Highlighted: Almere City has recovered well

Before the start of the Eredivisie season, Almere City was seen as a likely candidate for relegation. However, after a bumpy start to the season (4 losses and 14 goals conceded), Alex Pastoor's men only lost one of the following six league matches and even remained undefeated in the last four Eredivisie games (2 wins, 2 draws). Against Sparta, a former team of Pastoor, Almere aims to continue this streak.

Thomas Robinet celebrates the 0-1 against FC Utrecht (30-09-2023)

Defensive Turnaround

At the beginning of the competitive season, Almere City was conceding a lot of goals. After match round 4, the Flevolanders had the highest number of goals conceded per game (3.5), the most shots against (21.3), the most shots on target against (9.8), and the highest Expected Goals conceded (2.2). However, after the international break in September, these statistics turned much more positive for Almere City fans. Since match round five, Almere City faced 79 shots in six Eredivisie matches (an average of 13.2 per game), a number surpassed by only six other teams in the league during this period. Additionally, during this timeframe, they rank sixth in terms of shots on target faced per game (4), goals conceded (0.8), and Expected Goals conceded (1.3). The team also managed to keep a clean sheet in four of their last six league matches.

Almere City in the Eredivisie

Per match Before September 16th After September 16th The difference

Shot against




Shots on target against




Goals conceded




Expected Goals conceded




FC Twente player Manfred Ugalde and Almere City FC player Peer Koopmeiners during the match Almere City FC - FC Twente (13-08-2023)

And Almere City does not achieve this by digging in and waiting for the opponent; they defend proactively. Only Peter Bosz's PSV has more High Turnovers (117) this Eredivisie season than Almere City, which regained possession 106 times in the final forty meters of the field. As a result, only PSV (44.9 meters), Feyenoord (44.2 meters), and FC Twente (42.2 meters) on average started their attacks further from their own goal than Almere (42.1 meters).

Defensive Offense

By aggressively defending high up the pitch, Alex Pastoor's men aim to keep the opposition as far away from the goal as possible, while also striving to swiftly approach the opponent's goal themselves. They've already managed seventeen shots from these High Turnovers, only second to PSV, who shot more following such ball recoveries (20). As a result, 14.2 percent of their shots originated from a recovery within the final forty meters (17 out of 120 shots); however, Almere has not yet scored from these opportunities. This remains the next step for Almere. Out of 120 shots taken by Almere City this Eredivisie season, only 32 were on target, marking both the lowest absolute number and the poorest shot accuracy (26.7%) among all teams in the league.

Alex Pastoor during the Almere City - Go Ahead Eagles match (28-10-2023)

Pastoor's Return

With Sparta, Alex Pastoor faces one of his former employers this weekend. The 57-year-old coach has a rich history there, including winning the Eerste Divisie championship in 2015/16. Only Henk Fraser has managed more Eredivisie or Eerste Divisie matches as Sparta's coach this century (128) than Alex Pastoor (105). This will be his third encounter with the Castle Lords. The only two official matches the current Almere coach led against Sparta were in the promotion/relegation playoffs in 2010 (both with Excelsior, resulting in two draws).

Statistics of Almere City FC 2023/24

Will Almere City manage to achieve a good result at Het Kasteel this Sunday? Follow the match Sparta Rotterdam - Almere City FC live on ESPN!


Dit artikel delen