As far as entertaining leagues go, it's tough to top that Dutch Eredivisie and when two of the league's top teams square off, look out because you're almost guaranteed to get 90 minutes of thrilling action. That's what is on tap for Sunday when PSV host Ajax in Eindhoven at Philips Stadion. For Ajax, it's a chance to move back on top of the league, while PSV are looking to make a statement as they hang around in the title picture, but have yet to take down another top team yet this season.
Ajax are the defending champions and are supposed to be right back in the title mix this season, which is right where they are. A win or draw on Sunday will see them move back atop the league table and if they get that result it will likely be because of Miralem Sulejmani. The 22-year-old Serbian already has four goals on the season and has been at the center of most of Ajax's forays forward. Add in a Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, who Sulejmani has been running under all season and who can also finish just fine himself and there is a lot for the PSV defense to contend with.
PSV's season got off to as bad a start as it could have gotten off to. They were absolutely destroyed by AZ Alkmaar and those who pegged the team from Eindhoven to be darkhorse title contenders looked awfully silly. Since then, PSV has not not a match, winning three straight matches and all rather convincingly before drawing last week. That should be enough to restore people's confidence in the club, but when you look at who PSV beat it's not so impressive. RKC Waalwijk, ADO Den Haag and Excelsior are hardly powerhouses so there is reason to be skeptical about PSV. They've yet to impress against anyone worth a damn.
Whether PSV can finally prove something and get a result against a good team, in this case Ajax, will be dependent on their ability to depend. Sulejmani and Sigthorsson are a handfull and PSV's defense has buckled under less. Last week's performance won't inspire confidence either as PSV gave up three goals to lowly VVV Venlo. If PSV are to have a chance against Ajax, Wilfred Bouma and Timothy Derijck will have to be rocks in the center of the defense as well as get some decent tackling from the midfield, which hasn't looked the slightest bit interested in that at time this season.
For PAC, this is a chance to make a statement. Beating Ajax always makes a statement, but PSV needs this in particular. They had title hopes at the beginning of the season, but until they show some sort of title quality against a quality team, they're just going to be midtable fodder like another handful of teams.
Day: Sunday; Time: 6:30 am ET; Pick: Ajax 3-1