which could be a mistake given he is already featuring for the first team.

Richairo Zivkovic (Ajax)

Many believe Ajax forward Richairo Zivkovic to be Holland’s next number nine, which is a big claim, but this 18 year old has already made his mark on the Eredivisie. He is another player developed by Groningen before moving to Ajax last summer. In his first season in Amsterdam, he hasn’t featured much for the first team, but he did make his Champions League debut, which was a huge achievement for the striker. He has also opened his league account for the club, although last season he managed to score 11 times in the Eredivisie for Groningen. He will be eager to feature more for Ajax next season as he attempts to make his mark on the league. He likes to run with the ball, and has the pace and strength to beat defenders when he does. The striker is very good in front of goal when the chances come his way and once he has been embedded into the Ajax style, he could be a very clinical forward for them.

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With Depay gone… could Ziyech be the new star of the Eredivisie?

The Eredivisie is a league which is known for bringing through a lot of talented players, both from Holland and from across the globe. A number of players from the smaller European nations, South America and Africa see it as a platform to move onto bigger things. Hakim Ziyech is a player who is rising in the Eredivisie and could be set for a move this close season, despite only joining FC Twente last summer. The playmaker is of Moroccan descent, but he is a Dutch youth international, who is beginning to make his mark at the age of 22 writes  Jake Jackman.

Ziyech joined FC Twente at the beginning of this season from SC Heerenveen which was an excellent move for him as his game has come on leaps and bounds this campaign. The midfielder has managed to score 11 Eredivisie goals across the two clubs, while also managing to contribute an impressive 12 assists, which is a very productive return in the final third for a player featuring mainly in the centre of midfield. His creative ability and his ability to score goals make him a very attractive option for a number of clubs across the continent, while a future in the Dutch national side is not beyond him.

It was at Heerenveen where Ziyech broke onto the scene and he developed quickly, and was a fan favourite at the club, even managing to win the club’s player of the year award last year ahead of the free scoring Alfred Finnbogason. In the opening weeks of the season, Hakim Ziyech scored at Feyenoord with a superb free kick and was applauded off by the home fans after he outclassed their side. Although he rejected the Rotterdam giants just days later, it showed that it is hard not to be impressed by the youngster’s talent, even when you are the opposition.

As well as having talent, Ziyech is very driven and that showed in the summer as he opted to move to FC Twente over the more lucrative option of joining Feyenoord. The midfielder wanted assurances over playing in the number ten role and they weren’t given by the latter who already had Lex Immers. It was a big mistake as Ziyech has showed his undoubted quality since his move to the Enschede.

The Dutchman is an offensive minded player, who likes to attack with speed with his dynamic style of play, and his eye for a pass makes him impossible to defend against, especially when in combination with the rest of a very pacy and technical Twente attack. Last season Twente were heavily reliant on Dusan Tadic in the final third before he moved to Southampton, but Ziyech has replaced the Serbian international seamlessly. He may not have achieved the numbers that Tadic did, but his influence on the team is just as crucial.

Ziyech is a work in progress with his passing needing work as he can be careless in possession at times, but his technical ability from set pieces and ability to run with the ball show that he could grow into a very effective attacking midfield player. He can put in excellent deliveries from set pieces and has scored a number of free kicks in his short career to date. The Twente midfielder is also very dangerous with his long range shots, and his eye for a defence splitting through ball is up there with the very best in the league.

The future for the Dutch national side is bright with a number of very exciting attacking players coming through at the moment, and Ziyech has the potential to be one of the best. He has the talent to become a really good player and the maturity of the decisions he is making regarding his career will help him achieve that. This summer is too soon for him to be considering a move away from the Eredivisie, but with Memphis Depay departing for Old Trafford, there is room for a new star of the league to emerge and Hakim Ziyech is one of the few players with the potential to fill it.

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Southampton’s Eljero Elia: The Saints’ story so far

In September 2009, a vital World Cup qualifier between The Netherlands and Scotland was locked at 0-0 with a little over 15 minutes of the match left. At this point, Arjen Robben, the Netherlands star man, and most dangerous player on the night, was somewhat surprisingly replaced by a largely unknown 21 year old, his name? Eljero Elia. Elia went on to expertly round the keeper and grab an 82nd minute winner for the Dutch, maintaining their 100% record. Since then, Elia’s career has had its ups and downs, but he is now back in the spotlight after his move to Premier League side Southampton. So, what is the story so far, of the player once dubbed The Netherlands golden boy? Fin Crebolder tells all…

