Dutch football : Eredivisie league 2016/2017 season preview

PSV clinch title after Ajax fail to win

PSV Eindhoven retained the Eredivisie title after a dramatic final day saw them win 3-1 away to Zwolle as rivals Ajax were held to a surprise draw at relegation battlers De Graafschap. Ajax went into the final day of last season top of the table with a superior goal difference and would have been sure of a 34th Dutch championship with victory in Doetinchem over a team in 17th place. But the Amsterdam side could only draw 1-1 with lowly De Graafschap to open the door to their rivals from Eindhoven. A 2-1 win over Utrecht in the Dutch Cup final, saw Feyenoord lift their first piece of silverware since 2008.

  • Champions: PSV Eindhoven (Champions League group stage)
  • Runners up: Ajax (Champions League QR3)
  • Third place and Cup winners: Feyenord (Europe League group stage)
  • Fourth place: AZ Alkmaar (Europe League QR3)
  • Play-off winners: Heracles (Europe League QR3)
  • Relegated: Cambuur, De Graafschap
  • Promoted: Sparta Rotterdam, Go Ahead Eagles
Go Ahead Eagles4--1317-
Willem II3-18-916
AZ Alkmaar2410834
Den Haag215991311
NEC Nijmegen-81517-10

The table shows the overall number of titles for each club in Dutch First Division (Holland Casino Eredivisie) since 1897, and their league standings in the last five seasons.

Ajax hire Peter Bosz as new coach

Ajax have appointed former Netherlands international midfielder Peter Bosz as their new manager. Bosz, a former player and technical director at rivals Feyenoord, arrives at Ajax from Maccabi Tel Aviv, who he led to the runners-up position in both the Israeli league and cup after joining the club in January. The 52-year-old has signed a three-year deal to replace Frank de Boer, who left Ajax after they were beaten to the Eredivisie title on the final day of the season by PSV Eindhoven.

Hyballa joins NEC Nijmegen as head coach

Former Bayer Leverkusen U19 coach Peter Hyballa will start this season as head coach of NEC Nijmegen. Hyballa joined Bayer in April 2014, first as assistant to then head coach Sascha Lewandowski helping to achieve qualification for the UEFA Champions League. The 40-year-old has signed a two-year contract with Nijmegen, who finished tenth in the Eredivisie last term just missing out on the play-offs for a place in the Europa League. Hyballa replaces Ernest Faber, who has been named as the new coach of league rivals Groningen.

This page is introduction to the 2016/2017 Dutch First Division season. Latest news, statistics, results and predictions you can find on our main Euro Football > Netherlands page.

Vitesse name Henk Fraser as new coach

Henk Fraser was named as the new coach of Vitesse Arnhem after signing a two-year contract. Fraser moves across from Den Haag and replaces Rob Maas, who departed after just one season in which Vitesse finished ninth in the Dutch league and failed to qualify for Europe. The 49-year-old Fraser departs after three seasons in charge at Den Haag, who have unveiled Zeljko Petrovic as their new coach for the 2016/17 season. The 50-year-old Montenegrin was assistant coach at clubs like Feyenoord, Hamburger, West Ham United and Sunderland. As head coach Petrovic worked at Boavista, Waalwijk, Urawa Reds and Al-Shaab.

Anastasiou takes over as Roda manager

Yannis Anastasiou has been named as the new manager of Roda. The 43-year-old Greek manager replaces Darije Kalezic, who led the club to 14th placed finish last season. Anastasiou represented Roda as a player, scoring 48 goals for the club in 114 league appearances between 2000 and 2004. He has been out of work since leaving Panathinaikos by mutual consent in November 2015.

Other coaching changes

Jurgen Streppel is new coach of Heerenveen. He arrives from Willem II, who have announced that Erwin van de Looi will take over as their new coach. Mitchell van der Gaag has been announced as the new manager of Excelsior Rotterdam and has signed a two-year contract. The former Maritimo, Belenenses and FC Eindhoven coach replaces Alfons Groenendijk who resigned as Excelsior boss at the end of last season.

1PSV845626-6-2 (34)
2Ajax826025-7-2 (34)
3Feyenord632219-6-9 (34)
4Alkmaar591718-5-11 (34)
5Utrecht53915-8-11 (34)
6Heracles51-214-9-11 (34)
7Groningen50-714-8-12 (34)
8Zwolle48214-6-14 (34)
9Vitesse461712-10-12 (34)
10Nijmegen46-513-7-14 (34)
11Haag43-110-13-11 (34)
12Twente43-1512-7-15 (34)
13Heerenv.42-1511-9-14 (34)
14Roda34-218-10-16 (34)
15Excelsior30-267-9-18 (34)
16Willem II29-186-11-17 (34)
17De Graafschap23-275-8-21 (34)
18Cambuur18-463-9-22 (34)

Dutch football league standings for season 2015/2016.

