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Oct 17, 2021 at 1.30pm UK
SpartaSparta Rotterdam
Smeets (33')
Auassar (6'), Smeets (36'), Okoye (37'), Abels (79')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Ngonge (28')
Ngonge (36'), Suslov (88')

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

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

Two teams in desperate need of a victory face off at the Het Kasteel on Sunday when Sparta Rotterdam play host to fellow strugglers Groningen.

Having picked up just one win apiece from their opening eight fixtures, the sides currently find themselves in the lower echelons of the league table.

Match preview

Sparta Rotterdam's wait for a first away triumph of the season goes on as they were beaten 2-1 by PSV Eindhoven at the Philips Stadion on October 3.

After holding their own for the first 80 minutes, quickfire goals from Ibrahim Sangare and Ryan Thomas saw Henk Fraser's men go behind by two before Lennart Thy reduced the deficit in the final minute of normal time.

With six points from eight outings so far, De Kasteelheren are in the bottom three as things stand, level on points with this weekend's opponents.

Sunday's hosts, who have picked up five of their six points this term on home turf, now set out to breathe life into their domestic campaign with a positive result in this one.

Groningen put an end to a three-game losing streak with a 1-1 stalemate against Twente at the Hitachi Capital Mobility Stadium a fortnight ago.

Danny Buijs's men took the lead inside eight minutes thanks to Cyril Ngonge, but Manfred Ugalde restored parity half an hour into the second period.

The Pride of the North are 15th in the standings at the moment, ahead of the drop zone only on goal difference and in need of a pick-me-up.

Awaiting them next is a trip to an opposing side who they have beaten in half of the last 14 meetings between the teams stretching back to 2008.

However, Sunday's visitors suffered a 2-1 defeat in the most recent encounter back in May and will be keen to exact revenge this weekend.

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

Sparta Rotterdam form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

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

Team News

Sparta's Aaron Meijers is suspended for the game as he serves the last of a three-game ban following a sending-off versus Cambuur in September.

Tom Beugelsdijk will also miss the match after picking up a thigh problem which has seen him sit out the home side's last five outings.

Mike te Wierik is ruled out through a foot injury, while Radinio Balker still awaits his first appearance of the season due to a cruciate ligament injury.

Dutch midfielder Laros Duarte is not expected to feature for Groningen in this one as the 24-year-old continues to battle with an ankle injury.

Sparta Rotterdam possible starting lineup:
Okoye; Pinto, Heylen, Vriends, Abels; Auassar, Osman, Thy; Van Crooy, Smeets, Emegha

Groningen possible starting lineup:
Leeuwenburgh; Dammers, Kasanwirjo, Van Hintum, El Hankouri; Dankerlui, Suslov, De Leeuw; Ngonge, Strand Larsen, Abraham

We say: Sparta Rotterdam 1-1 Groningen

The teams are on a rough patch coming into the clash, so we expect a nervy and cagey affair with neither side showing too much adventure. We are also tipping the sides to cancel each other out and settle for a point apiece come the full-time whistle.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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Eredivisie Table
2PSV EindhovenPSV970222121021
3FC UtrechtUtrecht95221910917
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15RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk91441215-37
17Sparta RotterdamSparta9144817-97
18PEC Zwolle9018317-141
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