AZ Alkmaar and Vitesse Arnhem clash in the KNVB Cup final on Sunday evening in De Kuip. Kick-off is 5pm. 

Vitesse Arnhem are looking for their first major trophy in the clubs 125 year history while AZ Alkmaar are close to their fifth KNVB Cup, having last lifted the trophy in 2013. For both a place in the Europa League is at stake.

The final couldn’t be contested by two more evenly matched teams, with both going into the game separated by just one point in the league table. AZ are currently fifth, with Vitesse one place behind. Neither side go into the game in top form with Vitesse losing their last two league games, while AZ have only three victories in their last seven games.

For the first time, the KNVB Cup final will be played with both goalline technology and a video referee.

Road to the final

AZ: John Van den Brom’s side started with a simple 4-1 win over Lienden before overcoming Emmen (1-0), ASWH (2-0), Heerenveen (1-0). They needed penalties to beat Cambuur in the semi-finals after a 0-0 draw.

Vitesse: A 7-2 win over De Dijk started their route to the final before simple victories over RKC (4-1) and Jodan Boys (4-0). Henk Fraser’s side knocked out holders Feyenoord 2-0 in the quarter finals before squeezing past Sparta Rotterdam 2-1 in the semi-finals.

Possible line-ups

AZ: Krul, Svensson, Haps, Van Eijden, Vlaar, Wuytens, Luckassen, Van Overeem, Dos Santos, Jahanbakhsh, Weghorst

Vitesse: Room, Leerdam, Kruiswijk, Kashia, Miazga, Nakamba, Baker, Foor, Rashica, Nathan, van Wolfswinkel

Head to head

The clubs have met twice already this season with the match in Alkmaar ending a 2-2 draw while Vitesse triumphed 2-1 in Arnhem. The two sides have only met one in the cup before in 2001 when Vitesse qualified for the semi-finals thanks to a 2-1 home win on Alkmaar.

Odds

AZ Alkmaar 13/10 Draw 12/5 Vitesse 2/1

Key Players

Lewis Baker

The on-loan Chelsea midfielder has been key to the Arnhem’s journey to the final, scoring five goals in the competition including both in the semi-final win over Sparta. A big threat from free kicks and with the ball at his feet around the box, Baker will be the man to keep Vitesse moving forward and is a potential match-winner.

Ron Vlaar

The veteran centre-back hasn’t enjoyed the most reliable campaign with injuries hampering the Dutch international. However, he is determined to lead AZ to the cup and he will be instrumental in keeping his teammates calm throughout the game and shutting down the threat that Ricky van Wolfswinkel poses.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Its been a dream first season back in the Netherlands for the former Norwich and Sporting striker, with van Wolfswinkel netting 19 goals. The 28-year-old is a major threat in the box and will look to score the goals to earn Vitesse the trophy. He missed the defeat to Feyenoord last weekend through suspension and will be fresh for the clash with AZ.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh

The gem of AZ Alkmaar’s attack, Jahanbakhsh will be key for van den Brom’s side and a major threat to the Vitesse defence. The direct and tricky winger has nine goals and nine assists so far this season and is being linked with a summer move to the Premier League.




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