Round 24 of the Eredivisie is this weekend and Michael Statham continues to give his preview and predictions for each match. AZ are aiming to win an eighth match in a row this weekend and leapfrog Heracles into third place, as the team from Almelo travel to face current leaders PSV.

eredFriday, February 19

ADO Den Haag v PEC Zwolle

A rather unexpected hero grabbed all the headlines last Sunday as 18-year-old Dennis van der Heijden stole the show for ADO. His two goals turned the game at Excelsior on its head.

The striker partnered up well with Mike Havenaar, the two towering forwards proving too much for Excelsior’s defence.

That muscle in attack might tell again in the game with PEC on Friday. Injuries at the back have been hindering Zwolle’s progress in recent months, although their win over Feyenoord could be a massive upturn in confidence.

Lars Veldwijk looks back in the mood too. There shouldn’t be a goalless draw in this Friday fixture.

Michael’s prediction: 1-2

Saturday, February 20

AZ v Groningen

AZ’s play against Heracles was beautiful. In an admittedly typical, open, Eredivisie game, the Alkmaarers cut open Heracles with their fluid play in the final third. It’s a team oozing confidence and growing quality.

A tough match then for the visitors, who held their own against Ajax, but didn’t have enough to get anything from the title challengers.

Erwin van de Looi wouldn’t have had much to complain about after the game but will realise his players will have to be better defensively to get anything out of this one.

After this game, AZ face Ajax away in the Eredivisie followed by a trip to Rotterdam to play Feyenoord in the KNVB Beker semi-final. So a massive week ahead for the club and a win here will give them confidence going into those two huge games.

Michael’s prediction: 2-0

PSV v Heracles

The champions were professional in their approach to beat NEC, something which is steadily improving under Phillip Cocu. Earlier in the campaign, points were often dropped in the games with the ‘lesser sides’, but now PSV are on a seven match winning run in the league.

After three successive clean sheets, Heracles conceded six last weekend. Joey Pelupessy, who has impressed in midfield this season, was played out of position at right-back which probably didn’t help.

Heracles are the only team to have beaten PSV in the league this season and are not sitting in third place because of a fluke. I think it’ll be a tight match.

Michael’s prediction: 2-1

Heerenveen v NEC

Heerenveen had an awful match in Arnhem last week. Captain Joey van den Berg opened up in an interview after the game, mentioning the team seemingly “lacked interest” in the game and they didn’t work hard enough to stop their higher quality opponent.

The Frisians have been up and down all season. Three wins on the trot has been followed up by back-to-back defeats.

Meanwhile NEC found their opponents PSV too much in their previous game and look toothless whenever Christian Santos is left out of the side. It will be a big task to replace him in the summer should he leave.

If the visitors can keep the home fans quiet for the start of the game, they may turn on the players and quickly evaporate confidence once again.

Michael’s prediction: 1-1

Twente v Cambuur

Another win was accompanied by a rare clean sheet for The Tukkers last weekend. Defensive stability has finally matched an improved frontline to produce results.

I thought Cambuur were extremely poor in their second half with Utrecht. They invited the visitors to attack them and offered barely any attacking threat on the counter.

New manager Marcel Keizer has a massive job on his hands, even just to finish seventeenth at the moment.

Michael’s prediction: 2-0

Sunday, February 21

De Graafschap v Vitesse

It’s only two defeats in six games for De Graafschap. They have more than held their own as well in those two defeats away at PSV and Heracles.

Defensive resilience was key in their latest result. This time the attacking onus will be on them at home to a Vitesse side who looked rejuvenated in their win over hapless Heerenveen.

Milot Rashica’s return to the squad has significantly aided the frontline. His pace and trickery offered the team a more poignant punch that had been missing in recent games.

I think Vitesse’s quality will see them win this game.

Michael’s prediction: 1-2

Ajax v Excelsior

Ajax played fairly well again in their trip to Groningen. However they have ever more mounting defensive concerns – Mike van der Hoorn is suspended.

Excelsior were beaten because of ADO’s strength and height in attack and defence last weekend. Ajax should adjust their style slightly to take advantage of this.

I see no problems for Ajax in winning this one, consequently adding to Excelsior’s relegation worries.

Michael’s prediction: 3-0

Utrecht v Willem II

Sébastien Haller ended his barren run in front of goal last week, which will help him going forward.

Utrecht dealt with the pressure well from the expectation put on them to beat Cambuur. Now that they’re realistic challengers for third place, fans and media alike are expecting wins from the side.

Another one of these games is on Sunday, as Willem II are another team scrapping for survival.

I don’t think the Tilburgers are a bad side though, and have more than enough quality to stave off the threat of the bottom three. The only thing that is missing is goals from the front four of Andersen, Falkenburg, Hupperts and Ogbeche. Maybe the return of Terrell Ondaan is what the team needs, as he offers that little injection of pace down the wing.

Michael’s prediction: 2-1

Feyenoord v Roda JC

The Rotterdammers are on a terrible run and it’s about time someone like Dick Advocaat came in to help the inexperienced Gio van Bronckhorst.

He’ll help calm things down at the club and I hope will also stop van Bronckhorst from chopping and changing his team and tactics so often as it’s not offering his players any chance of consistency or comfort in their playing roles.

Feyenoord’s only win in the last eight games came against Roda in the cup. I think they’ll finally return to winning ways here, you feel it has to happen sooner rather than later.

Michael’s prediction: 2-0

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

Week 23: 5 results

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

Michael Statham (720 Posts)

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