PSV and Feyenoord face off in a match well worth your time
Two of the more exciting teams in the Eredivisie meet in a midweek match.
Many fans look down on the Eredivisie as a sub-par league. They say it’s just a talent farm for bigger leagues, and to some extent that’s true. They say goalscoring is inflated because of poor defenses throughout the league, and to some extent that’s true. What many don’t realize, though, is that the Eredivisie offers quite a few entertaining matches between very talented clubs, and Wednesday’s matchup between PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord is no exception.
The match, which will be played at PSV’s home ground Phillips Stadium in Eidhoven, features two teams loaded with young and exciting players. They’re also both teams with very good histories in the Dutch league; PSV won four straight Eredivisie titles from 2005 to 2008, and have 21 league wins overall. Feyenoord haven’t won the league since 1999, but have 14 league titles to their name and are almost always high finishers.
Most people just assume that Amsterdam-based giants Ajax dominate the league year in and year out, which is fair; they’ve won 33 titles, after all, and have won it each of the last four seasons. But it’s PSV that sit atop the Eredivisie right now, with a one point lead on Ajax and a game in hand. Feyenoord currently sit fourth, a point behind PEC Zwolle and also with a match in hand. Highlighting the better-than-believed competitiveness of the Eredivisie is that while PSV have an eight-point lead on third-place Zwolle, the gap from third to eighth is just six points, with AZ Alkmaar and FC Twente nipping on the heels of Feyenoord and Zwolle, and two other sides not far behind.
These are both sides with European success as well; both sides have won multiple European titles, including a UEFA Cup win for Feyenoord in 2002. They both managed successful Europa League group campaigns this season, qualifying easily for the round of 32. Both received tough draws, though, and could see their European journeys end there. For now, though, they face each other in a test of their quality that will be stressful for each set of fans, but should prove very entertaining for neutral fans.
With Memphis Depay, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Luuk de Jong, PSV have a front line considered by many to have three of Holland’s brightest young attacking talents. Adam Maher adds to that with his playmaking skills from midfield, and the combination has proven very potent for PSV’s attack. Their biggest gifts may actually be in defense, however; Jeffry Bruma and Karim Rekik have formed an excellent central defense partnership, and Jetro Willems has recovered well from a serious knee injury to re-establish himself as one of the best young left backs in Europe. Then there’s Jeroen Zoet in goal, who at 23 is already drawing consideration as the starting goalkeeper of the future for the Dutch national team.
Feyenoord also have an excellent young core, with Elvis Manu and Jean-Paul Boetius making regular appearances in their attack and finding success. Their best talents, though, are in midfield and defense, lead by team captain Jordy Clasie tireless midfield work and Tony Vilhena’s flash and gifts in more advanced areas. Like PSV, they also have a young and talented central defense pairing, with Terence Kongolo and Sven van Beek drawing interest from larger teams after a long series of impressive performances for Feyenoord.
In an otherwise slow matchweek schedule, this group of young stars-in-the-making could easily be the most exciting match you’ll see in a long time. Not only does it have major implications on league standing, but it could very well prove to be able to change your mind about how good a league the Eredivisie is. Ignore this match at your own risk, because games between PSV and Feyenoord are always something to see as the two talent factories trade blows.