THE BEGINNING

Lets go back to 2004, where Elia was a 17 year old prodigy playing at ADO Den Haag. He had been at ADO since 1996, although he spend did two years at Ajax from 2000 to 2002, before returning to ADO Den Haag. He had excelled in the youth team for many years, and made his long awaited debut in 2004 against Groningen. He went on to make 4 appearances for the club that season, scoring his first goal for the club in a 2-1 win over AZ Alkmaar. After this breakthrough season, he established himself as a consistent starter for the club, making 56 appearances, scoring 8 goals and getting 4 assists. At the end of the 2006/07 season, it became apparent that Elia was to leave the club. He had conflicts with the coach, Lex Schoenmaker, and also had no intention of playing in the Eerste Divisie (ADO had been relegated). Ajax showed in interest in him, but the deal involved him being loaned back to ADO Den Haag for a season, which he had no intention of doing.

FC TWENTE

Elia joined FC Twente on July the 1st, 2007, for a fee of around €180,000. He made his debut in a 2-2 draw against Utrecht in August, but didn’t score his first goal until February, in a 2-1 win over Heracles Almelo. He made 36 appearances that season, scoring two goals and assisting two. The 2008/09 season proved to be a pivotal one in Elia’s career, largely due to the appointment of Steve McClaren. McClaren managed to create a side capable of winning the Eredivisie title, and Elia was pivotal to the sides success. He scored 14 goals in all competitions including 9 in the league, and also got 10 assists, a vast improvement on his previous season. Over the course of the season, Elia also made his Champions League debut and scored his first European goal in the Europa League against Manchester City. In the January of the season, Ajax stated their interest in him and had two offers rejected. Elia ended the speculation by signing a contract keeping him at the club until 2013. At the end of the season, Elia was named Dutch Football Talent of the Year.

HAMBURG

Despite signing a new contract, Elia stated that he wanted to leave the club at the end of the season. After his excellent season, many clubs around Europe showed interest in him, and on the 5th of July 2009, Hamburg signed him for €8.5 Million. He made his debut a month later, coming on as a substitute in the opening game of the season against Freiburg, and scored his first goal for the club two weeks later, in a 4-2 win over Wolfsburg. He made 35 appearances over the course of the season, scoring six and creating nine goals. This impressive debut season in Germany earned him a place in The Netherlands 2010 World Cup squad. He made a large impact in South Africa, coming off the bench to good effect in six of seven games in the Dutch run to the final, including a 50 minute appearance in the final, where The Netherlands lost 1-0 to Spain in the dying minutes of extra time. However, this season proved to be the peak of Elia’s career so far, as his career began to take a downhill trajectory. In his second season at Hamburg, Elia was often rotated, playing a full 90 minutes only nine times over the course of the season. This left him considering his options, and his future at the club looked to be in further jeopardy when he claimed to the press that the club’s style of play didn’t suit him, and also said that the club didn’t look after him when he was sidelined through injury. He was subsequently fined for his comments, and it appeared inevitable that he would leave the club sooner or later.

JUVENTUS

On the 31st of August 2011, four games into his third season at Hamburg, Elia signed for Juventus for a fee of €9 Million. This proved to be Elia’s worst career move by a long way, as he struggled to make any impact at all in what was an incredible season for “The Old Lady”. Due to Conte’s preference to play a 3-5-2 formation with wings backs, Elia very rarely found a place in the team, and made just five appearances all season, starting just one game, despite the fact that he didn’t have any injuries or suspensions throughout. Due to this catastrophic season for him, Elia missed out on a spot in The Netherlands Euro 2012 squad.

WERDER BREMEN

In an attempt to revive his now stalled career, Elia requested a transfer on the 11th of June 2012, and returned to the Bundesliga a month later, this time playing for Werder Bremen, who paid €5.5 Million for his services. He struggled in his first seven appearances, and admitted that he was finding it difficult to adapt to the teams style of play. He went on to make 25 appearances in his first season, but only scored one goal, in the DFB-Pokal. He was also suspended by the club after he was caught speeding. Despite a disappointing first season, the club decided against selling him, and he made an encouraging start to the 13/14 season, scoring two goals in  a 3-3 draw with Nuremberg. He also found the back of the net in two consecutive games against Mainz and Hoffenheim in late November. He ended the season with four goals and four assists, and became a fan favourite due to his exciting and eccentric style. Elia started the 14/15 campaign in the starting line-up, and got an assist in the opening day fixture. However, illness coupled with a controversial tweet in the build up to the derby against his former club, Hamburg, meant that he was dropped from the first team, and he struggled to cement a spot in the starting lineup after that, largely due to his attitude, along with the impressive form of winger Fin Bartels.