PSV or Ajax?

PSV Eindhoven pipped arch-rivals Ajax to a second consecutive Eredivisie title in dramatic circumstances on the final day last season. They also defeated Manchester United, Wolfsburg and CSKA Moscow en route to a narrow penalty shootout defeat in the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League against eventual runners-up, Atletico Madrid. According to online bookmakers, PSV and Ajax are a class apart from the rest of the teams in the Eredivisie, similar to last season when third-placed Feyenoord ended with 63 league points, 21 behind PSV and 19 behind Ajax.

PSV2.1NEC Nijmegen151
AZ Alkmaar15Den Haag251
Utrecht41Go Ahead Eagles501
Heracles101Sparta Rotterdam501
Zwolle126Willem II501

The preseason odds for the outright winner of the 2016/17 Dutch football league

Dutch Cup finals in last five years

2016   Feyenoord - Utrecht   2:1
2015   Groningen - Zwolle   2:0
2014   Zwolle - Ajax   5:1
2013   AZ Alkmaar - PSV Eindhoven   2:1
2012   PSV Eindhoven - Heracles   3:0

Key players
(transfer market value in m€)

Ajax Amsterdam

Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen (12); Defense: Joel Veltman (7.5), Jairo Riedewald (6.5), Kenny Tete (6.5); Midfield: Riechedly Bazoer (15), Davy Klaassen (15), Anwar El Ghazi (7), Nemanja Gudelj (6.5), Amin Younes (6.5); Forward: Arkadiusz Milik (12), Mateo Cassierra (5).

AZ Alkmaar

Goalkeeper Sergio Rochet (1.3); Defense: Ron Vlaar (4), Ridgeciano Haps (2.5), Mattias Johansson (2), Rens van Eijden (1.5); Midfield: Markus Henriksen (5), Joris van Overeem (3.5), Ben Rienstra (2.3), Dabney dos Santos (2); Forward: Wout Weghorst (1.8), Fred Friday (1.5).

Den Haag

Goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus (0.5); Defense: Wilfried Kanon (1), Aaron Meijers (1), Jose San Roman (0.9), Tom Beugelsdijk (0.8); Midfield: Kevin Jansen (1), Danny Bakker (0.9), Edouard Duplan (0.9), Ruben Schaken (0.7); Forward: Mike Havenaar (2.5), Dennis van der Heijden (0.3).

Excelsior Rotterdam

Goalkeeper Filip Kurto (0.5); Defense: Jurgen Mattheij (0.5), Bas Kuipers (0.5), Khalid Karami (0.4); Midfield: Fredy (1.5), Terell Ondaan (0.8), Ryan Koolwijk (0.6), Luigi Bruins (0.5), Kevin Vermeulen (0.4); Forward: Carlo de Reuver (0.2), Cedric Badjeck (0.1).

Feyenoord Rotterdam

Goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer (6.5); Defense: Terence Kongolo (6), Sven van Beek (5.5), Rick Karsdorp (4.5), Eric Botteghin (3.8); Midfield: Tonny Vilhena (5.5), Marko Vejinoviae (4), Jens Toornstra (4), Eljero Elia (3.5); Forward: Nicolai Jorgensen (3), Michiel Kramer (3).

Go Ahead Eagles Deventer

Goalkeeper Theo Zwarthoed (0.3); Defense: Sander Fischer (0.9), Xandro Schenk (0.3), Kenny Teijsse (0.3), Norichio Nieveld (0.3); Midfield: Sander Duits (0.4), Randy Wolters (0.3), Joey Suk (0.3), Tom Daemen (0.3); Forward: Leon de Kogel (0.5), Henrik Ojamaa (0.3).


Goalkeeper Sergio Padt (3); Defense: Hans Hateboer (0.9), Kasper Larsen (0.8), Etienne Reijnen (0.6); Midfield: Simon Tibbling (3), Bryan Linssen (2), Albert Rusnak (1.8), Jesper Drost (1.5), Mimoun Mahi (1.5); Forward: Alexander Sorloth (1), Tom van Weert (1).


