De Grolsch Veste has been a fortress for FC Twente. They're unbeaten in their four matches there this season and they haven't lost more than once at home in three seasons. As far as tough places for visitors to get wins go, De Grolsch Veste is near the top of the list. That's not exactly good news for PSV Eindhoven, who go to Enschede on Saturday in search of three points against Twente as the two wage battle for second place in the Eredivisie.
The two teams head into Saturday's contest even on 21 points, four behind league-leading AZ Alkmaar. With preseason favorites Ajax sputtering all the way down at sixth, now is the time for another club to make a run and put some distance between themselves and the Amsterdam club. AZ is working towards it, but both PSV and Twente want to be in that mix too.
Besides the home -field advantage they have in Saturday's contest, Twente also has the blistering hot Marc Janko, who leads the team with 10 goals. The Austrian has been in top form in leading the Twente attack, even after the sale of Bryan Ruiz to Fulham. When Luuk de Jong is also clicking, Twente have a potent attack, but de Jong has the tendency to fall out of matches, which is something he cannot do against PSV.
For as good as Janko has been leading Twente, nobody in Holland has been as good as Dries Mertens. The winger has 11 goals already in his first season with PSV and been nothing short of a sensation for the Eindhoven club. Cutting in from out wide, Mertens has caused havoc for defenses, creating space and chances for others even when he's not doing the goalscoring himself.
A lot is being asked of Twente's defense in trying to stop Mertens, especially since he's hardly the only threat. Another summer signing, Tim Matavz, has stepped into the team and been a force up front with seven goals of his own, all while working his way into the Slovenia national team. The big striker clears much of the space for Mertens and has also proved adept at slipping in behind the defense for Mertens and the rest of the PSV team to find him. In short, PSV are a menace in the attack.
On paper, Twente should not be the title contender that they are. They lack the star power of the other clubs, but they get contributions from all over the field. Eight different players have scored goals this season and their 10 goals against are second in the Eredivisie. Can PSV overcome that kind of team and get a rare win at De Grolsch Veste?