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May 16, 2021 at 1.30pm UK
PEC ZwollePEC Zwolle
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Preview: PEC Zwolle vs. Groningen - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: PEC Zwolle vs. Groningen - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Eredivisie clash between PEC Zwolle and Groningen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Groningen have the chance to break into the top six of the Eredivisie table on the final day of the domestic campaign on Sunday, as they travel to PEC Zwolle needing a win and a defeat for sixth-placed FC Utrecht.

Despite a run of three consecutive defeats, the hosts are safe from the threat of relegation and will not move from 13th spot unless there is a drastic swing in goal difference on the final day.

Match preview

PEC Zwolle come into this game looking to put an end to a three-game losing run in the Eredivisie, most recently falling to an away defeat at the hands of second-placed PSV Eindhoven.

The hosts took a four-goal lead through Donyell Malen, Yorbe Vertessen, Eran Zahavi and a Xavier Mous own goal, but late goals from Immanuel Pherai and 17-year-old Samir Lagsir salvaged some pride for the visitors, as the game finished 4-2.

Before that, they suffered a much more disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of basement side ADO Den Haag, as Bobby Adekanye netted the only goal of the game after 12 minutes.

The Blauwvingers now find themselves in 13th spot in the Dutch top flight, with almost no scope to move on the final day of the campaign, but they will still aim to finish the season in a positive way rather than with four consecutive defeats.

They take on a Groningen side who have plenty to play for, as they look to leapfrog Utrecht and move into the top six on the final day.

The visitors have kept their hopes alive with four points from their last two games, most recently holding third-placed AZ Alkmaar to a goalless draw to earn an impressive point.

Before that, Danny Buijs's side picked up a dominant 4-0 win away at a resurgent FC Emmen side, as Bart van Hintum and Paulos Abraham got on the scoresheet alongside an Alessio Da Cruz brace.

That victory broke a three-game Eredivisie losing run for The Green-White Army, keeping them in contention for sixth place as a result.

Going into the final day of the season, Buijs's men sit two points behind Utrecht in sixth spot, but a notably inferior goal difference means that they will need to secure a victory and hope Utrecht fall to a defeat to PSV Eindhoven on Sunday.

PEC Zwolle Eredivisie form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Groningen Eredivisie form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

PEC Zwolle come into this game with several absentees, as Sam Kersten, Sai van Wermeskerken and Thomas Buitink are all expected to remain out of action.

However, their selection options have recently been boosted with the likes of Virgil Misidjan and Mike van Duinen being fit enough to make the bench last time out.

Immanuel Pherai should again feature in the attack after he returned from injury last time out with a goal against PSV.

Meanwhile, young midfielder Samir Lagsir put his claim forward for a starting spot with a late goal off the bench in that game.

Groningen will be without centre-back Mike Te Wierik and left-back Bart van Hintum for this game, as the pair will both serve one-game suspensions.

Buijs is struggling for defensive options in the absence of those two, as left-back Gabriel Gudmundsson and centre-back Wessel Dammers also remain out through injury.

At the other end of the pitch, Alessio Da Cruz and Paulos Abraham should lead the attack, while Arjen Robben is expected to start on the wing in this crucial encounter.

PEC Zwolle possible starting lineup:
Mous; Bajselmani, Lam, Nakayama, Paal; Saymak, Van Den Belt, Strieder; Drost, Tedic, Pherai

Groningen possible starting lineup:
Padt; Dankerlui, Itakura, Van Kaam, Poll; Lundqvist, Matusiwa; Robben, Da Cruz, El Hankouri; Abraham

We say: PEC Zwolle 0-3 Groningen

Given the poor form of the hosts and the comparable need for a victory, we see the visitors picking up a dominant victory on Sunday, as they aim to leapfrog Utrecht on the final day with a win.

Zwolle have struggled with little to play for, and we expect them to fall to a convincing defeat on the final day, although their eventual 13th-placed finish is definitely acceptable for the Blauwvingers.

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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Eredivisie Table
2AZ AlkmaarAZ00000000
4FC Twente00000000
5FC UtrechtUtrecht00000000
7Fortuna SittardSittard00000000
8Go Ahead Eagles00000000
11PEC Zwolle00000000
12PSV EindhovenPSV00000000
13RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk00000000
16Sparta RotterdamSparta00000000
18Willem II00000000
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