THE FUTURE: SOUTHAMPTON

That brings us to present day, where Elia is currently plying his trade at Premier League side Southampton, following Ronald Koeman’s decision to bring him in on loan. Elia has had an impressive start at the club currently 3rd in the league, causing havoc for defences with his pace and trickery, and exciting fans and pundits alike. He scored his first goals for the club when he bagged a brace in a 2-1 brace over Liverpool. Whilst it is evident that Elia will never become the global superstar he once promised to be, at a rising club like Southampton, under the management of his compatriot Koeman, Elia still has time to surpass his previous achievements, and maybe even become a key player for the Oranje once again.

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Three Eredivisie stars that could make an impact in the Premier League

After the successes of Graziano Pelle, Dusan Tadic and Daryl Janmaat to name just three, Premier League clubs may opt to look at players in the Eredivisie to strengthen their squads before the deadline. It is an attractive league to buy from due to the technical ability on show, but there are always risks as the physicality is nowhere near the levels of the Premier League. There have been successes and failures from the Eredivisie in England. It remains a gamble that clubs, especially in mid table, will make as the finances involved make it attractive. There still remains the opportunity to sign a potential star for a very modest fee. In this article, Jake Jackman discusses three players who could be on the radar of Premier League clubs.

Luc Castaignos (FC Twente)

Luc Castaignos has featured in numerous gossip columns over the past year. Although they aren’t the most reliable, it’s evident he is on the radar of English clubs. He was once regarded as one of the brightest talents in Holland, but a move to Inter Milan at the age of 18 stunted his development. A move to FC Twente saw the striker return to playing first team football, and he is now ready to leave the Eredivisie for a second time, with England an attractive possible destination. This season he has been more consistent, scoring 10 goals in 14 matches across all competitions.

His football intelligence is arguably his best attribute, as his positioning and off the ball runs often see him get the opportunity to shoot. The majority of his goals come in the penalty box, highlighting his ability to find space in the final third. He can also beat a man with his pace, while Castaignos is very effective when playing as a lone front man, with the ability to bring midfielders into play. Several sides in the Premier League should be looking at the forward. Swansea were rumoured to have agreed a fee for the Dutchman in the summer of around £6.5m. That is good value in the striker market and the likes of Newcastle, Southampton or even Swansea might be tempted with all three lacking in depth in the striking position.

Jeroen Zoet (PSV)

Holland have had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to goalkeepers. Tim Krul and Michel Vorm have both come to England and had success, compatriot Jeroen Zoet could be the next to do just that. His size is more suited to England, than that of Ajax keeper Jasper Cillessen who impressed in the World Cup. Zoet has been on the fringes of the Holland squad, but is yet to make his international debut. After a successful period on loan at RKC Waalwijk, he returned to PSV and has been their number one for 18 months, it’s clear to see he has the potential to move onto a bigger league.

The goalkeeper is a very impressive shot stopper, with a save percentage of 79.41% before the winter break, which was up there in the top ten goalkeepers in world football. In some matches this season, Zoet has shown his concentrations, pulling off crucial saves in games which his side have dominated. Several clubs will know about the PSV goalkeeper and could be looked at by Liverpool or Tottenham, if Hugo Lloris leaves in the summer.

Joel Veltman (Ajax)

Joel Veltman has been consistent for Ajax this season at the heart of their defence. At the age of 23, he has already forged a reputation in the game, having played in the World Cup. This season he has shown his ability to contribute at both ends of the pitch, with three goals to his name. He has averaged 2.6 tackles and 2 interceptions per game, highlighting his ability to read the game and win possession back for his side.

As a Dutch player, it might be unsurprising to hear that he is good with the ball at his feet, and he likes to bring the ball out of defence. He is also capable in the air, although he may initially find the physicality of the Premier League difficult, given he is only 23 years old. Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal are all clubs in which he would fit in well, with a route into the first team mapped out, as none of those clubs have defensive strength in depth.

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EREDIVISIE: Heracles 1-4 FC Twente

Header-EredivisieReport

SUNDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER 2014

HeraclesFCTwente

HERACLES 1 – 4 FC TWENTE

FC Twente put in a convincing away performance to defeat bottom side Heracles, who started well, but faded, with a two minute period at the end of the second half killing the contest writes Jake Jackman.

