Eredivisie Title Tussle: PSV Eindhoven and Ajax battling it out
It’s all to play for in the Netherlands
It’s only early February, but already the title race in many of Europe’s top leagues is looking like a procession. Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are all more than 10 points clear at the top of their respective divisions.
However, it’s far from cut-and-dry in the Netherlands. PSV Eindhoven are top by seven points, but face a very tricky run of games. Challengers Ajax haven’t lost in the league since November, and are ready to pounce on any weakness.
The Coral News Team take a closer look at one battle for supremacy which could go right to the wire…
The Eindhoven outfit have won six on the trot in the league. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. They were also dumped out of the KNVB Beker by Feyenoord during that run, and have been riding their luck during the current Eredivisie streak.
They’ve won three of the last five by a single goal, with former Newcastle United man Luuk de Jong netting a 93rd-minute winner to grab victory at Heracles Almelo.
One thing they can boast, though, is defensive strength. While they’re not firing on all cylinders, boss Phillip Cocu has built a solid and well-organised backline.
Centre-back pair Daniel Schwaab and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin have excelled, with the ideal combination of class and physicality. Meanwhile, right-back Joshua Brenet has been a real creative spark.
However, some of the season’s toughest tests still await. PSV return to De Kuip later this month, as well as travelling to AZ Alkmaar in April.
Add in games against both of the sides who’ve beaten them in the league – Heerenveen and Ajax – and that seven point gap doesn’t look too commanding.
Last season ended in heartbreak for De Godenzonem. They were pipped to the title by a single point, with Feyenoord lifting the title. But their performance in the latter half of the season was extremely special – 15 wins, two draws and a single defeat.
They’ve been winning games in comfortable fashion of late. Each of their last four league wins have come by a couple of goals.
Ajax’s well-balanced strike-force has experienced goalscorers Klaas-Jan Huntelaar adding nous alongside young, raw talents like Justin Kluivert and David Neres.
If PSV do drop points in the coming weeks, there’s every chance Ajax will make the most of it. Just one of their next eight games are against sides in the top seven – including a meeting with basement-dwelling Sparta Rotterdam.
While they remain the underdogs in this race, Erik ten Hag’s side still have a real chance of pipping the Cocu’s men to the title. With 14 games left, it’s all up for grabs.
Ajax host FC Twente on Sunday, with the capital club 2/15 for maximum points.
Meanwhile, PSV are 4/11 to take all three points against struggling Sparta.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing