The top two in the Eredivisie meet in the Dutch Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday in a tie laden with significance for PSV Eindhoven coach Fred Rutten.
The 48-year-old takes his team to play FC Twente, a club he served with distinction as a defender for the whole of his career and whom he coached over two spells between 1999-2001 and 2006-2008. Rutten, though, is treating the encounter like any other as he strives to avoid a last-eight exit for the second successive season.
"It's like an advertisement for the final," said Rutten, whose side are a point clear of Twente despite a 1-0 home defeat by their opponents in October. "It's one match, all or nothing, with our only goal being to reach the semi-finals. The way we do it doesn't matter after all."
The tie evokes memories of 24 May 2001, when Rutten's Twente side overcame PSV in the final on penalties. The triumph, the Tukkers' second in the competition, prompted a huge outpouring of emotion from all concerned with the town for it came a year after the Enschede fireworks disaster, in which 23 people were killed by an explosion at a pyrotechnics depot.
"It was a great match," recalled Rutten. "It was a total emotional discharge for the region, not least because it had significance behind it, what with the fireworks disaster. However, it was a long time ago because I still had black hair at that time."
Rutten will no doubt have warned his players of the threat posed by Twente's Austrian international striker Marc Janko, who has scored six goals in two fixtures since the season resumed earlier this month.
"Twente have proven after the winter break that they try to put pressure on their opponents by being compact in their play. It's up to us to handle this well. I think the key for this match is in midfield. That's often the case in big matches like this."
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