In the opening exchanges, neither side could fashion a real clear cut chance, despite the positive intent from Heracles against a strong FC Twente side. The away side started with lots of attacking talent with the likes of Luc Castaignos, Ryo Miyaichi and Hakim Ziyech, all who can cause significant damage to opposition sides.

The first came after Ziyech played a nice forward pass to Kyle Ebecilio, who had space in the final third, but he could only fire his shot off target. Twente continued to push for the opening goal, but exceptional defending from the home side saw three promising positions from Twente prevented, with some brilliant last ditch defending. The home side then went straight up the other end, with Thomas Bruns playing a nice ball to Wout Weghorst in space, who duly went on the slot the ball past Nick Marsman.

It wasn’t long until the away side equalised, after a block fell kindly for Luc Castaignos, who finished well, a forward of his quality was never going to let a chance like that pass. Although he has always had a big reputation as a player, who had good potential, Ryo Miyaichi was continuing to waste good positions. The home side failed to retake the lead, after Rasmus Bengtsson mis-kicked, allowing Bryan Linssen to find Oussama Tannane, who fired wide from a great position.

As Heracles were preparing to go into half time level, Luc Castaignos scored his second of the afternoon as he headed home from a decent cross provided by Jesus Manuel Corona.

If this wasn’t bad enough for the home side, Twente scored again just moments later through a brilliant finish from Hakim Ziyech as Twente really started to make their quality count. It was perhaps harsh on Heracles, who played well in the first half, but it was certainly Twente who had the better chances and they made those count.

The second half started the same way as the first with very few clear cut chances as Twente looked happy to hold on to what they already had. Bryan Linssen had the first clear cut chance but his shot missed the target. Heracles were doing all of the running and the ball fell kindly for Simon Cziommer who fried straight at Nick Marsman. Despite the pressing from the home side, Twente quickly added a fourth as substitute Youness Mokhtar finished smartly after some good approach play. Iliass Bel Hassani had a late chance, but it would have counted for nothing anyway.

This was certainly a clinical performance from FC Twente and it has shown them as a dangerous side, who will cause a lot of problems this season. Their attack is very potent and they have the ability to finish in the higher positions, especially if Luc Castaignos keeps up the form he showed today. Heracles continued their disastrous start, and they still sit bottom with 0 points. They started well today, but look very vulnerable at the back, they are set to face a serious relegation fight, unless things improve.

TEAMS

HERACLES: Telgenkamp, Schenkeveld (Koenders 53), Veldmate, Engberink, Te Wierik, Bruns (Bel Hassani 68), Pelupessy, Fledderus (Cziommer 46), Linssen, Weghorst, Tannane.

SUBS NOT USED: Navratil, Sibum, Paljic, Fij.

GOALS: Weghorst 16.

BOOKINGS: None.

TWENTE: Marsman, Martina, Bjelland, Schilder, Bengtsson (Breukers 73), Ebecilio, Ziyech (Eghan 80), Mokotjo, Corona, Miyaichi (Mokhtar 68), Castaignos.

SUBS NOT USED: Stevens, Lachman, Koppers, Børven.

GOALS: Castaignos 24 & 33, Ziyech 44, Mokhtar 74.

BOOKINGS: None.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jesús Manuel Corona (FC Twente)

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EREDIVISIE: FC Twente 2-1 Go Ahead Eagles

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SATURDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER 2014

Twente-Eagles

FC TWENTE 2 – 1 GO AHEAD EAGLES

After four consecutive draws, FC Twente grabbed their first win of the season against Go Ahead Eagles but they did not rely on the plethora of talent they brought in at the summer to provide the action it was a forgotten man that stole the show writes Will Burns.

Back in August 2013, I wrote this about the young Mexican Jesús Manuel Corona, as he was a player I had seen many times star in Mexican championships and international youth tournaments. After only making 15 games last season, the winger had not really set the world alight until on Saturday evening against the Eagles of Deventer.

Twente started bright and were ahead in less than four minutes through Luc Castaignos finishing off a wonderful team goal. Hakim Ziyech fed in Castaignos on the edge of the area, who in turn played to Corona, who then threaded the needle for the big striker to finish.

On twenty minutes, the game was tied through Marnix Kolder after he was failed to be picked up and he blasted home from close range after good work from Jules Reimerink.

