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Apr 24, 2021 at 5.45pm UK
SpartaSparta Rotterdam
Duarte (41'), Smeets (67')
Smeets (45'), Beugelsdijk (76')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Post (56'), van Crooy (70'), Donis (77'), Machach (90')

Preview: Sparta Rotterdam vs. VVV-Venlo - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sparta Rotterdam vs. VVV-Venlo - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Eredivisie clash between Sparta Rotterdam and VVV-Venlo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

VVV-Venlo will be looking to avoid an 11th straight Eredivisie defeat when they travel to the Het Kasteel on Saturday to face Sparta Rotterdam.

Meanwhile, the hosts seek to put last week's defeat behind them, which saw their five-game unbeaten run come to an end.

Match preview

Sparta failed in their quest to pick up two wins on the bounce as they were defeated 2-0 by AZ Alkmaar at the AFAS Stadion on Saturday.

Goals in either half from Jordy Clasie and Dani De Wit condemned Henk Fraser's men to a 13th league defeat of the season.

De Kasteelheren have now dropped to 11th place in the standings, three points away from the top half with five games left to play.

A victory for them this weekend would complete a league double over their visitors after a 1-0 win in last month's reverse fixture.

Saturday's hosts have a strong record in this fixture, unbeaten in the last seven games on home turf between the teams dating back to 2009.

VVV'S downward spiral continued as they suffered a 10th league defeat on the trot following a 2-0 loss to PSV Eindhoven on Sunday.

Jos Luhukay's men fell behind to Cody Gakpo's strike with less than 15 minutes played, and Donyell Malen made sure of the result just before the hour mark.

The Yellow Black Army are still in the drop zone, albeit only on goal difference, but with time running out, an upturn in form is needed.

Only two goals have been scored by Saturday's visitors in the last five games, which is surprising for a team with the league's leading goalscorer.

If they are to hold on to their top-flight status for another year, then Giorgos Giakoumakis has to rediscover his touch in front of goal.

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

VVV-Venlo Eredivisie form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Christos Donis misses out for the fifth match in a row due to a muscle injury which he sustained in the middle of March.

Meritan Shabani is also expected to sit the game out as the 22-year-old remains on the sidelines with a groin problem.

The hosts will have to make do with the absence of 29-year-old Tim Coremans, who has missed the last nine months of action due to a shoulder problem.

Bart Vriends recently picked up a thigh injury in the last week of March, and he is expected to miss the clash as he is yet to recover.

Sparta Rotterdam possible starting lineup:
Okoye; Abels, Heylen, Beugelsdijk, Fortes; Auassar, Burger, Smeets; Duarte, Mijnans, Thy

VVV-Venlo possible starting lineup:
Kirschbaum; Dekker, Da Graca, Gelmi, Pachonik; Linthorst, Janssen, Schafer, Machach; Van Crooy, Giakoumakis

We say: Sparta Rotterdam 2-1 VVV-Venlo

VVV's poor run of form does not look like coming to an end any time soon, as they have looked short of confidence in recent matches. While we expect the visitors to push their hosts all the way, we are backing Sparta to claim all three points.

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
2PSV EindhovenPSV33218473343971
3AZ AlkmaarAZ33208570412968
6FC UtrechtUtrecht331313751401152
8Sparta RotterdamSparta33128134747044
10Fortuna SittardSittard33125164956-741
12FC Twente33911134548-338
13PEC Zwolle33811144353-1035
14RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk3379173352-1930
15Willem II3377193867-2928
18ADO Den HaagADO Den Haag33410192773-4622
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