FC Zwolle - SC Heerenveen
Zwolle’s loss to rock-bottom Emmen last time out - a fifth straight winless match (D3, L2) - was the final straw for the club bigwigs as they sacked manager John Stegeman. Whilst they still remain comfortably above the bottom three, Zwolle will look to kick on here to rid themselves of any lingering relegation fears.
No side has drawn more Eredivisie home games than Zwolle’s six (54.55% of total), which includes four of their last five outings here (L1). That’s a worry, as is the fact the ‘Blue Fingers’ have scored the opener in just three home league games this term (27.27%), although they at least avoided defeat in 50% of the games that they conceded first (W1, D2, L3).
Playoff hopefuls Heerenveen enter this following a 1-1 derby day draw and buoyed by progression to the KNVB Cup semi-finals prior. Seven of Heerenveen’s last 11 competitive games have now seen both teams score, although notably, five of their seven league victories this season came ‘to nil’, whilst the same number also saw a 2+ goal margin.
A big turnaround is needed on the road as Heerenveen currently nurse an eight-game winless Eredivisie away run (D5, L3). Some of that is down to late setbacks, with the visitors conceding after the 75th minute in five of those eight road trips - this time period alone now accounts for 36.84% of their conceded away league goals!
Players to watch: Manuel Benson’s assists either side of HT weren’t enough for victory last time out, but they were his first-ever goal involvements for Zwolle. Meanwhile, Heerenveen top-scorer Henk Veerman (12 goals, four assists) is looking to end a seven-game wait for an away league goal - he scored in each half in their last Eredivisie away victory.
Hot stat: There’s been a 2+ goal margin in 66.67% of Zwolle’s won/lost Eredivisie games; that percentage is 71.43% for Heerenveen.