Within ten minutes, the lead was restored in which Jesus Corona notched what would be the winning goal with an excellent effort. After easily dispatching his marker, Sven Nieuwpoort on the left wing, the Mexican cut inside and played into the area. With only Erik Cummins to beat, the 21-year-old dipped a shot across the goal that deceived the keeper and nestled into the corner.

Hakim Ziyech decided to get in on the act just before the half-time whistle with a great chance that Cummins did well to stop. Ziyech received the ball from Andreas Bjelland’s long ball out of defence and took the ball down well on his chest then flicked it over his and Xandro Schenk’s head. With the crowd roaring in delight, he emerged into the area and fired a half-volley at Cummins and Castaignos nearly grabbed onto the rebound.

Just after the restart, Coruna weaved his magic and again and won his side a tremendous chance of clinching the points early, after Giliano Wijnaldum fouled the Mexican in the box. Castaignos smashed the penalty at the left of the goal and Cummins held strong and palmed away.

Twente pressed and it could have been a lot worse for Fouke Booy’s men were it for not for Cummins’ great display. The last twenty minutes saw Ryo Miyachi make his debut since signing on loan from Arsenal but the game petered out and Twente claimed their first win of the season.

Still undefeated, Twente have the squad to be a major rival for Ajax and PSV in the title chase but will have to improve at the back and in front of goal when playing the top sides.

TEAMS

TWENTE: Marsman, Martina, Lachman (Bengtsson 46), Bjelland, Schilder, Mokotjo, Ebecilio, Ziyech, Mokhtar (Miyaichi 70), Castaignos, Corona (Eghan 83).

SUBS NOT USED: Stevens, Koppers, Børven, Breukers.

GOALS: Castaignos 4, Corona 31.

BOOKINGS: Ziyech 60, Mokotjo 85.

GO AHEAD: Cummins, Van der Linden, Schenk, Wijnaldum (Ten Den 88), Overgoor, Kolder, Duits (Lambooij 77), Nieuwpoort, Lewis, Van Ooijen (Rijsdijk 69), Reimerink.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Hart, Amevor, De Bondt, Van der Meer.

GOALS: Kolder 22.

BOOKINGS: None.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jesus Manuel Corona (FC Twente)

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EREDIVISIE: FC Twente 0-0 Feyenoord

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SUNDAY 31ST AUGUST

Twente-Feyenoord

FC TWENTE 0 – 0 FEYENOORD

There were no goals in the match between FC Twente and Feyenoord, but there were plenty of chances for both. The quality in the final third was lacking. However there were positives for both, especially in the midfields writes Jack Jackman.

Feyenoord were facing a difficult trip to face FC Twente and it would be a real test of the new side, after the summer of changes that have taken place. It looks like Jordy Clasie is set to stay, which will be a huge boost and he captained the side today. It was the away side that had the better of the early exchanges as Jean-Paul Boëtius had his shot saved by Nick Marsman, while the in-form Mitchell te Vrede had two chances, the first he headed wise, and the second was a shot well saved by the Twente goalkeeper.

The home side started to come into the game as Hakim Ziyech started to threaten, forcing a save from range. The likes of him, Kyle Ebecilio, Luc Castaignos and Youness Mokhtar in the same side is very exciting. Around the half an hour mark, Lex Immers had a great chance to open the scoring for Feyenoord, but his close range shot was excellently saved by Mulder.

Then the big moment of the first half arrived as Boëtius was brought down in the box by Cuco Martina and the referee awarded the away side with a penalty. It was Te Vrede who stepped up to take it, but Marsman guessed the right way and saved a tame penalty. Minutes later, Tonny Vilhena had a decent chance as he found room inside the box, but he failed to find a way past Marsman. The first half ended goalless, but it was an entertaining half and it started to look like the new look Feyenoord team could do things this season in the Eredivisie, with Boëtius looking particularly threatening.

The second half started even, Kamohelo Mokotjo came close with an effort from long range that forced a save from Mulder. This was quickly followed by Ziyech shooting just wide as the home side were turning up the pressure. Feyenoord didn’t create as much as they did in the first half, but te Vrede missed the target with two headers as he continued to be a handful, despite being wasteful in front of goal.

The Feyenoord striker had two chances in quick succession around the 75 minute mark, the first effort went fractions wide, and the second needed to be saved by Marsman after good work to create the chance by Jens Toornstra.

There were a lot of late chances with te Vrede forced a save with his head, the forward had lots of chances today, but couldn’t make one of them count. This was quickly followed by a chance for the home side as Ziyech’s shot from range was saved by Mulder, the midfielder will turn out to be a great signing for Twente, he looked very good today and created lots of problems for Feyenoord.

