The Real Battle in the Eredivisie…
With 5 rounds to go in the Eredivisie- or four and a half, now AZ beat NAC on Friday night – the champ is already known. All other decisions are still open though.
AZ has 14 points lead over number 2 Twente (one more game to play than AZ). If Twente and Ajax lose this weekend, the champagne can be opened.
Normally, AZ will win the title at home against Vitesse on April 18. The Van Gaal coached team will qualify for the groups stages of the CL next season.
Second spot and third pre-rounds Champions League
Twente and Ajax fight for the second spot. That position is very valuable. The runner up will participate in the third pre-rounds for the CL. Last season, the number 2 still had to earn that right through play-offs.
A real title battle is off, but the race for number two is again very exciting. Ajax has a better goal ratio and trails one point behind Twente. The competition planner has a good crystal ball, since the top fixture Ajax-Twente is programmed on the last day of the competition. Last season, it was Twente who blocked Ajax from entering the play off finals.
The difference between the bonus for number 3 and 4 are small. Both clubs will enter the Europa League, which is the new UEFA cup. The number four will enter the competition in the third pre-round
while number three enters in the fourth.
The number 5 needs to play play offs against the numbers 6, 7 and 8. Looking at the current positions, PSV, FC Groningen, NAC and FC Utrecht will participate in these play offs. But NEC, one point behind Utrecht, and Feyenoord, four points behind, are still in the race for the play offs too.
The results of the Dutch national cup tournament could play big role for NEC and Feyenoord. The winner of the Cup will receive a Europa League ticket as well, so there are several scenarios. The semi finals of the cup tournament are: Twente – NAC and Volendam – Heerenveen.
Let’s look at the scenarios:
1. Twente finishes second in the competition and wins the cup. Twente will qualify for CL football and the losing finalist (Heerenveen or Volendam) will get the Europa League ticket.
2. Heerenveen ends on the fourth place and plays the cup final against Twente. It doesn’t matter if they’ll win or lose, Heerenveen will get a Europa League ticket. The spare ticket (the number 4 ticket for the cup winner) will go to the number 5 of the competition and the numbers 6, 7, 8 and 9 will play the play offs.
3. Heerenveen finishes fourth and plays the cup final against NAC. When Heerenveen wins, they’ll play the Europa League ticket and the spare ticket will be for the numbers 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Are you still there?
I won’t even go into the relegation possibilities. The number last will directly be relegated to the Jupiler competition. The numbers 16 ans 17 play play offs against the six periodical champs of that league and the two best numbers 2 and 3 (bar any periodical champs…). The champions of the Jupiler League get promoted directly, of course.
Heracles, ADO Den Haag, Sparta, Roda JC, Volendam and De Graafschap are the main candidates to end on those positions.
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