Our new scribe takes an in-depth look at the 2016 Johan Cruijff Shield, with Feyenoord taking on PSV Eindhoven on Sunday 31 July.
Dutch Eredivisie champions PSV will come up against the KNVB Beker winners Feyenoord in the annual Johan Cruijff Shield. Every season, just before the start of the Eredivisie, the league champions take on the KNVB Beker title-holders. If the league winner is also victorious in the cup, the team who finishes second in the Eredivisie will get a shot at the Johan Cruijff Shield.
Feyenoord v PSV Eindhoven | Sunday 31 July | Amsterdam ArenA | 18:00
To Win (90 Mins)
Feyenoord 23/10 | Draw 24/10 | PSV Eindhoven 21/20
Feyenoord may not have had the best run in the league last season, but they did manage an emphatic cup victory. A 2-1 win over Utrecht in the final, saw Feyenoord lift their first piece of silverware since 2008. They ousted five top-flight opponents - including arch-rivals Ajax - on the way to the final, clinching the Dutch domestic cup for the 12th time in front of their ecstatic fans in their own backyard.
Ajax and PSV are a class apart from the rest of the teams in the Eredivisie, and it showed last season, as Feyenoord, who could all but settle for a third place finish, ended with 63 league points, 21 behind PSV and 20 behind Ajax. So triumphing in the KNVB Beker cup is definitely something to boast about given the quality that Ajax and PSV possess.
It must be said, however, Feyenoord have a couple players capable of going toe-to-toe with the Dutch giants. Dirk Kuyt is most definitely one of them. The Dutch veteran and Feyenoord captain bagged a tremendous 23 goals in 38 games in all competitions last season, scoring 19 in the league and another four in the KNVB Beker.
PSV retained the Eredivisie championship after a dramatic final day saw them win 3-1 at PEC Zwolle as rivals Ajax were held to a shocking 1-1 draw at relegation battlers De Graafschap. Ajax went into the final matchday top of the table with a superior goal difference and would have been crowned Dutch Champions for a 34th time with a victory over a team in 17th position. But it wasn’t meant to be as PSV were crowned the Dutch title-holders for a 23rd time.
PSV also had a decent run in the UEFA Champions League last season. They finished second in Group B ahead of the likes of English giants Manchester United and Russian side CSKA Moscow. The Dutch champions came agonizingly close to qualifying for the quarter-finals, but Atletico Madrid advanced after penalties had to decide which team prevailed. Still, playing to back-to-back goalless draws with a team of Atletico’s quality, certainly deserves some praise.
Rood-witten, as they are affectionately known, have an abundance of quality in all departments. Hector Moreno was outstanding defensively for his team last season, whilst Gaston Pereiro and Davy Propper proved pivotal in midfield, netting 21 league goals between them. As impressive as that was, Dutch striker Luke de Jong takes the cake. He scored 32 goals in 43 games in all competitions last term and he will need to be watched like a hawk if Feyenoord are to have the slightest chance of clinching the first piece of silverware for the season.
Verdict: PSV 21/20 (90 Mins)
The Amsterdam ArenA is traditionally the scene for the Johan Cruijff Shield, so neither team will benefit from home ground advantage. PSV won both league encounters last season against Feyenoord, scoring a total of five goals, while conceding just once. Though, both teams could still be a tad out of shape, so a tight affair is the on the cards. Nonetheless, PSV are tipped to do enough to grind out the victory.
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets.net