Elvis Manu produced an excellent bit of skill to put in a cross for Jordy Clasie who headed fractions wide, it looked for a moment like the skipper would score the winner for the away side. Feyenoord nearly nicked at with the last kick of the game as Elvis Manu headed past Marsman, but it was scrambled out by the defenders. The draw was a little unfair on Feyenoord who were the better team. However they lacked composure in the final third, especially te Vrede who had plenty of opportunities to score, but failed to find a way past Marsman, who was excellent all match. There were lots of positives for the side that finished second last season and it looks like they will continue to improve in years to come.

TEAMS

TWENTE: Marsman, Martina, Lachman (Breukers 46), Bengtsson, Koppers, Mokotjo, Ebecilio, Ziyech, Mokhtar (Eghan 69), Castaignos, Kusk (Ould-Chikh 79).

SUBS NOT USED: Stevens, Schilder, Borven, Andersen.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Martina 33, Ebecilio 67.

FEYENOORD: Mulder, Wilkshire, Van Beek, Mathijsen, Nelom, Clasie (Karsdorp 90), Immers (Toornstra 46), Vilhena, Schaken (Manu 72), Te Vrede, Boëtius.

SUBS NOT USED: Hahn, Kongolo, Basaçikoglu, Kazim-Richards.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Van Beek 39.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Nick Marsman (FC Twente)

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 4: Sunday’s Preview & Betting Tips

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Sunday brings three live games to Sky Sports 5 from the ever entertaining Eredivisie and Will Burns is here to select his four top tips.

SUNDAY 31ST AUGUST

PSV-Vitesse

PSV vs. VITESSE (11:30 BST)

Philip Cocu’s PSV are oozing with confidence after last weekend’s 3-1 victory in ‘De Topper’ against bitter rivals Ajax. The speed of Luciano Narsingh and Memphis Depay on opposite wings, demolished the Amsterdammers defence in the second half and I see these two causing problems for Peter Bosz’ Vitesse.

Depay, Europe’s most-wanted, gave the Eindhoven side another boost and signed a new contract this past week, he will be looking for celebrate his stay with more goals. The 20-year-old has currently netted five times in just three league games and eight in six of the season so far.

Without a win this season, Bosz’s side have now lost their last six away games in the Eredivisie and you can expect that dreary run to continue. Zakaria Labyad has made a strong start this season and with the team devoid of an out-and-out striker and struggling to finish chances, he will be the visitors’ main threat.

Many defences will fail to cope with PSV this season and with the Arnhem outfit already conceded eight goals in three matches, Vitesse could see a beating. Expect to witness goals and De Boeren winning by at least two with PSV -1 on the handicap valued at 7/5.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

PSV -1 (7/5 – Betfair)

 

Groningen-Ajax

FC GRONINGEN vs. AJAX (13:30 BST)

FC Groningen host a wounded animal in Ajax and Frank de Boer will be looking to this game as the perfect chance to get back to winning ways, although this may be a tough test at the Euroborg Stadion.

Groningen’s home form is excellent and they are currently on a six-game winning streak and like PSV, Edwin van der Looi’s side possess a lot of pace in attack. Until last Sunday’s 3-0 defeat away to ADO Den Haag, Groningen have no trouble scoring with six goals in two games and Ajax proved last weekend they are vulnerable defensively.

As Ajax look for an unprecedented fifth Eredivisie title in succession they are lacking a top striker. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, recently linked with Queens Park Rangers, and on-loan forward Arkadiusz Milik have failed to inspire in the opening games so De Boer has relied on midfielders Lasse Schöne and Davy Klaassen along with 19-year-old wide striker Anwar El Ghazi to find the net this term.

A total of fourteen goals have been scored by these two sides in their first three outings, so the goalkeepers should have a real workout in this one. Over 3.5 Goals is valued at 6/4 and I see this is the best way to make a profit in this match.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Over 3.5 Goals (6/4 – Betfair)

 

NAC-Zwolle

NAC BREDA vs. PEC ZWOLLE (13:30 BST)

After European heartache midweek, Ron Jans will be hoping PEC Zwolle can bounce back with a win over NAC Breda, who are yet to win a game this season.

Sparta Prague ran out 3-1 winners on Thursday to knock Jans’ men out on their first ever European adventure. One thing is on their mind this season – get back into the Europa League. Sunday brings a good chance to help those dreams as they travel to Breda to face perennial strugglers NAC. NAC have Adnane Tighouadini to thank for the two draws they have achieved this season against Excelsior and last weekend against Twente.

