Utrecht and Vitesse go head-to-head in the Eredivisie Playoff Final 1st leg to decide who will land a Europa League spot. Both teams convincingly won their semi-final matches and this clash is expected to be cagey but entertaining. Here are the Three Keys to this huge showdown. Bet on the Game here.
Simon Gustafson v Martin Ødegaard
This match could come down to these two men who have been influential for their teams this season. Twenty-four-year-old Utrecht attacking midfielder Gustafson has not only been decent in front of goal, but also as a creator. He’s been a driving force for his team which finished sixth. He’s had a hand in 18 league goals for his team this term, scoring ten and assisting a further eight. In their last match against Heracles in the playoff semis, where they won 3-0, the Swedish attacker was on the score sheet. He also provided two assists.
Vitesse have a player capable of providing match-winning moments in Ødegaard. The 20-year old has been incredible this season. The attacking midfielder has scored 11 and assisted 12 in 31 league matches. He dropped a man-of-the-match performance in their last match against Groningen scoring a goal and creating two more. This match might be decided by the brilliance of these two players if necessary.
Utrecht defence v Vitesse attack
Utrecht defence has been shaky throughout the season. They’ve kept just 11 clean sheets in the league in 36 matches. They’ve also shipped in 51 goals in the Eredivisie a stat which doesn’t bode well for them heading into this clash. They’ve also kept two clean sheets in their last five matches. They’ll need to tighten up at the back when they come up against a dangerous Vitesse team.
Vitesse finished the regular season with the fourth-best attack in the league. They’ve only failed to score in one of their last ten matches in all competitions. Although they’ll be playing away from home on Friday, they’ll definitely have a lot of questions for the hosts’ not so solid defence.
Utrecht solid home form v Vitesse poor away form
Utrecht are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competition, winning four out of the last five. The home side should be confident going into this match high in confidence despite its magnitude.
Vitesse have a dreadful away record. In their last 11 matches in all competitions, they’ve lost seven of them. They’ve also won just one match away to Utrecht in their last ten. Of their ten losses in the league, nine of them have been away from home. This stat doesn’t look good for the visitors and they’ll need to up their game on Friday night.