Preview: Heerenveen vs. Sparta Rotterdam – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Eredivisie clash between Heerenveen and Sparta Rotterdam, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Matchday three in the Eredivisie will conclude with Heerenveen taking on Sparta Rotterdam at Abe Lenstra Stadion on Sunday evening.

The hosts come into this match following a solid 2-0 win over Utrecht in their first away match of the term, while the visitors held the league champions to a 2-2 draw at home.

Match preview

After finishing in eighth place in the Eredivisie last season, Heerenveen have made a flawless start to the current campaign and are one of only four sides in the league that have won both their opening league fixtures.

Kees van Wonderen‘s side got their 2023-24 campaign started with a 3-1 win over RKC Wallwijk at home before their win over Utrecht last week, with Osame Sahraoui catching the eye and scoring in both matches.

Last season, the hosts managed 46 points in their 34 matches, recording 12 wins, 10 draws and 12 losses, though they were notably the lowest-scoring side in the top half of the table with 44 goals scored all term.

While they are the favourites to win this match, Heerenveen do not have a particularly good record against this opponent and lost the last encounter between the sides 4-0 at Sparta Stadion Het Kasteel last season.

Still, having made a positive start to the season and on their home patch, the hosts will be relatively confident that they can get a result in this one.

Meanwhile, Sparta Rotterdam were on the verge of causing arguably the biggest upset of matchday two, but they still managed to take a point off the reigning champions with a very good home performance.

Charles-Andreas Brym put Sparta two goals up, scoring either side of the halftime break, but after repelling wave after wave of attack, Feyenoord got the leveller in stoppage time to deny them what would have been a huge home win.

However, while they may feel that they dropped a couple of points in that match, Jeroen Rijsdijk would have been exceptionally pleased with his side’s performance on the day, and with their unbeaten record still intact, the confidence in the dressing room is likely quite high.

Sparta Rotterdam ended last season above Heerenveen in sixth place and managed 59 points with 17 wins, eight draws and nine losses and recorded the fourth-best defensive stats in the league with 37 conceded in 34 matches.

The visitors underdog tag will not phase them in the least here as they are unbeaten in their last five encounters against this opposition, with two wins and three draws, while also outscoring them 7-2 in that time.

Heerenveen Eredivisie form:

Sparta Rotterdam Eredivisie form:

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Team News

Pelle van Amersfoort picked up a hamstring injury in the preseason, and reports suggest that he is on his way to recovery, but he will not feature in this match.

Longer-term absentee Sven van Beek has not played for the hosts since January due to an Achilles injury, and he is expected to remain sidelined for a while longer.

Rijsdijk’s only injury absentee is Mike Eerdhuijzen, and it is still unclear when the midfielder will return to action, though the combination of Arno Verschueren and Jonathan De Guzman has fared quite well so far.

Brym’s brace against Feyenoord will likely be enough to retain his place in the starting lineup, while Tobias Lauritsen should return to the three-man attack after starting on the bench last week.

Heerenveen possible starting lineup:
Noppert; Ali, van Ottele, Bochniewicz, Kohlert; Tahiri, Haye, Sahraoui, Olsson, Nunnely; Nicolaescu

Sparta Rotterdam possible starting lineup:
Olij; Bakari, Vriends, Velthuis, Warmerdam; de Guzman, Verschueren, Kitolano; Brym, Lauritsen, Saito

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We say: Heerenveen 1-1 Sparta Rotterdam

While Heerenveen have won both of their league matches so far, those were against sides that are expected to struggle this season. The visitors result last week would have given them huge belief that they can have a very good season, and we fancy they will take at least a share of the spoils in this one.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 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 2.5:data

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