Heracles vs Utrecht;
Eredivisie Europa League Play-off Final;
Date: Thursday, 19-May-2016.
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Venue: Polman Stadion, Almelo.
Heracles and Utrecht face-off in the first leg of the finals of Eredivisie Europa League Playoff 2015/16 on Thursday evening at the Polman Stadion in Almelo.
The hosts of Thursday night, Heracles bounced back from a 2-1 first leg defeat against FC Groningen by a 5-1 win in the return leg at home. They were trailing 1-0 till 83rd minute and 2 goals inside 10 minutes put them level on aggregate and forced the game to extra time to finish it off by a big margin. The team finished 6th in the Eredivisie this season and were without a 5 matches before the comeback win in the second leg.
Utrecht finished the regular season at 5th in the league standings and are coming on the back of a big win against PEC Zwolle in the second leg of the semifinals at home. They drew 0-0 in the first leg away from home, but were in complete control of the home leg which finished in 5-2. They also has a poor end to the regular season, suffering 3 defeats in 4 games.
Heracles: Team News
Heracles head-coach John Stegeman will be without the injured Gonzalo García, Bas Sibum and Dario Vujicevic. Changes are hardly expected to the squad that helped them overcome a 2-1 deficit against Groningen last Thursday.
Heracles: Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Castro – Droste, Wierik, Zomer, Gosens – Hassani, Pelupessy, Bruns – Navratil, Weghorst, Darri.
Utrecht: Team News
Utrecht are still without their first choice goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter and Filip Bednarek will once again take the responsibilities under the goal post.
While Jeff Hardeveld, Kevin Conboy and Sean Klaiber remains sidelined through respective injuries.
Head-coach Erik ten Hag is expected to keep faith in the same starting line-up that earned an impressive 5-2 win over Zwolle on Sunday.
Heracles: Predicted Line-up (4-3-1-2)
Bednarek – Troupee, Maarel, Leeuwin, Kum – Ramseelar, Strieder, Amrabat – Barazite – Joosten, Haller.
Heracles vs Utrecht: Head-to-Head
- Utrecht have won in 3 of the last 6 meetings with Heracles, with 2 draws, while they lost 1.
- Utrecht are also undefeated in the last three, after drawing in 2 and winning 1.
- Heracles haven’t won in the last four home matches against Utrecht, after drawing in 3 and losing 1.
- Three of the last 4 home matches of Heracles against Utrecht end in a 1-1 draw.
Heracles vs Utrecht: Prediction
Both teams are coming on the back of impressive high scoring wins. At the same time, their recent is far from impressive and the outcome of the match is highly unpredictable.
Utrecht have a very good head-to-head record in recent seasons while playing at Heracles. They are unbeaten in the last 4 visits and three of them were draws. A similar result could be expected on Thursday. Unlike their previous meetings, I expect this to be a high scoring affair.
My prediction for this match is 2-2 at full time and I recommend to bet on goals for this match as the full-time result can tip either way.
- Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals.
- Recommended Bet: Over 0.5 First Half.
- Safe Bet: Both Teams To Score.