Goalkeeper Erwin Mulder (2.5); Defense: Jerry St, Juste (2.5), Kenny Otigba (1.5), Joost van Aken (1.3); Midfield: Sam Larsson (4.5), Simon Thern (2.5), Arber Zeneli (2), Morten Thorsby (1.5), Luciano Slagveer (1.5); Forward: Henk Veerman (1), Mitchell te Vrede (1).


Goalkeeper Bram Castro (0.7); Defense: Mike te Wierik (1), Wout Droste (0.9), Mark-Jan Fledderus (0.7), Ramon Zomer (0.7); Midfield: Iliass Bel Hassani (2.8), Thomas Bruns (2.5), Brahim Darri (1), Brandley Kuwas (1); Forward: Paul Gladon (0.7), Jaroslav Navratil (0.6).


Goalkeeper Joshua Smits (0.2); Defense: Wojciech Golla (1.3), Dario Dumic (1), Mikael Dyrestam (0.6), Michael Heinloth (0.5); Midfield: Janio Bikel (1.5), Gregor Breinburg (0.9), Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (0.8), Joey Sleegers (0.6); Forward: Kevin Mayi (0.8), Mihai Roman (0.8).

PSV Eindhoven

Goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet (8.5); Defense: Jetro Willems (9.5), Hector Moreno (8), Santiago Arias (6); Midfield: Davy Propper (9), Andres Guardado (8), Gaston Pereiro (7), Jorrit Hendrix (5), Luciano Narsingh (5); Forward: Luuk de Jong (10), Jurgen Locadia (5.5).

Roda Kerkrade

Goalkeeper Benjamin van Leer (0.6); Defense: Martin Milec (0.8), Christian Kum (0.6), Ard van Peppen (0.5); Midfield: Tom Van Hyfte (0.9), Abdul Ajagun (0.8), Adil Auassar (0.7), Marcos Gullon (0.7), Mikhael Rosheuvel (0.5); Forward: Nestoras Mytides (0.5), Dani Schahin (0.4).

Sparta Rotterdam

Goalkeeper Roy Kortsmit (0.4); Defense: Bart Vriends (0.5), Mart Dijkstra (0.4), Rick van Drongelen (0.3), Florian Pinteaux (0.3); Midfield: Thomas Verhaar (0.6), Ryan Sanusi (0.5), Paco van Moorsel (0.4), Loris Brogno (0.4); Forward: Zakaria El Azzouzi (1), Roland Bergkamp (0.3).


Goalkeeper Nick Marsman (1.3); Defense: Hidde ter Avest (2), Joachim Andersen (1), Peet Bijen (0.5); Midfield: Hakim Ziyech (11), Kamohelo Mokotjo (3.5), Kyle Ebecilio (1.3), Chinedu Ede (0.8); Forward: Enes Unal (3), Jari Oosterwijk (0.9), Torgeir Borven (0.8).


Goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter (3); Defense: Timo Letschert (3), Ramon Leeuwin (0.8), Mark van der Maarel (0.8); Midfield: Bart Ramselaar (5), Yassin Ayoub (3.5), Willem Janssen (1.5), Rico Strieder (1), Andreas Ludwig (0.8); Forward: Sebastien Haller (7.5), Nacer Barazite (1.5).

Vitesse Arnheim

Goalkeeper Eloy Room (4.5); Defense: Guram Kashia (2.5), Maikel van der Werff (1.5), Kosuke Ota (1.3); Midfield: Valeri Qazaishvili (3.5), Milot Rashica (2.8), Marvelous Nakamba (2), Lewis Baker (1.8), Navarone Foor (1.5); Forward: Ricky van Wolfswinkel (2.5), Abiola Dauda (0.5).

Willem II Tilburg

Goalkeeper Konstantinos Lamprou (1); Defense: Jordens Peters (1), Dries Wuytens (1), Guus Joppen (0.5); Midfield: Funso Ojo (1), Thom Haye (1), Erik Falkenburg (0.9), Bruno Andrade (0.8), Jari Schuurman (0.7); Forward: Bartholomew Ogbeche (0.9), Fran Sol (0.3).


Goalkeeper Mickey van der Hart (0.8); Defense: Bram van Polen (1), Dirk Marcellis (0.9), Ted van de Pavert (0.5), Bart Schenkeveld (0.5); Midfield: Wout Brama (2), Youness Mokhtar (1.5), Ryan Thomas (1.5), Mustafa Saymak (1); Forward: Anass Achahbar (1), Stef Nijland (1).

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