Sparta Rotterdam vs Ajax:
Dutch Eredivisie 2016/17,
Date: Sunday, 7 August 2016,
Kick-Off: 13:30 UK,
Venue: Het Kasteel (Rotterdam).
Sparta Rotterdam won back promotion in style by clinching the 2015/16 Eerste Divisie title. Sparta have 6 first division titles and 3 KNVB Cup wins. However, they haven’t won any since the Cup win in 1966 and their last Eredivisie title came in 1958/59. They are one of the oldest club in Netherlands and got relegated from the top division only twice, first in 2002 and the second in 2010.
Ajax lost the 2015/16 league title to PSV Eindhoven in the last day of the season in a dramatic fashion. They were held to a 1-1 draw by the relegated Da Graafschap, while Eindhoven, who were trailing until them grab a 3-1 win against PEC Zwolle to make the title their own. They will be hoping for a similar run this season, but a better result at the end.
Sparta Rotterdam: Team News
Head-coach Alex Pastoor is missing at least four players through injury in the season opener against Ajax Amsterdam. Strikers Finn Stokkers, Roland Bergkamp and defender Daniel Breedijk are all sidelined.
Zakaria El Azzouzi is a player on-loan from Ajax and he could start against his parent club.
Sparta Rotterdam: Expected Starting Line-up (4-3-3)
Kortsmit – Dougal, Ketting, Drongelen, Dumfries – Moorsel, Sanusi, Spierings – Felicia, Azzouzi, Brongo.
Ajax: Team News
Peter Bosz had no major injury concerns and is expected to field a very strong side.
The new signings Amin Youness and Mateo Cassierra are set to make their league debut.
While the 18-year old Danish teenager Kasper Dolberg is expected to make his first start for the senior side.
Ajax: Expected Starting Line-up (4-3-3)
Cillessen – Dijks, Riedewald, Veltman, Tete – Bazoer, Gudelj, Klaassen – Younes, Dolberg, Ghazi.
Sparta Rotterdam vs Ajax: Head-to-Head Stats
- The latest meeting between these two sides was at this same venue, which resulted in a 3-0 win for Ajax.
- Ajax are unbeaten in six of the last seven matches against Sparta, with 4 wins and 2 draws.
- The matches between these two sides used to be a high scoring affair as four of the last six saw over 3.5 goals.
Sparta Rotterdam vs Ajax: Prediction
Ajax have a very strong head-to-head record against Sparta with 20 wins from the 28 meetings and they lost just twice. The visitors are clearly a much better quality side on paper and it will be a hard ask for the promoted side to take anything from the game. Moreover, Ajax are unbeaten in the last 18 matches in Eredivisie.
A straight win for Ajax offer less value for money, so the option here should be a handicap -1 in favour of Ajax. I also believe the the side from Amsterdam will score at least two goals here. You can also back them to lead at the half time.
Sparta Rotterdam vs Ajax: Tips
- Ajax to win at HT.
- Handicap Ajax -1.
- Ajax Over 2.5 goals.