However, I feel PEC Zwolle with a 100% record in the Eredivisie will be out to rectify Thursday’s defeat and they should have too much for NAC and leave Breda come Sunday afternoon will all three points. Betfair offer 7/4 for the Zwolle win and this price is decent for a team with three wins in three in the league this campaign.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Zwolle to win (7/4 – Betfair)

 

Twente-Feyenoord

FC TWENTE vs. FEYENOORD (15:45 BST)

After selling the bulk of their stars in the summer, the Rotterdammers have suffered a stuttering season so far. After being emphatically knocked out of the Champions League by Beşiktaş, Fred Rutten’s side then a found narrow win against ADO before being held to a draw to Heerenveen.

Then last Sunday, Feyenoord suffered a bad defeat at De Kuip against FC Utrecht and one weak link in that game was young defender Sven van Beek. Big things are predicted for the 20-year-old centre-back however, he was easily beaten by teenager Rodney Antwi to score his first ever professional goal in the Utrecht’s 2-1 win.

Van Beek will have to deal with bigger and better things this Sunday, with six-foot two-inch striker Luc Castaignos looking sharp at the start of the campaign. Supplying him is skilful winger Youness Mokhtar and a new look midfield of Hakim Ziyech and Kamohelo Mokotjo.

Three great talents that have shown over the past season, that they are capable of providing the magic to win a game. Twente have the team to punish Feyenoord and I am backing the boys from Enschede at 21/20  to clinch all three points.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Twente to win (21/20 – Betfair)

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EUROPA LEAGUE: FC Twente 1-1 Qarabag FK

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THURSDAY 28TH AUGUST

EUROPA LEAGUE PLAYOFF – SECOND LEG

Twente-Qarabag

FC TWENTE 1 – 1 QARABAG FK

Qarabag win on away goal rule 1-1

In the shock of the night, FC Twente were knocked out on away goals to Azerbaijan side Qarabag FK reports Will Burns.

Twente should have had this tie wrapped up when looking at the sides on paper but tonight, they were below par and rightly so, Qarabag emerged into tomorrow’s group stage draw.

Cuco Martina and Kamohelo Mokotjo were nearly punished for mistakes early on but Brazilian striker Reynaldo failed to have the quality to get past Twente keeper Nick Marsman.

The hosts gathered up the play but failed to trouble the Azerbaijan’s representatives until they took the lead before half-time through Luc Castaignos. Kasper Kusk and Kyle Ebecilio combined with the latter feeding the ball through to the big striker to finish in style.

The second-half began and Twente seemed content in keeping just the one goal advantage, however Qarabag had other ideas and five minutes into the half, they drew level. Albanian Ansi Agolli laid the ball into Macedonian international Muarem Muarem, whose first touch was awful, did well to control after the ball flicked up to volley home past Marsman. This was the away goal that all Twente fans dreaded.

The game dwindled on with chances being missed from Castaignos, Mokotjo and Hakim Ziyech. The latter going the closest, smashing an effort across the post.

Twente ran out of time and Qarabag and their small minority of their fans celebrated as the underdogs head into the group stages for the first time.

TEAMS

FC TWENTE: Marsman, Martina, Lachman, Bjelland, Schilder, Ebecilio (Eghan 64), Mokotjo, Ziyech (Borven 79), Mokhtar (Ould-Chikh 90+3), Castaignos, Kusk.

SUBS NOT USED: Stevens, Koppers, Breukers, Bengtsson.

GOALS: Castaignos 37.

BOOKINGS: None.

QARABAĞ FK: Šehić, Qarayev, Medvedev, Sadygov, Agolli, Guseynov, Reynaldo, Muarem (Dias 71), Almeida, Chumbinhno(Yusifov 79), Nadirov (Teli 85).

SUBS NOT USED: Veliyev, Quliyev, Ahmadov, George.

GOALS: Muarem 51.

BOOKINGS: Qarayev 86.

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EUROPA LEAGUE PREVIEW & BETTING TIPS

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Four Eredivisie sides in Europa League playoff action this Thursday night and Total Dutch Football’s Will Burns, Lawk Raoof and Ryan O’Grady provide their best bets for all four encounters.

