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Eredivise Title Race

With Martin Jol’s departure from Ajax does this signal the end of the fallen Dutch giant’s chances of claiming their first Eredivisie since 2003/04?

Ajax Manager Martin Jol

 

PSV currently lead the Dutch league by goal difference from defending champions Twente, with Groningen four points back, Ajax five behind and 2008/09 champions AZ Alkmaar fifth, also five points back.

While PSV and Ajax may be labelled as the Big Two in the Netherlands it is PSV who have dominated in recent times with seven titles in the past 11 years compared with Ajax’s two. However, in the past 10 seasons each team has only once finished outside the top three.

The top three looks highly likely to be filled with the Big Two and Twente given the Big Two’s record and that just 3/16 teams in the past 12 seasons to finish 5th-10th the previous year and then be in the top five after 17 games have finished in the top three; the situation facing AZ and Groningen. Also, all 15 teams to have been at least four points clear of third have finished in the top three.

History suggests that Jol has probably made a good move in leaving now, at the halfway point this term, with all of the past 12 winners having been in the top two and at least one point clear of third. In fact 11 have been either leading or level on points at this stage.

Furthermore, in 10 of the past 12 years the Big Two side leading at this stage has finished ahead and just 1/9 Big Two teams to be 1-6 points off the lead has finished the season as champions. Meanwhile, Twente will have to defy almost 50 years of history to retain their title as no side other than Ajax or PSV has won consecutive championships since Feyenoord between 1960 and 1962.

Moreover, PSV have the best home record of the leading three challengers and only have to travel to three other teams currently in the top 10 while Twente and Ajax must go to six of the other nine top-10 teams. Also, Ajax will be without the services of suspended striker Luis Suarez for another five games, although PSV will also lose a player in two games time when Ibrahim Afellay moves to Barcelona.

Recommendation: PSV to win Eredivisie at 2.0, Sky Bet

 
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