Round 23 of the Eredivisie is this weekend and Michael Statham continues to give his preview and predictions for each match. In the last round, Michael returned to form with six results and one correct score, but it was not enough to beat challenging Eredivisie writer Chaka Simbeye, who correctly predicted seven results and one correct score. This weekend includes tough away matches for the top two plus in form sides Heracles and AZ meet in Almelo.

eredFriday, February 12

Cambuur v Utrecht

Despite his best efforts, manager Henk De Jong left Cambuur this week following five successive defeats and only two league wins all season.

I thought he was the right man to lead The Frisians out of trouble, but it’s evident that the team is far too weak. Even though it is largely the same squad from last season, De Jong was not given any funds to improve his selection and surely selling top scorer Bartholomew Ogbeche was the nail in the coffin for his resignation.

The Cambuur players are awfully low on confidence and the club is slowly being caught up by De Graafschap at the bottom of the table. I don’t think the three assistant managers, who will take over the managerial duties, will be able to change much.

Meanwhile, Utrecht failed to reproduce the same kind of performance against PSV that they had done three days earlier, in my opinion because of Phillip Cocu’s outstanding tactics.

The forward players were nullified for the majority of the match, but they will have far more joy in Leeuwarden.

Michael’s prediction: 1-3

Saturday, February 13

Heracles v AZ

Heracles won again last weekend, but once more not in convincing fashion against PEC Zwolle.

Striker Wout Weghorst looked more dangerous though, and it is only a matter of time until he goes on a goal-scoring run.

It’s six wins on the trot for AZ. They look a far better side after the winter break. Defensively, Ron Vlaar has added steel to a tight unit and in attack there is in form Vincent Janssen being fed by his creative midfielders.

This one is really tough to predict, but I believe AZ are, on the whole, a better side than Heracles. It should be a good match.

Michael’s prediction: 1-2

Willem II v De Graafschap

Willem II were missing a goal scorer in their team this season, and now they have one in Ogbeche, they haven’t scored any goals in his two matches in the side.

De Graafschap picked up a good point against NEC, especially after considering they played half the match with ten men.

Jan Vreman is brilliant at getting his charges to work hard though, and that is why his team has never given up, no matter what, even after each defeat that they have suffered. It helps when you have a good player finding his feet again – Andrew Driver. At Hearts when he first started out, Driver was a key player for the Scottish club. After a couple of years of poor form he finally looks to be returning to his best.

I have a feeling that Willem II will scrape a win in this one.

Michael’s prediction: 2-1

Roda JC v Twente

Roda put up a good fight against ADO, despite playing 120 minutes of football only three days previously.

The game opened up well and the Limburgers could have won it at the end.

Each week Twente continue to improve and are slowly edging themselves away from trouble. A lot of that could be down to confidence, and now Hakim Ziyech has his head set on playing his best until the end of the season, he has no distractions until the summer.

If Twente can improve a little more defensively, they’ll win a third match in a row, but I’ll predict a draw.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

Vitesse v Heerenveen

With only one goal in their last four games, Vitesse have fallen to eighth in the table.

As I mentioned in the last couple of weeks, the attacking players have lost a bit of confidence and maybe they need to mix things up a bit to bring the best out of striker Dominic Solanke, who has only scored once since October.

Maybe they’ll have better luck at home playing a Heerenveen side who leak far too many goals, they’ve conceded 23 in their last nine matches.

Michael’s prediction: 3-1

Sunday, February 14

Groningen v Ajax

Groningen still hold a fine home record this season of only one defeat all season at the Euroborg.

It will be interesting to see whether their creative players such as Bryan Linssen and Jesper Drost will be able to get their teeth into Ajax.

The Amsterdammers improved a lot in De Klassieker. The passion and motivation that came with the occasion really lifted the side.

Maybe the title race will be well and truly back on with a similar performance and three points here.

Michael’s prediction: 0-2

PEC Zwolle v Feyenoord

Yet again, PEC weren’t up to standard last weekend. Although they should have been awarded a penalty and injuries have affected them.

So it may not be a good time to face Feyenoord, even though they are currently on their worst run of form in their history. Van Bronckhorst’s men looked rejuvenated in their latest defeat, or at least in the first half, which is something that he and his players can work on.

Ron Jans has a knack for pulling results out the bag though and maybe this is where his team can look to turn a corner in their season.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

Excelsior v ADO Den Haag

Excelsior’s attacking struggles continue as they have now scored only two goals in their last five games after the winter break. However I think it has been important for them to keep back-to-back clean sheets.

On current performances, I can see Excelsior finishing in the bottom three. Twente and Roda look to be pulling away whilst Willem II are still picking up points.

ADO have been safe in mid-table for a while now and have a reputation of playing better when facing teams higher in the table. Maybe this is a perfect chance for Excelsior in the Stadion Woudestein.

Michael’s prediction: 2-1


Ernest Faber’s decision to drop Christian Santos following his recent snubbing of a new contract was brave, but for me, the correct one.

If he doesn’t want to continue with Nijmegen then Faber must look to the future and see if what he has got in his squad now will be good enough for next season.

There is no doubting Santos’s quality, and he would surely get a nice transfer in the summer even if he signed a new contract.

Phillip Cocu was clever in his tactics last weekend to see off Utrecht. Their forward players were stifled and they won the game fairly comfortably.

A similar performance should be expected here.

Michael’s prediction: 0-2

How have I done so far?

Week 1: 4 results

Week 2: 3 results, 1 correct score

Week 3: 7 results, 1 correct score

Week 4: 4 results, 1 correct score

Week 5: 7 results, 2 correct scores

Week 6: 4 results, 1 correct score

Week 7: 7 results

Week 8: 5 results, 1 correct score

Week 9: 5 results, 1 correct score

Week 10: 4 results, 1 correct score

Week 11: 4 results, 1 correct score

Week 12: 3 results, 1 correct score

Week 13: 5 results

Week 14: 6 results

Week 15: 6 results, 1 correct score

Week 16: 4 results, 2 correct scores

Week 17: 5 results, 1 correct score

Week 18: 5 results

Week 19: 7 results

Week 20: 2 results, 1 correct score

Week 21: 2 results

Week 22: 6 results, 1 correct score

Think you can better my predictions? Tweet us! @EredivisieMike, or @football_oranje, or comment below with yours…

Michael Statham (828 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.