FC Utrecht vs Heracles Almelo / Eredivisie – After the end of regular season in the Netherlands, it is left to determine who goes in the Europa League. This is rematch of the semi-final’s play-off which Utrecht starts with a solid advantage given they won Heracles away in the 1st leg by 2-0. Utrecht ended up at the sixth place after the regular season and Heracles at the seventh, having five points fewer. Utrecht won both their head-to-head played this season.
FC Utrecht vs Heracles Almelo begins 21.05.2019 at 18:30 CET
Utrecht had set the goal before the season started and that was to qualify for the Europa League. Throughout the season it mostly occupied the fifth or sixth place and they ended up at the 6th, where the 4th was the apex. They showed no oscillations except for weak start of the season. They had one four-game losing streak but after it Utrecht had eight-game unbeaten streak. They played much better at home, although interestingly enough they scored the same number of goals in front of their fans and away, by 30.
At the end of regular season they won Heerenveen by 3-1 after trailing behind, and they did a good job in the first match with Heracles with two goals scored in the finish for the final 2-0. Now they have to defend the advantage. Team captain Janssen didn’t play and was replaced by Gavory, which was the only change. Since they played well there is no need to change team that wins.
Probable lineups FC Utrecht: Jensen – Klaiber, Bergstrom, van der Maarel, Gavory – van Overeem – Bazoer, Gustafson – van de Streek – Kerk, Dessers
Heracles also didn’t oscillate much this season and, just like their host, their best position was the fourth place. If we exclude the very beginning of season when they didn’t reach the optimal form, they were later on worst positioned at the eight place which in qualified them for the play-off. So, they are deservedly here, however, it seems this is the furthest they can go. Heracles lost at home 2-0 and that is hard to annul, especially if we have in mind how much better they played at home throughout the season. They won 11 home matches and interestingly enough they never draw at home, while in total they drew just three times.
Near the end of regular season they occupied the fifth place but then lost three matches in a row and fell down at the seventh place. It seemed they deliberately not playing in full capacity and keeping strength for the play-off but they indeed lost steam which could be seen in the first match with Utrecht. Heracles had a bit more demanding schedule in the finish of season since they faced AZ Alkmaar and PSV. Compared to those matches manager Wormuth had made several changes for match with Utrecht and he will surely make more of them now as stopper Propper is injured.
Probable lineups Heracles Almelo: Blaswich – Droste, van den Buijs, Knoester, van Hintum – Merkel, Osman – Kuwas, Drost, dos Santos – Dalmau
FC Utrecht vs Heracles Almelo PICK
Utrecht did the most of job in the 1st leg and now it has advantage that allows peace of mind. Heracles must attack and try to take lead as soon as possible but they played pretty weakly outside their stadium this season, which is why we forecast new Utrecht’s triumph.
Pick: Utrecht wins
Odds: 1.67 at betsson (down to 1.58 can be played)
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