NICK LEYDEN - Friday, April 15, 2011
Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond Sport kick off the Dutch weekend with a home game against MVV on Friday night, while Oguchi Onyewu will hope to make the lineup for Twente's road trip to De Graafschap.
De Graafschap – FC Twente
Having crashed out of the Europa League in humiliating fashion with an 8-2 aggregate loss to Villarreal, Oguchi Onyewu and Twente will now be free to concentrate solely on defending their Eredivisie crown.
On Sunday afternoon they visit 14th place De Graafschap on just three days rest in what should be an opportunity to keep a safe distance between themselves and fellow title challengers PSV and Ajax.
With just four games to be played Twente are two points above the Eindhoven team and three ahead of the giants from Amsterdam.
Despite their thrashing in the Europe League, Twente have been able to string together several positive results in the Eredivisie, winning four and tying one in their last five games.
The one tie, however, did come last weekend in a game in which they also had short rest after the first leg against Villarreal, so the Tukkers will be hoping for a better performance at De Vijverberg Stadium this Sunday.
Michel Preud'homme named Gooch to the starting lineup on Thursday night, just as he had done in the first game against the Spaniards, but it remains to be seen what role the American will play on Sunday as he sat out last weekend's tie with Roda JC.
Twente defeated De Graafschap 2-0 in December, in a pre-Gooch matchup.
Helmond Sport – MVV Maastricht
With just four games remaining in the Eerste Divisie regular season, Helmond Sport will be looking to solidify their position in the promotion playoffs by knocking off MVV in the Stadion de Braak.
The visitors enter the game having not lost in their previous four games, winning three and tying the other, which has seen them rise to ninth place in the standings.
But Helmond Sport will surely expect to take all three points as they are currently enjoying an even longer unbeaten streak of six games, and also have the memory of their 4-1 destruction of MVV in October.
In that matchup Kazlauskas started and played until the final whistle, though this time around it is likely that Jurgen Streppel will utilize him as a substitute, which has been the case for the majority of the new year.