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Eredivisie Champions 2010/2011 – Ajax, PSV or Twente?

With the culmination of European football leagues across the continent, clubs such as Porto have already sown up domestic success whilst teams like Manchester United, Barcelona and AC Milan are on the verge of their titles with a handful of fixtures remaining. However one of the tightest title races is being played out in Holland, as three points separates PSV Eindhoven, FC Twente and Ajax in the Eredivisie with two fixtures left to play.
At the time of writing Twente sit top of the pile on 68 points, one ahead of Ajax on 67 and three ahead of PSV on 65. Both Fred Rutten and Michael Preud’homme’s sides were knocked out of the Europa League two weeks ago at the hands of Benfica and Villarreal respectively, and their European adventures distracted the sides adequately to let Ajax back into consideration.
Twente started the season as Eredivisie champions after their league topping finish last season, and have been on-course to potentially retain their title as the side from De Grolsch Veste have been in the top two for the bulk of the season. Preud’homme’s side have juggled European and league commitments relatively well. Midfielder Theo Janssen and attackers Luuk de Jong and Marko Janko have contributed the majority of the club’s goals, but despite this The Tukkers have scored considerably less than their two title rivals, leading to a vastly superior goal difference for PSV.
Fred Rutten’s PSV Eindhoven side have also had a faltering couple of weeks, with their capitulation in Portugal against Benfica being compounded by a 2-2 draw with Heerenveen and a defeat to misfiring Feyenoord. The Boeren have been adversely impacted by the sale of star player Ibrahim Afellay to Barcelona in the January transfer window, and injuries to key players such as Orlando Engelaar and Wilfried Bouma have highlighted the club’s lack of strength in depth.
Ajax have won seven of their last eight games to make up ground and are the form side of the three contenders. De Amsterdammers have not been overly stifled by the sale of Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez to Liverpool in January, with strikers Mounir El Hamdaoui and Miralem Sulejmani picking up the goalscoring slack. Frank de Boer’s side contend the KNVB Beker Cup final with Twente on May 8, before meeting the the same side a week later in the last day of the season, in what may be a winner takes all encounter.
The race to be crowned the 2010/11 Dutch champions is set to go down to the wire and will not be decided until the last day of the season. On that day Ajax host Twente at the Amsterdam Arena; the winner has a great chance of taking the title but a stalemate may hand the league to PSV.
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