THURSDAY 28TH AUGUST

EUROPA LEAGUE PLAYOFF SECOND LEG

Shakhtyor-PSV

FC SHAKHTYOR SOLIGORSK vs. PSV (18:00 BST)

The return leg in the Borisov Arena in Belarus will be an interesting match. The prize is €2m or €3m for qualifying, big interest and big prizes for both the teams, who will prevail? Lawk Raoof thinks PSV will find life easy in Belarus.

With a marginal 1-0 home win for PSV in the first leg, this upcoming clash for a Europa League place is hardly settled. The Eindhoven side narrowly defeated a good organized Shaktyor Soligorsk and with the previous Eredivisie clash against arch enemy Ajax, it will be a tough fight to win this game for De Boeren. With the great prize money on the line, both teams will be eager to get through. The home advantage cannot be ignored, winning 5-1 against Derry City and a 5-2 victory against Zulte Waregem are great wins and shows the power and thrive this teams has got in their home ties.

However PSV take with them two players in real form, Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay will be the great weapons for this match. Also, with the one goal lead, PSV can relax and Shaktyor has to attack to force a goal. This leads to an opportunity for Philip Cocu’s side to profit from the room they will get and counter, which was proven to be deadly against Ajax on Sunday.

Place a small stake on 2-0 for a PSV win, as the counter attack combined with the individual class of Depay and Wijnaldum means they will easily win this match in Belarus.

RECOMMENDED BET

PSV to win 2-0 (7/1 – Bet Victor)

Twente-Qarabag

FC TWENTE vs. QARABAĞ FK (18:30 BST)

Qarabag FK held FC Twente to 0-0 draw in Azerbaijan last week but Will Burns thinks Alfred Schreuder’s men should progress comfortably.

Qarabag showed last week that they had talents that could threaten Twente. The Brazilian contingent of Danilo Leandro Dias, Chumbinho, Richard Almeida and Reynaldo created problems from Darryl Lachman and Rasmus Bengtsson. However, Schreuder can boast talents like Hakim Ziyech, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Youness Mokhtar, Kasper Kusk and Luc Castaignos, the Enschede side are too strong to see a decent victory come full-time.

Except the home side to come out of this match with a two or three goal win to progress into the Europa League group stages in style.

RECOMMENDED BET

Twente -1 (13/8 – Bet Victor)

Feyenoord-Zoyra

FEYENOORD vs. ZOYRA LUHANSK (19:00 BST)

After an awful display at the weekend, Fred Rutten’s Feyenoord will look to bounce back on Thursday and send themselves through to the Europa League group stages, Ryan O’Grady believes they can.

A potentially season-changing game awaits Feyenoord on Thursday night. An uneventful and rather dull first leg ended in 1-1 draw which means that if the second leg ends 0-0, which is a possibility consider the performances in the first leg, it will see Feyenoord progress into the group stages.

However if Zorya were able to spring an upset and Feyenoord were knocked out then it is almost certain that Jordy Clasie will leave, if it is has not already (he missed training on Monday adding more fuel to the fire). Such a top quality player isn’t likely to stay with the club if there is no European competition and it could also affect whom the club bring in as no Europa League means less money with which Fred Rutten and the board will able to play with, which is likely to completely rule out the signing of a striker such as Guidetti, a signing that already didn’t look promising.

A much improved performance is needed for Fred Rutten’s side after a disappointing defeat at home to FC Utrecht at the weekend, whilst Zorya are coming off the back of a 0-0 draw away to Chernomorets.

RECOMMENDED BET

Feyenoord to win 2-1 (8/1 – Bet Victor)

SpartaPrague-PECZwolle

SPARTA PRAGUE vs. PEC ZWOLLE (19:20 BST)

Ron Jans’ PEC Zwolle are in the form team in the Netherlands right now, starting an undefeated season with wins over Vitesse and Ajax, however Will Burns thinks it may be tough in Prague on Thursday night.

Zwolle improved vastly in the second half on Sunday to clinch a great 2-1 win over Vitesse and were dreadfully unlucky not to grab a win last Thursday. After missing a penalty in the first leg, defender Maikel van der Werff scored a free-kick, albeit deflected, on Sunday in the home victory.

They travel to Prague to face Sparta who over the weekend lost a derby match against Dukla Prague by a goal to nil, which may inspire them to triumph in this match to appease the home fans. They currently sit fourth in the Czech top flight with nine points in five games.

This match could be a tight one, with Sparta defending their away goal or Zwolle will go forward in search to a vital away goal themselves. Either way, expect this game to finish a draw, either going to extra time (1-1) or a Zwolle away goals win (2-2).

RECOMMENDED BET

Draw (3/1 – Bet Victor)

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