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[monks data]
Jan 23, 2022 at 3.45pm UK at Sparta-Stadion Het Kasteel
Sparta
0 - 3
Utrecht

Dalmau (28')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Douvikas (12'), Mahi (47'), van de Streek (75')
Maduro (41'), van der Hoorn (48')

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

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

Sparta Rotterdam and FC Utrecht will lock horns on Sunday, as both teams look to end winless runs of form.

A run of seven games without a victory has seen the hosts drop into the bottom three of the Eredivisie table, while their visitors sit seventh despite failing to win any of their last five matches.


Match preview

Henk Fraser, now in charge of Sparta Rotterdam, pictured in 2017© Reuters

Sparta Rotterdam have had to battle through a difficult first half of the Eredivisie season, winning just two of their 19 games and amassing a concerning tally of 14 points.

After a rare 3-0 victory over Willem II in November, Henk Fraser's men have failed to add another notch to their wins column in seven attempts, firstly suffering consecutive defeats at the hands of FC Twente, Ajax and AZ Alkmaar.

However, De Kasteelheren may be showing slightly more encouraging signs recently, having now drawn their last four games in the Dutch top flight, holding Heerenveen, Vitesse and RKC Waalwijk before they earned another point against Cambuur last weekend.

Fraser's men trailed 1-0 heading into the final 15 minutes after Tim Coremans's first-half own goal, but Adrian Dalmau netted a 77th-minute equaliser to stretch their run of draws, with a seven-game winless streak quickly becoming a run of four games without a loss.

Nonetheless, the Rotterdam outfit remain in the bottom three, and, with Willem II sitting four points ahead, they will know they need victories if they are to jump out of the bottom three and preserve their top-flight status again this term.

Utrecht arrive also looking to break a winless run, albeit without the threat of relegation this season.

Rene Hake's side enjoyed a strong start to the domestic campaign, picking up 26 points from their first 14 Eredivisie meetings, but they have since fallen on slightly tougher times.

After league leaders PSV Eindhoven handed them a fifth league defeat of the season, the Domstedelingen went on to play out draws with Go Ahead Eagles, Fortuna Sittard and FC Twente before facing the daunting task of a clash with Dutch giants Ajax.

Antony opened the scoring for the Amsterdam side and Brian Brobbey added a brace before half time to seal a dominant 3-0 away win, seeing Utrecht fall further behind the league's top six.

While they may be concerned by a five-game winless run, the only defeats in that spell have come against the league's two runaway teams, and Hake's side will now hope to correct their form against a struggling Sparta Rotterdam side.

Sparta Rotterdam Eredivisie form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D

Sparta Rotterdam form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D

FC Utrecht Eredivisie form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L

FC Utrecht form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L



Team News

Henk Fraser, now in charge of Sparta Rotterdam, pictured in 2017© Reuters

After a string of commendable draws, Sparta Rotterdam will again field their preferred 3-5-2 system, with only minimal changes expected from last weekend.

Adrian Dalmau will lead the line against his former club, having opened his account for Sparta at the first time of asking last time out after a January switch from Utrecht.

Bart Vriends, Tom Beugelsdijk and Dirk Abels should again line up in a back three, shielding goalkeeper Tim Coremans.

The Utrecht attack will be led by Anastasios Douvikas, who has netted four league goals since his summer switch from Volos NPS.

He could again be flanked by Sander van de Streek and Mimoun Mahi with Quinten Timber, Adam Maher and Naoki Maeda expected to handle business in the engine room.

Sparta Rotterdam possible starting lineup:
Coremans; Vriends, Beugelsdijk, Abels; Masouras, Namly, Van Crooy, Mijnans, Meijers; Thy, Dalmau

FC Utrecht possible starting lineup:
De Keijzer; Ter Avest, Van Der Hoorn, Van Der Maarel, Warmerdam; Timber, Maher, Maeda; Van De Streek, Douvikas, Mahi


SM words green background

We say: Sparta Rotterdam 1-1 FC Utrecht

Sparta Rotterdam have been resilient to deny some strong sides victories in recent weeks, and we see the same happening on Sunday.

While Utrecht possess the ability to put the relegation-threatened team to the sword, they have struggled for form recently and may have to settle for a share of the spoils.



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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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CAjax34265398197983
2PSV EindhovenPSV34263586424481
3Feyenoord34225776344271
4FC Twente34208655371868
5AZ AlkmaarAZ34187964442061
6Vitesse34156134251-951
7FC UtrechtUtrecht341211115146547
8Heerenveen34118153750-1341
9Cambuur34116175370-1739
10RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk34911144051-1138
11NEC34108163852-1438
12Groningen3499164155-1436
13Go Ahead Eagles34106183751-1436
14Sparta RotterdamSparta34811153048-1835
15Fortuna SittardSittard34105193667-3135
16Heracles3497183349-1634
17Willem II3496193257-2533
RPEC Zwolle3476212652-2627

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