Vitesse v Zulte Waregem background

With a point apiece to their name – courtesy of their 1-1 draw in Belgium on matchday three – Vitesse and Zulte Waregem are both in need of victory next time out.

Vitesse celebrate during their matchday three meeting with Zulte Waregem
Vitesse celebrate during their matchday three meeting with Zulte Waregem ©AFP/Getty Images

Vitesse and Zulte Waregem have their work cut out to qualify from UEFA Europa League Group K, the two sides renewing acquaintance in the Netherlands two weeks after drawing 1-1 in Belgium – a result that gave both clubs their first point of the campaign.

Previous meetings
• In the teams' first meeting it was Zulte Waregem who went ahead thanks to an own goal from Guram Kashia, before Vitesse pegged them back through Thomas Bruns four minutes later.

• Zulte Waregem had lost all three of their previous games against Dutch sides without scoring a goal – including a pair of 3-0 home defeats, by Ajax in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage and by PSV in the third qualifying round of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League (PSV also winning 2-0 in the Netherlands).

• Vitesse had won their only two previous UEFA matches against Belgian opposition without conceding: 1-0 home and away against Mechelen in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup second round.

Form guide
• Both clubs have one point from three Group K games and are eight and five points, respectively, behind Lazio and Nice with three matches remaining.

Highlights: Zulte Waregem 1-1 Vitesse
Highlights: Zulte Waregem 1-1 Vitesse

• Vitesse have lost their last four European fixtures in Arnhem, most recently going down 3-2 to Lazio on matchday one.

• Zulte Waregem have a positive recent record on the road in Europe, having won four of their last seven away fixtures (D1 L2).

• Vitesse are featuring in the group stage of a UEFA competition for the first time – the reward for having won the 2016/17 Dutch Cup, their maiden major trophy.

• Zulte Waregem claimed their second Belgian Cup in 2016/17; they made it through the UEFA Cup group stage in 2006/07, but could not emulate that success in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Waregem to Arnhem is around 200km, making this the shortest journey required of any competitor on matchday four.

• Zulte Waregem midfielder Onur Kaya came through the youth ranks at Vitesse and was a first-team player from 2005–10.

• Vitesse defenders Alexander Büttner (2016) and Arnold Kruiswijk (2008–10) played in Belgium with Anderlecht.

• Kruiswijk celebrates his 33rd birthday on the day of the game.

• Zulte Waregem's Timothy Derijck also has extensive Dutch experience (Feyenoord 2005–09, NAC Breda 2006, Den Haag 2009–11 and 2014–16, PSV Eindhoven 2011–14, Utrecht 2013–14).

• Zulte Waregem forward Aaron Leya Iseka misses this fixture through suspension after being booked in all of the first three group games.

• Suspended for next match if booked: Thulani Serero (Vitesse).

The coaches
• Vitesse coach since 2016, leading them to their historic Dutch Cup triumph last season, Surinam-born Henk Fraser was capped seven times by the Netherlands as a defender, spending the bulk of his playing career at Feyenoord, where he was later a youth coach. He took his first senior job at Den Haag from 2014–16.

• Francky Dury's second coming as Zulte Waregem coach began in 2012, and he led them to a second Belgian Cup success last season. Zultse and – post-merger – Zulte Waregem boss from 1994–2010, he had spells with Gent and Belgium's Under-21 side prior to his return.

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