NICK LEYDEN - Friday, March 18, 2011
Oguchi Onyewu is expected in the starting eleven for Twente's Eredivisie game at Excelsior, while Charles Kazlauskas will hope to have an extended shift when Helmond Sport visits FC Eindhoven.
SBV Excelsior – FC Twente
With just two days of rest between games Oguchi Onyewu and Twente will travel to the Woudestein Stadium to take on Excelsior on Sunday.
After a 2-0 loss to Zenit in the Europa League on Thursday night, which nonetheless was sufficient to ensure their spot in the quarterfinals, Gooch and Co. were handed a challenging draw which matched them against Villarreal, the potential tournament favorites.
But for this weekend the Europa League will take a back seat as the Tukkers will once again be firmly focused on the the Eredivisie title race.
With league leading PSV sitting a mere point ahead in the standings, Twente will view the matchup with 16th place Excelsior as a prime opportunity to keep the pressure on.
The hosts have won just six times in 27 league contests this season, and enter the weekend on a three game losing streak. Twente also earned a 2-1 win when the teams met for the first time in November, so anything less than three points for Michel Preud'homme's men would be a major disappointment.
Despite having played just a few days prior, Onyewu and Twente's other regular will likely be named in the starting lineup.
FC Eindhoven – Helmond Sport
With seven Eerste Divisie games remaining, Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond Sport will hope to move closer to cementing their place in the promotion playoffs when they travel to Eindhoven on Friday night.
The visitors currently sit comfortably in third place but have not yet mathematically clinched their playoff spot.
While Kaz has been named in the starting eleven in over half of Helmond Sport's games this season, in recent weeks Jurgen Streppel has preferred to bring him off the bench in the second half, as he did in last week's tie against Go Ahead Eagles.
If the Wisconsin native is called upon on Friday he will potentially be doing battle with Eindhoven's Congolese striker Patrick Nkoyi, who leads the team with 18 goals.
The hosts will enter the game in horrific form having not won in their past six contests, including losing three in a row coming into the weekend. Helmond Sport have not lost in three consecutive games.
When the two teams met earlier in the season the game ended 1-1, with Kazlauskas picking up one of his six yellow cards.