On Wednesday night, the Netherlands will also begin their new European season. PSV will start in the Champions League’s second preliminary round with a match at home against Galatasaray. This will be the first opportunity for Dutch clubs to earn points towards the UEFA coefficient. Because the Netherlands is a close rival, the Eredivisie participants need to perform at least fairly well in this year’s competition.
The coefficient rankings saw a significant improvement in the Netherlands last season. The country moved up from 12th to 7th in the five-year rankings largely due to points from Ajax. The 2016/17 season’s points will be wiped out starting in the 2021/22 seasons. This is bad news for the Netherlands as it gives a coefficient score 9.100. The Netherlands is automatically closer to the chasing countries Austria (7.375), Scotland (4.375), and Ukraine (5.500).
The Netherlands is currently in seventh place, but they must perform well to retain that position. Russia begins in eighth place, with a slight deficit less than one point. Ukraine, Scotland, Austria, and Ukraine are all less than three points behind. Belgium dropped to 12th place after losing a lot of points in the 2016/17 season. The Belgians currently sit at 6.100 points in front of the Netherlands, and so they do not seem to be a threat. It is crucial for Belgium to get back to the top eleven, where (probably) one Champions League ticket can be purchased. This ticket is 100% guaranteed in the top ten.
A country’s coefficient ranking determines the number of European tickets it gets. The same tickets are available for all places seven through nine. Therefore, it is crucial that the Netherlands finishes in the top nine countries. The Netherlands could be ranked as high as number seven, and then move up to number six. This will allow them to get two tickets to the Champions League group stage plus one preliminary round ticket. The Netherlands has one Champions League ticket and one qualifying round ticket.
* The ticket distribution for place 11 applies if the Champions League winner directly qualifies for the same tournament via their own competition.
How realistic is the Netherlands’ sixth-placed spot? France or Portugal will be required to trace the source of this sixth place. This is not possible for the Netherlands because of the twelve and eleven point deficits to these two countries. This is due in part to the 2017/18 seasons, where the Netherlands only managed 2,900 points. The score expires next year and the Netherlands could close the gap to the French and Portuguese. It is important to achieve a high score in this season’s tournament.
It’s fair to say that even though the Netherlands scored the highest points in three seasons, it is not enough for France or Portugal to be threatened. The Netherlands averages around 9 points per season in recent years. How can the Netherlands improve this? For the number of points, European participating clubs are disastrous. They have been eliminated in the preliminary round. Willem II had been eliminated from European football last August and the Netherlands were forced to enter the group stages alongside four of the five remaining clubs.
All club points earned are divided by the number European participants at the beginning of the season, five for the Netherlands. Feyenoord, Vitesse and others have a long way ahead of them to reach the Group Stage (of Conference League), where the Arnhem team has no seeded status. This means that clubs like AS Roma or Tottenham Hotspur may encounter them in the preliminary round. It will be difficult for the Netherlands with only five participants to reach the group stage, which would make it very difficult to take sixth place.
Ajax has been a major contributor to the recent success of the Netherlands. PSV has been disappointing in recent years. Last season, the Eindhoven team was eliminated from the Europa League in the sixteenth final. The group stage was the final destination the year before. And again the Brabanters were at the bottom in the group of death for the Champions League the year before. PSV is expected to continue its strong performance and move further ahead of the Netherlands in the coefficient ranking.