The Eredivisie starts this weekend, and although many matches have been affected by police strikes – leading to their postponement – there are still some great fixtures to start the season with a bang. While current champions PSV will have to wait to take their bow in the competition, some of their competitors will be looking to make an early statement.
One of these potential title-winners is Ajax, the most successful team in Dutch football by some distance. Their season has started off poorly though, to say the least, having been eliminated from the Champions League by Rapid Vienna. This could play into their hands though, giving them the chance to concentrate on their domestic commitments.
Ajax’s first domestic test will be against AZ Alkmaar, a team who finished one place below them in the league last season. They’ve also recently been in European action, although were much more successful than Ajax, breezing through Europa League qualification. Whoever wins this match-up will be handed a massive boost to their season’s aspirations; whoever loses may well be fighting an uphill battle for the season. Conservative punters will pick Ajax, however don’t discount a shock result.
Feyenoord also get their campaign started this weekend as well, as they host FC Utrecht. A traditional Dutch powerhouse, their fourth place finish last season saw a managerial reshuffle, with Dutch legend Giovanni van Bronckhorst being brought in. Significant strengthening of the squad has led to renewed hopes among the Feyenoord faithful, especially thanks to their capture of the exciting Elia from Werder Bremen. A bet on Feyenoord to improve on last season’s fiasco doesn’t seem too risky.
Elsewhere, Roja JC host Heracles Almero, both of whom will be aiming to avoid relegation this coming season. Roda showed that they’ll be able to mix it in the top league by beating NAC Breda to get there, while Heracles are some peoples’ favourites to finish in the relegation zone. Willem II and Vitesse will also go head to head, with both teams already looking like prime candidates for mid-table obscurity, although Vitesse will go into the game as favourites.
But what about the current champions, PSV? They are going to have to wait until Tuesday to play their first fixture, which will be against ADO Den Haag. While they’ve lost Memphis Depay to Manchester United during the off-season, they still have to be considered as strong favourites not only for this match, but for the entire division. Betting on PSV to score at least 4 wouldn’t be reckless at all.