Eredivisie Preview: Title within Ajax's reach, Cambuur hope for on-field respite
By Football News
Ajax visit Vitesse on Sunday in the knowledge three points could potentially clinch a fourth straight Eredivisie title.
A 2-0 victory at strugglers RKC Waalwijk on Wednesday meant Frank de Boer's side retained an eight-point gap to second-placed Feyenoord, and another three points in Sunday's trip to Vitesse could see the title reside in Amsterdam for another year.
For that to happen Feyenoord must fail to win their fixture with Waalwijk at De Kuip, a scenario that looks unlikely given Ronald Koeman's charges have won four straight matches, while the visitors occupy the final relegation play-off spot.
On paper, Ajax's fixture at the GelreDome appears the trickier of the two matches, and their last defeat in the league came against Vitesse at the Amsterdam Arena in November.
However, Peter Bosz's men are enduring a poor run at the worst time, although a 2-2 draw at home to Heerenveen did see them avoid three consecutive defeats.
Vitesse, Twente and PSV are all 12 points adrift of Ajax meaning one more point for the Amsterdam outfit will definitely end their slim title hopes.
Both Twente and PSV take to the road, with the former battling NAC Breda, while PSV face a tricky clash with Heerenveen who are just one spot below Ernest Faber's side.
Faber has taken control of the first team due to head coach Phillip Cocu's health issues, with the 43-year-old having a tumour removed from his back last week.
Elsewhere, Cambuur must put off-field uncertainty to one side on the pitch when they visit relegation-threatened NEC.
The Leeuwarden outfit are currently without a head coach after Dwight Lodeweges brought forward his resignation following fan protests against his decision to move to Heerenveen at the end of the season.
That disruption may have played a part in Cambuur's 1-0 defeat at Utrecht on Wednesday, and with just five points separating them from the relegation play-offs, Cambuur must quickly recover.
A trip to the Goffertstadion could provide the perfect tonic for Cambuur, with NEC having failed to win their past six league matches, and they are just two points above the foot of the table.
Roda JC currently prop up the league table and face a tough encounter with AZ at the Parkstad Limburg Stadion, while Utrecht will look to build on the Cambuur victory at fellow strugglers ADO Den Haag.
In other matches, PEC Zwolle host Groningen in a match that could have a bearing on the final UEFA Europa League play-off spot, while Go Ahead Eagles visit Heracles.