SPARTA ROTTERDAM VS FC EMMEN PREVIEW & PREDICTION
Sparta returned with a goalless draw from Emmen and will now do the job for his own audience. The tension is however to cut and underdog FC Emmen hopes to benefit from that.
Sparta seems to have the best papers in advance for the second game with FC Emmen, but it could have been even better for the formation of trainer Dick Advocaat. Stijn Spierings was pulled down in the penalty area by FC Emmen midfielder Alexander Bannink after the break and that should have resulted in a penalty for the visitors. Referee Allard Lindhout refused, even after looking at the images, to put the ball on the dot and that was pretty sour for the Rotterdam team. Especially given the fact that the leader Friday admitted that Sparta did earn a penalty.
Despite this, Sparta hopes to secure the ticket for the Premier League on Sunday. For that the South-Hollanders will have to perform better than in the last home match against FC Dordrecht because then the hosts gave away too much and they enabled the visitors to score twice. The 2-2 final score that appeared on the board at the time would now be fatal. For the rest, the form of Sparta on Het Kasteel is reasonable. Sparta lost two of the last six matches for his own audience. Ajax and Heracles Almelo lost 2-5.
The Rotterdam-team will start again with Leonard Nienhuis in the second game with FC Emmen. Jannik Huth and Roy Kortsmit are still struggling with injuries and they will not be able to take action. Furthermore, there is still a question mark behind the name of Miquel Nelom. The left back missed the first game because of a slight injury and therefore he will have to make progress to get this showdown.
FC Emmen will really have to rise above himself to make the step to the highest level for the first time in the history of the club. The team of trainer Dick Lukkien was obviously the underdog for the first meeting in Drenthe, but showed himself from the best side. That it was still 0-0 after ninety minutes of football was perhaps a bit lucky because of the penalty-incident, but the fact is that FC Emmen held up well.
The players of Lukkien will now also realize that they are close to a miracle. A deadly counter in Rotterdam could already be enough to shoot Sparta to the Jupiler League. The Emmen people smell blood, but the question now is which instructions Lukkien will give to his players. Do the visitors go for that fast goal, or do they first watch the cat from the tree?
Lukkien will have to make a change anyway as Stef Gronsveld is not available for the last game of the season. The right back collected his second yellow card of the play-offs on Thursday and that is what got him on a match suspension. Lukkien has enough potential to absorb this. Players like Keziah Veendorp, Tim Siekman and Josimar Lima can all do a fine job in defense and one of them will probably start now.
PREDICTION: Sparta Rotterdam to win @ 1.90