BRENDAN WIMBERLY - Friday, September 27, 2013
Aron Johannsson and Charles Kazlauskas face teams on opposite sides of the spectrum this weekend as AZ take on Eredivisie leaders PSV while Helmond face Eerste Divisie stragglers Almere City.
AZ - PSV
Aron Johannsson and AZ take on Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven on Saturday. Johannsson and company have faced some struggles this season in the wake the departures of star tandem Jozy Altidore and Adam Maher.
After qualifying for Euro League last season by winning the Dutch Cup, Alkmaar are currently ninth place in the packed middle portion of the Eredivisie standings with a minus-two goal differential. As for their opposition, things could not be any better for PSV. The Eindhoven club have jumped to the top of the Eredivisie with 15 points thus far. In addition to allowing the least goals in the league (five) PSV have scored the second most (18) in their flight to the top.
Johannsson has been amongst the Eredivisie's top scorers this season with four goals, three of which have come from the penalty spot. After scoring in his first three Eredivisie games, Johannsson has only managed one goal in the month of September, a number he'll wish to expand on Saturday.
Fernando Lewis is unavailable for AZ due to injury while PSV won't be able to call upon Georginio Wijnaldum, Karim Rekik, or Luciano Narsingh, all of whom are injured.
Helmond Sport - Almere City
Charles Kazlauskas and Helomond Sport host Almere City on Friday as they hope to continue their rise up the Eerste Divisie standings.
After lining up at holding midfielder in Helmond's first game of the season, Kazlauskas spent seven consecutive matches at right back before going back to midfield for last weekends 3-0 win over FC Volendam.
After a lackluster start, Helmond have been on fire in the Eerste Divisie of late. Although it took them five games to get their first win, Helmond have gathered all three points in four of their last five league games.
Almere's poor start to the season is still ongoing. Despite a win over FC Oss in their last league game, Almere only have two wins in the league and are currently in 17th place out of 20 teams. Still, Almere's goal differential is only negative-one, thanks largely to having scored a respectable 14 goals in their first nine games. Their defense should be in for a test though, as Helmond have scored the most goals in the Eerste Divisie with 21.
Juanito Sequeira is out for Helmond with a yellow card suspension while Almere City are not reporting any absences.