clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Europa League draw: All you need to know about opponents Vitesse Arnhem

A summary of everything you should know about future Europa League qualification opponents Vitesse Arnhem.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

It was always going to happen, wasn't it? Southampton have drawn the toughest opponents possible Vitesse Arnhem of the Netherlands. <!-- ######## START FLOATED VIDEO SNIPPET ######## -->

<div class="floated-video"><iframe allowtransparency="true" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; height:290px;" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="//www.facebook.com/plugins/likebox.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fsaintmarysmusings&amp;width&amp;height=290&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;show_faces=true&amp;header=true&amp;stream=false&amp;show_border=true"></iframe></div>

<!-- ######## END SNIPPET ######## -->

Ranked as the high unseeded team, Vitesse have improved and impressed over the last few years - culminating in a fifth place finish in the Eredivisie last season.

No ticket news has been announced for the away fixture as of yet. But, Vitesse play in the 25,500 GelreDome.

With all the links Saints now share with the Netherlands, here are a few things you should know.

Ronald Koeman started his managerial career at Vitesse

Yup. In 2000, Southampton boss Ronald Koeman took charge of a flailing Vitesse side with limited funds. In his sole season at the Arnhem club, Koeman managed to lead the team of a UEFA Cup spot on a small budget before moving to Amsterdam giants Ajax. Saints' Dutch fitness coach Jan Kluitenberg also started his football career at Vitesse.

Vitesse are well monied and backed by Mother Russia

Backed by Russian businessman Aleksandr Chigirinski, Vitesse are the first Dutch football club to be owned by a foreign investor and they have some serious financial clout to back that up.

Vitesse are also aligned to Russian-owned Chelsea and have agreements in place which see the English Premier League champions send their young stars over to Arnhem to hone their skills and - ahem - earn an EU passport with ease should they need to. Expect to see a number of young Chelsea loanees to feature in Vitesse's Europea League squad.

Saints have some ideal preparation for their opponents

With upcoming friendlies against long-term Eredivisie contenders FC Groningen and Feyenoord fast approaching, Southampton will be able to test the Dutch style of play their Europa League opponents may put forth ahead of the two leg affair. Inversely, these friendlies give local Vitesse scouts an opportunity to take a closer look at the Saints.

A fair few Southampton players should have a good idea of who they're up against

Along with Ronald and Erwin Koeman and Jan Kluitenberg's experience within Dutch football, we have plenty of playing staff who have also plied their trade in the Netherlands. Among those are new signings Cuco Martina, Martin Stekelenberg and Jordy Clasie. Dusan Tadic, Graziano Pelle and Maya Yoshida also played in Holland for a number of years.

Saints have a supposed disadvantage

They, whoever they are, say it's better to play the home leg of a European fixture last. The draw sees Saints having to host the home fixture first, on July 30th, before playing the away match in Arnhem on August 6th.

Vitesse are both excited and nervous at the prospect of playing Southampton

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Vitesse Arnhem manager Peter Bosz on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SaintsFC?src=hash">#SaintsFC</a>: &quot;Tough opponent. Probably the hardest possible draw.&quot;</p>&mdash; Connor Armstrong (@ConnorArmstrong) <a href="https://twitter.com/ConnorArmstrong/status/622030734094680064">July 17, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Vitesse Arnhem manager Peter Bosz on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SaintsFC?src=hash">#SaintsFC</a>: &quot;Tough opponent. Probably the hardest possible draw.&quot;</p>&mdash; Connor Armstrong (@ConnorArmstrong) <a href="https://twitter.com/ConnorArmstrong/status/622030734094680064">July 17, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Eloy Room: &quot;Beautiful draw, a great club. I&#39;m really looking forward to it.&quot; - <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SaintsFC?src=hash">#SaintsFC</a></p>&mdash; Connor Armstrong (@ConnorArmstrong) <a href="https://twitter.com/ConnorArmstrong/status/622031568887001089">July 17, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Southampton in the Europa League, Buzzing!!</p>&mdash; isaiah brown (@izzyjaybrown) <a href="https://twitter.com/izzyjaybrown/status/622008734479458304">July 17, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>