Ajax Amsterdam v Feyenoord - Eredivisie

The Lead

So as Manchester United are 12 points clear, and in doing so bending predictive statistics on Total Shots Ration and Shots on Target PDO in the process (something that may have to do with both luck and Man United’s considerable dominance when level with the opposition).

That means the Premier League is over. You can throw in for the relegation battle if you must, but that’s football’s sloppy seconds, a mess of club schadenfreude masquerading as footballing excitement and Big Four glory-hunter tourism (i.e., don’t watch Villa please).

So what to do? The Champions League is back this week, but then you need something to watch on Saturdays because you’re a glutton. You want reasonably attractive football from teams you know a little about, in a language kind of phonetically similar to English.

Yep, the Eredivisie.

There are so many reasons to enjoy the Dutch league, it’s hard to know where to begin. The league’s trust in—or reliance on— its youth academy product, for one. Also, the Netherlands is a hotbed for advanced statistics in football, for some reason, including a recent initiative to start an analytics blog on a mainstream newspaper site.

But mostly for the fact that, as of writing, there are four teams in contention for the title, with PSV on top with 47 points and Ajax and Feyenoord tied for second on 44, with Twente a point behind those two.

Moreover, you can watch the Eredivisie, for about $10 a month, on your computer. And if you’re worried about being a hipster, just support Ajax. Seriously, throw-in now.

Canada

Toronto FC makes its first preseason cuts.

England

Mancini will shake up City lineup ahead of the FA Cup tie.

Neville says Ronaldo will exploit weakest United defender.

Southampton’s Puncheon explains ‘bum-wipe’ celebration.

Adebayor punished for late return to Spurs.

Italy

Sampdoria manager Delio Rossi won’t challenge fine he received for vulgar-hand gesture.

Moratti apologizes over racist chants aimed at Balotelli.

La Liga

Ramos says his team won’t underestimate United.

Deportivo coach steps down after only six games in charge.

Germany

Jens Keller told his managing job safe till the end of the season despite Schalke’s poor form.

Bit and Bobs

Tackling racism in England.

Nigerian fans celebrate Africa Cup of Nations victory.

Thanks to Alima Hotakie for compiling today’s links.