RICH FIDLER - Friday, September 9, 2011
AZ Alkmaar will welcome sixth place Vitesse to their stadium on Saturday afternoon while Helmond Sport will host red hot FC Zwolle on Monday evening.
AZ Alkmaar - Vitesse
Jozy Altidore could mark his return from international duty with a spot in the starting eleven, although head coach Gertjan Verbeek is concerned about his fitness after a weeks worth of travel for the United States.
The American's fellow striker Brett Holman, who traveled to Australia and Saudi Arabia for games in the last week struggled in training and a decision about his inclusion in the gameday squad won't be decided until just before kick-off.
AZ will be without Charlison Benschop, Joey Didulica, and midfielder Maarten Martens although Dutch striker Ruud Boymans will be available for a spot on the field after recovering from injury during the international break.
The visitors welcomed the international window after a disappointing 4-1 defeat at Ajax on August 26th with the lone goal coming off the foot of Alexander Büttner.
Head coach John van den Brom has welcome a handful of players to the team this off-season on loans from other clubs including defender Tomá Kalas and midfielder Ulises Dávila from Chelsea FC and Schalke's Ghanian midfielder Anthony Annan.
Helmond Sport - FC Zwolle
Helmond Sport is coming off a two weeks break that ended with an unfortunate training injury to midfielder Jeffrey Altheer who will not be available on Monday and could be replaced in the center by American Charles Kazlauskas.
During the break in competitive action the club brought Greek striker Giorgos Niklitsiotis on loan from Olympiakos to boost their depth at forward.
Daniel Guijo-Velasco is still a week or two away from seeing action with the first team after playing a few minutes in a friendly against FC Eindhoven. The midfielder has missed the beginning of the season.
Zwolle head coach Art Langeler has put together an entire roster with only Dutch players but will be without striker Norair Mamedov who broke his jaw during training on Wednesday and isn't expect to be back in action for several weeks.
The visitors are also coming off a open weekend and are well rested for the game on Monday. Their last game in league play was a 2-0 home victory over Sparta Rotterdam thanks to second half goals from Jeroen Ketting and Alexander Bannink.