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FC Twente logo
Eredivisie | 2nd Leg
Jun 11, 2023 at 1.30pm UK
De Grolsch Veste
Sparta Rotterdam logo
FC Twente
1 - 0
Sparta
Brenet (53')
Pleguezuelo (45+2'), Brama (49')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Sambo (47'), van Crooij (76')

Preview: FC Twente vs. Sparta Rotterdam - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Eredivisie clash between FC Twente and Sparta Rotterdam, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

FC Twente and Sparta Rotterdam will renew hostilities at De Grolsch Veste for the second leg of their Eredivisie European playoff final on Sunday afternoon.

The two sides played out an eventful 1-1 draw in Rotterdam on Thursday, meaning that we are no closer to knowing which club will qualify for next season's Europa Conference League.


Match preview

FC Twente appeared to be heading for a 1-0 defeat in the first leg, but a 93rd-minute equaliser from Ramiz Zerrouki saw the visitors snatch a share of the spoils at Sparta Stadium.

In fairness, the Tukkers dominated the first leg, enjoying the lion's share of the ball while racking up 20 shots, although Ron Jans's men failed to make the most of their dominance, as they managed only three attempts on target.

Thanks to Thursday's draw, Twente head into the second leg on an eight-game unbeaten streak, having ended the regular season with a run of four straight wins before sealing back-to-back victories over Heerenveen to reach the European playoff final.

When you look at the bigger picture, the Pride of the East have lost just one of their previous 14 encounters, picking up nine victories while scoring at least three goals on nine occasions.

It is also worth noting that Twente have been immense at De Grolsch Veste this season, suffering a solitary defeat in 22 home games across all competitions, so they will be confident of completing the job this weekend.

Ron Jans, now in charge of FC Twente, pictured in September 2019© Reuters

When Vito van Crooij scored a second-half penalty to give Sparta Rotterdam the lead in the first leg, it looked as though the hosts would snatch an underserved victory, but their backline eventually cracked late on.

Still, after finishing the contest with 36% possession and two shots on target to their name, De Kasteelheren can count themselves fortunate to have scraped a draw at Sparta Stadium.

It would not be unfair to say that Sparta Rotterdam have stuttered somewhat in recent weeks, as they required a penalty shootout to overcome FC Utrecht in the European playoff semi-finals.

As a result, Maurice Steijn's men enter the second leg on a run of three wins, two draws and three losses, so they will be eager to rediscover the consistency that saw them register their highest Eredivisie finish since 1984-85.

Sparta Rotterdam can take confidence from their recent away record, however, as they have lost just one of their previous seven away games, notching five wins while scoring at least two goals on five occasions.

FC Twente Eredivisie form:

Sparta Rotterdam Eredivisie form:


Team News

FC Twente look set to be without young centre-back Max Bruns for the second leg, as the 20-year-old has missed the past nine matches due to injury.

Having racked up an impressive 15 goals and 13 assists this season, Czech winger Vaclav Cerny will offer attacking support to lone striker Manfred Ugalde, with Virgil Misidjan operating on the opposite flank.

Ron Jans will likely stick with his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, meaning that Joshua Brenet, Julio Pleguezuelo, Robin Propper and Gijs Smal will occupy the backline.

As for Sparta Rotterdam, there were question marks over the fitness of Tobias Lauritsen and Mike Eerdhuijzen ahead of the first leg, but both players started on Thursday.

Lauritsen has chalked up 15 goals and six assists this term, while Vito van Crooij has notched 14 goals and 12 assists, so they will continue in attack alongside Japanese forward Koki Saito.

Maurice Steijn is expected to deploy a 4-3-3 formation, with Joshua Kitolano, Arno Verschueren and Younes Namli lining up in midfield.


FC Twente possible starting lineup:
Unnerstall; Brenet, Pleguezuelo, Propper, Smal; Zerrouki, Sadilek; Cerny, Vlap, Misidjan; Ugalde

Sparta Rotterdam possible starting lineup:
Olij; Sambo, Vriends, Eerdhuijzen, Meijers; Kitolano, Verschueren, Namli; Van Crooij, Lauritsen, Saito


SM words green background

We say: FC Twente 2-1 Sparta Rotterdam (FC Twente to win 3-2 on aggregate)

Following Thursday's stalemate, FC Twente and Sparta Rotterdam have now played out three draws this season, although the Tukkers could – and probably should – have defeated De Kasteelheren last time out.

Sunday's showdown looks destined to be another closely-fought battle, but we expect Twente to edge Sparta this time around, as the Pride of the East have won 16 of their 22 home games this term.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Game History

How you voted: FC Twente vs Sparta

FC Twente
84.1%
Draw
6.8%
Sparta Rotterdam
9.1%
44
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Ron Jans, now in charge of FC Twente, pictured in September 2019
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4AZ AlkmaarAZ149323192230
5Ajax157353328524
6Go Ahead Eagles146442520522
7Sparta RotterdamSparta156362020021
8Heerenveen156182328-519
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11Fortuna SittardSittard144461524-916
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15RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk144191426-1213
16Almere CityAlmere City143471230-1813
17Vitesse1422101032-228
18FC VolendamVolendam1522111639-238

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