Slutsky will finally get the better of Advocaat
This is essentially a preface to a European qualification playoff in the Eredivisie and pits two wily veterans against one another in Dick Advocaat and Leonid Slutsky. Vitesse have been frustrating to back for win purposes recently and a three match winning run has just ended for Utrecht, so this could come down to which manager can motivate his players best.
With that in mind, Dick Advocaat has the far superior record against his counterpart. Winning four and drawing three in eight meetings. Crucially, Slutsky’s only win against his rival came in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, a 2-1 win for Vitesse. Both managers tend to focus on the defensive side of the game and that is reflected in that five of their eight meetings have finished with under 2.5 goals.
Utrecht’s home form will be a concern heading into the business end of the Eredivisie. A win against Feyenoord aside they have failed to score in three of their last five home games and have dropped the most points at home of any of the top seven sides in the league. This problem has been exasperated in that the majority of the dropped points have come from leading at half time or later in the game, something I am looking towards for today’s tip. They are averaging 3.25 goals in their last five games but as stated previously, ten of these have come in two games, a 6-2 away win in Venlo and a 4-0 win away win at Breda.
The problem with Vitesse is that they’ve experienced very similar struggles to their counterparts, having dropped points from winning positions in 13 games this season, the most in the whole division. They have only lost one of their last eight though, with O3.5 goals in five of their last six, including three high scoring draws in the last three games. What does this mean? That they are not afraid to take risks and they will travel to Utrecht tomorrow with the mentality “if you score three, we will score four”, something that hasn’t necessarily been reflected in the odds online.
The head to head between the two sides also has a few trends. BTTS has come in nine of the last ten. Similarly, there has only been two away wins since 2012. That doesn’t bode too well for this upcoming selection.
When taking all into account, there is more on the line here for Vitesse and Slutsky. They need the win to continue to challenge for European qualification. Given the fact both teams like to score goals and the open nature of their recent encounters combined with Utrecht’s poor run at home, I am going for Vitesse win and BTTS at 4/1.
Those odds are too good to turn down for me.