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Pienaar comes up against former side as Everton continue push for Europe

Siyanda Xulu will play his final game for FC Rostov tonight before returning to South Africa for the Christmas holidays.

Xulu has been in and out of the side since a September move from Mamelodi Sundowns, and will enjoy the chance to return home and see his family before the Russian Premier League resumes in March.

Darren Keet and his Kortrijk side will look to get back to winning ways when they host Zulte-Waregem on Saturday. It will be no easy feat though, their opponents have been excellent this season and currently sit in second place behind leaders Anderlecht.

Ayanda Patosi’s Lokeren are away at mid-table Mechelen and also lost their last match to slip seven points behind Anderlecht.

Anele Ngcongca and his Genk team host Lierse on Sunday. The visitors have two South Africans in their ranks – Daylon Claasen and Lance Davids – but neither have featured for the side yet this season.

Steven Pienaar will come up against former side Tottenham Hotspurs on Sunday as Everton host Spurs at Goodison Park.

These two are likely contenders for the UEFA Champions League qualification places at the end of the season, with Spurs currently three points ahead of Everton in that race.

In the Championship, Kagisho Dikgacoi’s Crystal Palace entertain Blackpool, the former club of their new manager Ian Holloway. The Eagles are second in the division, one point behind leaders Cardiff City.

Oldham Athletic and their skipper, Bafana international Dean Furman, have an important away match at Colchester United. Both sides are hovering precariously above the relegation zone.

Bongani Khumalo’s PAOK side are now 10 points behind leaders Olympiakos in the Greek league, so can ill-afford a slip-up at home to Levadiakos, who have won their last four games.

Khumalo has overcome a slight knock to play.

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