Vitesse isn't pretending Matt Miazga isn't a likely starter against AZ today. The club's official comms team took the trouble to interview Matt Miazga prior to the match, merely echoing the conviction of the Dutch press that Chelsea's on-loan defender is the favorite to step into Maikel van der Werff's boots - or at least be the first player who is tried as a replacement for the injured center back.
Since arriving at Vitesse at the end of August, Miazga has made every first team match-day squad and come off the bench on three occasions (twice in the league, once in the cup). Still, progression from substitute to starter in little over a month is quicker than expected development for a relatively inexperienced defender landing at a team with a relatively settled defense. If selected to the starting lineup, this match would see Miazga make his first start for Vitesse, and try to stake his claim for a second.
There are more experienced candidates in the squad. Head coach Henk Fraser could call on Arnold Kruiswijk, who is typically the team's starting left back. And this match might not be the ideal circumstance for Vitesse to hands its young American his first start in Eredivisie.
AZ is unbeaten at home in all competitions so far this season, though its last two home games have been tied (against Dundalk in Europa League and against Go Ahead Eagles in Eredivisie). Conversely, Vitesse has lost its last two away games in the league.
This match-up pits fifth-place (AZ) against sixth in the current Eredivisie standings. And if Miazga does start - or even simply plays - he may find himself in a battle with another young CONCACAF talent: Trinidad and Tobago's Levi Garcia plays for AZ.
Unfortunately, the listings sites (livesoccertv.com and worldsoccertalk.com) agree that this is not a game the USA's audience for Eredivisie matches will be able to catch. But it should be easy enough to check in on lineups and match incidents through Twitter and the various online match centers dotted around the internet.