FC Twente and Feyenoord Set for Key Clash

Liam NewmanContributor IFebruary 20, 2014

ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS - DECEMBER 14:  Dusan Tadic of Twente celebrates scoring the third goal of the game for his team direct from a free kick 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

The Eredivisie race for Champions League qualification is really hotting up and Sunday's contest at De Grolsch Veste could decide whether it is FC Twente or Feyenoord who join Ajax in Europe's elite competition next season.

Whilst Ajax still have some work to do if they are going to secure their fourth consecutive Eredivisie crown, it does appear that Frank de Boer's side are almost guaranteed the top-two finish that would secure Champions League football next term. If that is to be the outcome, then Sunday's opponents will be fighting for one spot and whoever wins this pivotal battle will certainly gain the advantage.



Advantage FC Twente

Heading into the weekend's key fixture, it is FC Twente who hold the aces. In addition to having the home advantage for Sunday's match, the 2010 champions also boast a three-point lead over Ronald Koeman's Feyenoord.

Having defeated fourth-placed Vitesse last weekend, essentially eliminating them from title contention in the process, confidence will be high around De Grolsch Veste and Michel Jansen still retains hope of ending Ajax's dominance under de Boer.

Another source of inspiration for the home side is August's emphatic 4-1 win in the reverse fixture. That victory at De Kuip, combined with the 3-0 triumph in last season's corresponding match, may leave Koeman's side a little vulnerable; if the away side show any signs of weakness then Twente will be ready to pounce.

However, Feyenoord have done extremely well to drag themselves back into contention as it was only a few weeks ago that they looked dead and buried. Depending how Ajax do against AZ, the result here may be redundant in terms of the Rotterdam giants title ambitions but, nevertheless, the chance of Champions League football will be enough to keep them motivated.



Goals Win Games

To win football matches, you need goals. In a game of this magnitude, it may take a moment of brilliance to settle proceedings and this is where match-winners earn their stripes.

The scoring exploits of Graziano Pelle have come to Feyenoord's rescue on many occasions this year and Koeman will hope to see his star striker add to his, already impressive, tally of 18 strikes. Only Heerenveen's Icelandic forward Alfred Finnbogason has amassed more goals this term and the away following are desperate to see more from their hero on Sunday.

FC Twente's scorer, Luc Castaignos, may have five goals less than Pelle but what Jansen's side do possess is the ability to score from various sources.

Whilst Castaignos' goals have certainly been a huge factor in their success, Twente boast three players with double figures in Eredivisie this season with Dusan Tadic and Quincy Promes on 11 and 10 strikes respectively.

There are several potential match-winners on display this Sunday; the stage is set for one of them to become a hero.