BRENDAN WIMBERLY - Friday, January 17, 2014
Charles Kazlauskas and Aron Johannsson are both back in action this Saturday following Holland's Winter break.
AZ - NAC Breda
Following a lengthy Winter break, Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play their first Eredivisie game in nearly a month when they host NAC Breda on Saturday.
Johannsson was a force up top for AZ through the first half of the season, netting 11 goals in 18 games. Such numbers reportedly attracted the interest of a variety of British teams, but such a switch has yet to come for the American international.
The two sides met previously on September 22nd, with NAC Breda riding three second half goals to a 3-0 win. Since that matchup, it has been an up-and-down tale for both teams.
While AZ rose as high as first in the Eredivisie standings, they currently lie in eighth place, winless in their last six league games. NAC are in 12th place in the league at the moment. They have endured some recent struggles as well, winning only one of their last five in the Eredivisie.
NAC are completely healthy coming out of the break, but AZ are not as fortunate. The home team will be missing key defender Jan Wuytens as well as oft-injured midfielder Dirk Marcellis, who is out for the rest of the year with a knee injury.
Helmond Sport - VVV Venlo
Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond Sport take on VVV Venlo Saturday as they also get back to action this weekend.
The break came at the wrong time for Helmond, as they had gone unbeaten in the four games prior to it. Kazlauskas contributed the tying goal in what eventually became a 2-1 Helmond win over De Graafschap in their final game before the break.
Currently in ninth place in the league, Helmond could leap all the way up to fifth, the position which VVV currently occupy, with a lop sided win this weekend.
Like Helmond, VVV were also hitting their stride just before the break. The Venlo based outfit had picked up points in all but two of their last eight games and were in the midst of a steady progression up the Eerste Divisie standings.
Contrasting styles will be on display, as Helmond is amongst the league leaders in goals scored with 45. They are also atop the standings in goals allowed.
VVV is the exact opposite. They have only managed 30 goals in 22 games and allowed a stingy 26; fourth best in the league.