DAVID SMITH - Monday, March 5, 2012
Charles Kazlauskas should be back in Helmond's starting lineup on Monday evening when they attempt to continue their rise through the standings against visiting Almere City FC.
Even with the American absent from his usual spot on the right side of the midfield, Helmond spectacularly returned from a second-half two-goal deficit to pull out a 3-2 win over league leaders Zwolle on Friday evening.
The victory represented their eighth straight game without a loss stretching back to the beginning of the year, a run which has brought them from 13th all the way up to sixth place, and has put them in line for a likely place in the promotion playoffs.
A victory on Monday over the Sheepheads, who were only spared relegation after their last-place campaign in the previous season thanks to the untimely bankruptcy of disbanded team Roosendaal, could see Kazlauskas and his teammates jump even further in the standings, should fifth-place Willem II slip up in their game at Velsen.
While faring significantly better than their previous dismal season, Almere have still been far from a powerhouse in the Eerste Divisie, with Friday's 2-1 victory over Velsen being only their second since the beginning of 2012.
Both teams should have full squads available for the game, with both Kazlauskas and Almere central defender Gino Felixdaal returning from suspension.