Feyenoord and Vitesse cross paths to determine who emerge victorious in the 2017 Johan Cruyff Shield.
They set up the meeting after Feyenoord topped last season’s Eredivisie, the top football tournament in the Netherlands, while Vitesse ruled the KNVB Cup.
For the first time, the competition will be held at the stadium of the previous season’s Eredivisie winner. As hosts for this match, Feyenoord should be given the slight edge at the 51,000-seater De Kuip.
The squad managed by Giovanni van Bronckhorst is exuding with confidence after they brought the Eredivisie title back to Rotterdam after an 18-year hiatus. It was their first title since 1999, and 15th overall.
Feyenoord eventually clinched their first Dutch championship of the century with a 3-1 home win against Heracles, thanks mainly to veteran winger Dirk Kuyt who produced a superb hat-trick. Kuyt retired last May.
Vitesse, on the other hand, foiled Feyenoord from completing a double after Henk Fraser’s men downed the former 2-0 in the Dutch Cup quarter-finals.
The Arnhem club then notched a 2-1 semi-final victory against Sparta Rotterdam, before ending a 125-year wait for their first-ever trophy.
Striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s double powered them past AZ Alkmaar 2-0 to finally lift their long-cherished silverware.
At De Kuip though, the Vitas could be in for a tough grind.
Last season, Feyenoord won 15 and drew two matches at home to make up on four defeats and two more draws while on away duties.
The hosts are also aiming high to improve on the European front as well, after they did not get past the UEFA Europa League group stage. They are also attempting to reach the Champions League proper.
Nicolai Jorgensen will be the danger man for Feyenoord. The 6-foot-3 striker emerged topscorer last season in the Dutch top-tier with 21 goals.
Midfielder Jens Toornstra will also be a problem for the visitors after he showed fearsome form in front of goal with his 14 conversions the last term.
The Vitas will have van Wolfswinkel to lead their attack. He came up a goal shy of Jorgensesn’s output in the last campaign.
Feyenoord won four of their last five head-to-head matches against Vitesse, whose lone victory came during the Dutch Cup at GelreDome.
That is a major aspect why the home squad are priced to win at 1.43. A win by the visitors is worth 6.40, while a draw after 90 minutes pays 4.35.
If Vitesse triumph via a 2-0 scoreline, it is worth 46.00, while a 2-0 win by Feyenoord pays 7.50.