The 20/21 Eredivisie season begins this Friday and we will preview the expectations of each Eredivisie club. In this article we look at Sparta Rotterdam.

Sparta Rotterdam had a relatively successful campaign last season with the club comfortably sitting eleventh in the table and far from the relegation zone when the season was ended.

Henk Fraser’s side wants to establish themselves as a permanent Eredivisie club after a few years as a yo-yo club and this season another mid-table finish is the aim. However, with their main striker departing, will goals be an issue in Rotterdam?

Transfers

Sparta’s top scorer last season Ragner Ache has left the club for Eintracht Frankfurt, while Jurgen Mattheij has also departed for an adventure in Bulgaria.

Sparta has looked to replace Ache with Lennart Thy, who joins from PEC Zwolle, while Telstar forward Reda Kharchouch also joins. Denzell Gravenberch adds some strength to the forward line, while Tom Beugelsdijk adds some experience to the defence. Goalkeepers Benjamin van Leer and Maduka Okoye have also come in.

Head Coach

Henk Fraser is an experienced Eredivisie coach and he did an excellent job in keeping Sparta far away from the drop zone last season.

Fraser has ambitions of coaching at a bigger club and he is definitely not doing himself any harm with the job he has done with Sparta so far. His attacking style at Sparta is easy on the eye too.

Key Players

Replacing Ache up front is not going to be an easy task so Lennart Thy will have a tough job on his hands. The 28-year-old has plenty of experience in the Eredivisie and has proved himself as a good forward at VVV-Venlo and PEC Zwolle.

Abdou Harroui (22) is an excellent young playmaker and he is interesting several clubs from the Netherlands and abroad. The Netherlands U21 international is the creator of Sparta and will be their main man again this season, as long as he doesn’t get snapped up.

Young players to watch

17-year-old striker Emanuel Emegha has made a big impression during pre-season and scored in their friendly with Borussia Dortmund. He could take his chance in the first-team with Kharchouch out injured.

Pre-season

Sparta started pre-season with a 3-1 win over Top Oss, but haven’t won since with a 3-0 defeat to Feyenoord followed by draws with Telstar, NAC Breda, and RKC. They ended pre-season with a 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Strongest line-up

Van Leer, Abels, Vriends, Heylen, Pinto, Auassar, Fortes, Duarte, Harroui, Rayhi, Thy

Predicted finish

Sparta Rotterdam did well to finish so comfortably up the table last season but at the moment their squad looks very thin and an injury to any of their key players could prove crucial.

New signing Reda Kharchouch has already been ruled out for the first few months of the season, which is a big blow to Fraser.

Sparta have the capability of finishing mid-table but also could be dragged into the bottom three. At the moment the latter looks more likely if no more signings are made.




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