Eredivisie Preview: FC Twente's Key Trip to Groningen

Liam Newman@@thatliamnewmanContributor IFebruary 11, 2014

ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS - DECEMBER 14:  Luc Castaignos of Twente celebrates scoring the second goal of the game with team mate Youness Mokhtar (#7) during the Eredivisie match between FC Twente and Go Ahead Eagles at De Grolsch Veste Stadium on December 14, 2013 in Enschede, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

As the Eredivisie title race starts to approach the final stages, FC Twente's visit to Groningen could be one of the most important games of the season so far.

Michel Jansen's side currently occupy second place in the Eredivisie table, joint on points with Feyenoord and Vitesse whilst trailing leaders Ajax by four points. Whilst their rivals have all played 23, Twente still have a dozen games to play and if they can win this game in hand then suddenly they'll be right on the coattails of Frank de Boer's reigning champions.

FC Twente famously lifted the Eredivisie crown in 2010, the club's first ever, under the guidance of Steve McLaren and Reds fans will be dreaming of a second title this term. If they claim three points then those dreams might, just might, become reality.

FC Twente & Castaignos Looking To Bounce Back

Whilst their recent form has generally been fine, the Reds did suffer defeat last weekend at PSV. Head coach Jansen will demand his players to get back to winning ways immediately.

Prior to the loss in Eindhoven, FC Twente were on an unbeaten run of 10 matches that dated back to late October and if they can enjoy a similar vein of fortune in their final 12 games then the Eredivisie title has a genuine chance of heading back to De Grolsch Veste for only the second time in history.

Likewise, top scorer Luc Castaignos will also be hoping the trip to Groningen will provide a return to form. The 21-year-old is the only Dutch player to hit a dozen Eredivisie goals this term but has now failed to score in two matches. He'll be wary of enduring a drought, which would be disastrous at such a vital stage in the campaign, and will be determined to prevent that happening by finding his way onto the scoreboard on Wednesday. If he does, then the youngster will have equalled last year's personal tally of 13 strikes.

Meanwhile, Groningen are on a run of three straight Eredivisie defeats and have picked up just four points from the last available 21. They won't go down, but Erwin van de Looi will be eager to secure the two or three wins needed to cement their place in next season's top flight as quickly as possible.

Groningen V Twente Head-to-Head

If recent history is anything to go by, then FC Twente will be extremely confident ahead of their trip to Euroborg.

FC Twente have claimed the spoils in each of the past six meetings, with Groningen's last point coming in 2011. Jansen's side have also kept clean sheets in three of the last four encounters and the club's undefeated run actually runs back 14 games to 2007.

The overall record currently stands at 19-10-10 in favour of FC Twente, so the away side would take their win ratio in this fixture to 50 percent if they leave Groningen with all three points in the bag. The reverse fixture ended in a 5-0 demolition back at De Grolsch Veste in September and Jansen would love to record a similar score on Wednesday, although he'd obviously be satisfied with any victory.

With a 15-point advantage over the 11th Green-White Army, the Reds should be looking to make it a lucky seventh straight victory in this particular fixture.