We must start with last season’s champions because Feyenoord are in for an interesting season. Karim El Ahmadi will captain a side who has lost Dirk Kuyt through retirement this summer. To their frustration they have lost Eljero Elia and Terence Kongolo in the transfer window. And while Sofyan Amrabat, Ridgeciano Haps and Kevin Diks have come into the side, this will still be a tough season for Feyenoord.
The biggest problem they have in defending their trophy is the start of the campaign. Feyenoord got off to a blistering start last season, held the lead all year and still only just won the title. To do that again, with Eindhoven and Ajax strengthening, is difficult.
The one saving grace if you want to bet on Feyenoord is they are 4.00 to win the title this season. There are not many teams in Europe defending domestic championships with odds that big.
Unibet have Ajax as 2.10 favourites to win the Eredivisie. And rightly so, for this team is about to properly burst onto the European stage. Ajax are a young, exciting side and while some of their players have left, the core of the squad remains. Davy Klaassen’s departure to Everton earned the Amsterdam club €26.4m. That is a good sum to invest back into this squad. And invest they have, with two Brazilians and veteran Klaas-Jan Huntelaar the pick of the arrivals.
Bet on Ajax to win the Eredivisie and you’ll likely not be disappointed. They had a bad start to the season last year and that cost them glory. That shouldn’t happen this time.
This is not going to be an easy season for Eindhoven. They were definitely the third-best team in Holland last year and endured a middling European campaign. They face a tough opening to this term, with AZ and Feyenoord lined up within the first four matches. Meanwhile, Andres Guardado and Jetro Willems have left for arguably bigger clubs. One saving grace is Derrick Luckassen's arrival from AZ.
It’s tough to see where Eindhoven go this year, unless they drop out of Europe and focus on the league. They are 2.50 to win the Eredivisie and those odds are not worth taking up.
European playoff betting
There is always a surprise in the Dutch European playoff battle. Last year it was Utrecht, who finished fourth. It’s tough to see how they can improve on that, especially now top scorer Sebastien Haller has left for Frankfurt. Vitesse will play in the Europa League group stage this season and, while they have invested in their squad and received more loan signings from Chelsea, balancing Holland and Europe will be tricky for them.
Instead, look to Groningen to maybe finish fourth. They’ve had a decent transfer window, bringing in a new goalkeeper and defender, while their only major loss is Bryan Linssen’s switch to Vitesse. Compare Groningen to Heerenveen, who finished on the same points as the Pride of the North. Heerenveen have lost six men this summer, including goalkeeper Erwin Mulder. That destabilisation may be too much for them to claim a top-six finish.
Groningen are 11.00 to finish as the top Eredivisie side, excluding Eindhoven, Ajax and Feyenoord.
Another side who could impress is Heracles. They have kept star striker Samuel Armenteros and have practically replaced like-for-like all of their departures. Armenteros is 1.50 to finish as their top scorer. Heracles are 3.00 to be the best side from Overijssel (againstTwente and Zwolle).
Dutch football relegation betting
The obvious choices to go down at VVV-Venlo and NAC — the two teams that came up last season. Venlo have done well to keep their squad together and have a new forward in Tarik Tissoudali on loan from Le Havre. He could prove vital to Venlo staying up, with manager Maurice Steijn likely to set up a defensive side that hit opponents on the break.
NAC have had the opposite in the transfer window. Stars Cyriel Dressers, Worn Brondeel and Danny Verbeek have all gone to fellow Dutch clubs. Manchester City Pablo Mari is their sole loan arrival so far. He played just eight games on loan at Genoa last term.
A team that flirted with relegation all season — and who almost fell into the playoffs — was Sparta Rotterdam. They were enjoying a strong season before five straight defeats put them on the brink of the drop. Only two wins from their last two games saved them. It’s been a very quiet summer for Sparta — striker Dalibor Volas arriving from Slovenian side Celje being their only signing — and so it’s hard to see how they will fare any better this season to last.