Eredivisie play-off final tips
FC Twente to win
Under 2.5 goals
Sparta Rotterdam vs FC Twente verdict
The two highest-placed teams in the Eredivisie play-off standings have reached the final. Fifth-place FC Twente dismantled Heerenveen 6-1 on aggregate, winning both legs of their semi-final tie.
Sparta Rotterdam made tough work of their assignment. Despite beating Utrecht 2-1 away from home in the first leg, they needed a penalty shootout to progress.
The hosts have won 10 of their 17 Eredivisie matches at Sparta-Stadion Het Kasteel, but that reasonably impressive stat is a little bit misleading.
Every point they've collected at home came against teams outside the top seven. Feyenoord, PSV, Ajax and AZ all won here, with Twente and Utrecht claiming a point.
On paper, failure to win the first leg should spell the end of their push for Europe. FC Twente are the only team in the Eredivisie to go the season unbeaten at home.
It's worth noting that Sparta were one of the four teams to stop them from winning at home, but again, this first leg is crucial for them.
We also have to acknowledge that Twente have managed just 20 goals on their travels, less than half of what they've notched at home. Still, they're the best defence in the league. They've conceded 27 goals in 34 games.
It's hard to know how Sparta approach this game because the stats suggest if Twente score twice, they'll win the game. But the hosts can't afford to be passive for 90 minutes and settle for a draw.
Both teams to score has landed in just four of Sparta's last 10 home matches and one of Twente's last six away games.
Utrecht's second-leg win in Rotterdam extended their previously mentioned poor record against the top seven sides. At home, they're winless in seven and have netted just four times.
Before the wild 3-3 draw in Enschede earlier this season, the last six meetings between the sides had fewer than 2.5 goals and both teams scored on just one occasion.
The risk in backing a low-scoring game here is that Twente can score over 2.5 goals themselves. They've scored at least three in five of their last six.
That's a pretty good reason to back them and we're going to take a chance at the visitors controlling the flow of the game and potentially keeping a clean sheet. Bet on FC Twente to put one foot in the Europa Conference League.
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