The Dutch league has reached the business end and a former Barcelona man is trying to push his Feyenoord side over the finish line
We are coming to the business end of the season and in the Netherlands, there’s a title race yet to be decided. Feyenoord are leading the chasing pack and have a four-point advantage over main challengers and arch rivals Ajax. Third-placed PSV Eindhoven still believe in a third consecutive title win but have some ground to make up as they try to overcome an eight-point gap on Feyenoord.
The Dutch league has eight rounds remaining and 24 points up for grabs. All to play for.
Last weekend’s action brought no changes to the title race, meaning the top-3 all won their games. Nicolai Jorgensen was the star man for Feyenoord as his hat-trick guided De Trots van Zuid (The Pride of South) to a convincing 5-2 home win vs. AZ Alkmaar. It meant Feyenoord stayed unbeaten at home this season – 12 wins, two draws.
No2 Ajax also booked a comfortable victory on Sunday. De Ajacieden had some start-up problems but defeated FC Twente thanks to three second-half goals. Danish wonder kid and club top scorer Kasper Dolberg (19) was vital for his club with two goals and will be if Ajax want to really threaten Feyenoord’s title charge. Because next to Dolberg and captain Davy Klaassen, there are no Ajax players who contribute enough goals. A possible stumbling block.
Any slip-up will be the end of PSV’s title credentials. The reigning Dutch champions won 3-1 away at Go Ahead Eagles this weekend and have now managed two straight wins, a run which they will try to extend another five games until they face Ajax in a match that could possibly decide the title race or blow it right open again.
All three teams have their weak spots coming into the remainder of the campaign. For league leaders Feyenoord every away trip looks a big task now. Earlier in the season, Feyenoord seemed to be no different side on the road compared to at home, but recent results suggest a troublesome trend for the team managed by Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Ajax’s big downfall, as aforementioned, can be the lack of goals and dependability on few players. It’s something that limits the chances of catching up with Feyenoord. Ajax partly have their destiny in their own hands, however, because six points out of their upcoming clashes with Feyenoord (home) and PSV (away) and a 34th league title is well on the cards.
PSV’s weak spot is similar to that of Ajax; a lack of goals. In recent weeks the tide has been turning, though, judging by 18 goals in their last six games. Therefore it might be unlikely, but not unrealistic that PSV can play a part in this season’s title race. They have enough quality to go on a run and increase the pressure on Feyenoord and Ajax.
On paper, PSV and Ajax have the easiest fixture list of all three, whereas Feyenoord has the most difficult one. Away trips to Heerenveen, Vitesse and, of course, Ajax are extremely hard fixtures and could result in points being dropped. Can Feyenoord hang on and bring home the long-awaited title or will Ajax and PSV ruin the party?