The new Eredivisie season starts this week and Michael Bell takes you through the five reasons why you should be watching the Dutch top flight this year.

A four horse title race

Sadly we were denied an incredible title race last season with AZ Alkmaar pushing Ajax to the wire but this time around it could easily be four clubs battling for the top spot.

Ajax are favourites and Erik ten Hag has an incredibly talented squad to work with, but AZ has kept all their stars and will once again be looking to challenge.

Then there is Dick Advocaat’s Feyenoord, who were the form team at the end of last season, and a PSV side that has been overhauled by new head coach Roger Schmidt.

A strong case can be made for any of those four to win the title this season and the title race is set to be very close.

Arjen Robben is back!

It has been the story of the summer with Arjen Robben coming out of retirement in order to sign for Groningen, his first club.

The 36-year-old wants to propel Groningen to the European playoff spots and it will be intriguing to see just how the former Netherlands superstar does back in the Eredivisie.

Robben hasn’t featured much in pre-season in order to get his fitness right and hopefully he can stay injury free throughout the campaign. If he does there is no reason why he cant finish with ten goals at least.

Robben showed the Groningen fans what they are in for with a goal in their final preseason tie with Arminia Bielefeld.

Supreme new talents

Donny van de Beek, Hakim Ziyech, and Chidera Ejuke are among the exciting players leaving the Eredivisie this summer but a host of exciting new players are ready to once again take the league by storm.

At Ajax, Ryan Gravenberch, Antony, Mohammed Kudus, and Lassina Traore will be among the new talents driving their title challenge. PSV have the unbelievably talented Mohamed Ihattaren, Cody Gakpo, striker Donyell Malen, and young English attacker Noni Madueke. Feyenoord has kept Orkun Kokcu despite interest from Arsenal, while AZ still has their excellent four of Owen Wijndal, Teun Koopmeiners, Calvin Stengs, and Myron Boadu.

Further down the table, Lois Openda at Vitesse Arnhem, Joey Veerman at Heerenveen, and the Van Kaam brothers at Groningen are all ones to watch, along with Davy van den Berg at Utrecht.

The league is packed full of talent and big clubs around Europe will once again be watching with a keen eye.

A rejuvenated battle for top 6 and a tight relegation battle

The title race will be tight but so will the fight for any position in the Eredivisie this season.

Utrecht has added some real strength and are hoping to surprise and reach the top four. They will be challenged for the European playoff spots by Vitesse Arnhem, who have looked strong in pre-season under new boss Thomas Letsch, and last season’s surprise package Willem II. Then there is Arjen Robben’s Groningen, who will be hoping to be challenging in the top half thanks to their veteran superstar.

At the bottom, RKC Waalwijk looked doomed again but a host of clubs could end up in the second automatic relegation spot. ADO Den Haag looks stronger than last season but could still be dragged into the bottom two, while Sparta Rotterdam, PEC Zwolle, Fortuna Sittard, VVV-Venlo, Emmen, and even a club like Heracles Almelo or Heerenveen could slide down given a bad season.

It will be a great season in the league with so many clubs strengthening their squads.

Goals, goals and more goals

The Dutch league is renowned for its attacking football and this season will be no different as defending takes a backseat for entertainment.

715 goals were scored in the shortened season last year that saw only 26 rounds played. The Eredivisie usually averages around 3 goals per game so if you want a league that has a low chance of games finishing 0-0 then the Eredivisie is for you.

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