Round 28 of the Eredivisie is coming up and Michael Statham continues to give his preview and predictions for each match. Of course the standout game in this match-week comes on Sunday – a potentially title deciding clash between PSV and Ajax in Eindhoven.

A fitting occasion then for Michael’s next opponent. His challenger this weekend is another Michael, this one the founder of Football Oranje itself, Michael Bell.

ered Friday, March 18th

Utrecht v Excelsior

Utrecht took part in an entertaining tussle with ADO in their last game, but seemed to have a mini collapse in the second half to surrender a two goal lead.

Sébastien Haller and Ruud Boymans are still very much in form and I would back at least one of them scoring against Excelsior. However there are doubts over several defenders for this game on Friday, notably new Oranje international Timo Letschert who injured his shoulder.

The visitors have failed to score in five of their last six away matches, and will struggle to handle both Haller and Boymans.

Michael Statham’s prediction: 3-1

Michael Bell’s prediction: Utrecht suffered a setback last week when they let a two goal lead slip to ADO Den Haag, but I expect their attack should be too strong for Excelsior and a simple home victory should be on the cards. 3-0

Saturday, March 19th

Heerenveen v Heracles

Picking up a point in Eindhoven was a fantastic response to some criticism that came in for Heerenveen over recent weeks.

Sam Larsson seems to have discovered a new position for himself playing in behind the striker. His right-foot was like a wand against PSV, he constantly posed problems to their defence.

If this game was in September I’d have tipped Heracles to go to Heerenveen and win quite comfortably. Nowadays Heracles look like a mid-table side who could be swept aside on Saturday.

Michael Statham’s prediction: 2-0

Michael Bell’s prediction: Heerenveen are the most unpredictable side in the league for me. They lose games they should win and win those that they shouldn’t. Last week they held PSV to a 1-1 draw, and they need to take confidence from that to their tie with Heracles. Heerenveen haven’t won a home game since January, but Heracles aren’t the same side from the first few months of the season and I foresee a positive result for Foppe de Haan. 2-1

Feyenoord v De Graafschap

It hasn’t been pretty watching Feyenoord lately, but they’ve picked up some good results. I reckon Dick Advocaat’s days at Sunderland may have had a positive influence on these last few games.

This time they’re up against a De Graafschap side who have been immense since the winter break. Can they go to De Kuip and win? No I don’t think so, they concede far too many goals and Feyenoord will heap pressure on them from the first minute.

Michael Statham’s prediction: 3-0

Michael Bell’s prediction: 3-0

PEC Zwolle v Willem II

PEC’s aim between now and the end of the season will surely be to make the European play-off places, which would represent another fine season for them under Ron Jans.

They will want to win home games like this one then. Although I think Jurgen Streppel, who has just been announced as the new Heerenveen manager this week, and his defensive minded set-up will work in Zwolle.

Michael Statham’s prediction: 1-1

Michael Bell’s prediction: Willem II should have the players to stay up, but PEC Zwolle will add to their uncertainty on Saturday. 3-1

Cambuur v Roda JC

This game is crucial for Cambuur’s immediate survival in the Eredivisie. However De Graafschap, who are their main rivals for the automatic relegation place, are showing more quality and fight than The Frisians at the moment.

Roda lost to De Superboeren in their last game, which was a disappointing defeat for Darije Kalezic. He will be demanding a response in this one but surely he must also be asking questions of himself for playing an awkward 3-4-1-2 formation last weekend where players were put out of position in defence.

I think Kalezic will correct that and also be glad of Tomi Juric’s return to fitness.

Michael Statham’s prediction: 1-2

Michael Bell’s prediction: Cambuur are in a rut and they are now favourites to go straight down to the Eerste Divisie. The game against Roda JC, who were thumped by De Graafschap last week, is a must win, but I just can’t see it. This game has a draw written all over it. 1-1

Sunday, March 20th

Twente v AZ

Twente have been formidable at home as they won their sixth home game in a row against PEC Zwolle. The attention has been taken away from Hakim Ziyech which has allowed Twente to play even better, as defenders must also watch out for the likes of Jerson Cabral and Felipe Gutierrez who have returned to form in the past few months.

AZ will come to Enschede and make for a highly entertaining encounter. They also have in form forward players and won’t play for a point that’s for sure. Although I think it’s what they’ll end up with.

Michael Statham’s prediction: 2-2

Michael Bell’s prediction: Two form teams in the Eredivisie go head to head on Sunday in what could be a mouth-watering tie. Ziyech is in great form, while Janssen can’t stop scoring. I expect both to be influential but AZ to continue their exceptional run. 2-3

Groningen v Vitesse

Groningen have been very poor lately. This is typical of a situation where a manager has announced he will leave the club way before the season is over. They’re mid-table and they have no manager to impress, hence a lack of motivation.

Although fans will see this situation as van de Looi’s fault for not doing his job well enough, so he is the scapegoat of all the players at the moment who simply aren’t playing for him. They seem lazy and that’s a huge disappointment for Groningen supporters.

Vitesse’s lacklustre performances continue after another underwhelming display against Feyenoord. That said, Dominic Solanke’s return may give them some purchase up front this time.

Michael Statham’s prediction: 0-2

Michael Bell’s prediction: The return of Dominic Solanke could be great for Vitesse, who need to win on Sunday if they are to maintain a fight for top three. Groningen have lost five on the bounce and it seems fans are counting down the days until van de Looi leaves the club. Vitesse should add to their misery. 1-2

ADO Den Haag v NEC

ADO are growing into a good, solid team who are performing well on a more consistent basis.

They nearly snatched all three points in Utrecht after being two goals down at half-time. They are a good example of a team who are continually motivated to do well despite setbacks and an inevitable mid-table finish.

What a fantastic point that was for NEC in Amsterdam. Christian Santos, Navaronne Foor and Anthony Limbombe looked hungry again as they are all aching for a move to bigger clubs.

This should be a nice match, but as both sides are rather good defensively, it should be a low scoring affair. I fancy NEC to pinch this one.

Michael Statham’s prediction: 1-2

Michael Bell’s prediction: Sunday should be decided by the battle of the two big men up front, Havenaar v Santos. For me Den Haag have been impressive recently and I think they will snatch all three points. 1-0

PSV v Ajax

The game of the weekend and potentially game of the season will round off this Eredivisie matchweek. This could decide the title considering the form both sides have been in.

Both sides have developed so much since the beginning of the season but arguably PSV have come on more thanks to their Champions League adventure, which came to an end so cruelly on Tuesday.

Will their players be tired after such a long battle? The players have had the best part of a week still to recover, and players like Maxime Lestienne and Luciano Narsingh didn’t have a huge part to play in Madrid, so I think they’ll carry the energy of the team well.

Whilst both sides have also been on form since the turn of the year, both teams also surprisingly dropped points at home to Heerenveen and NEC last weekend.

Ajax still have injury problems in defence, which is costing them goals, they have only kept two clean sheets in their last seven games. This is in comparison to the start of the campaign when they kept seven shut-outs in their first eight matches.

Yet the attack is coming along nicely. I have already discussed Arek Milik and Davy Klaassen recently. Amin Younes is also performing well at the moment.

This is a match that is very difficult to call and many things have happened since the PSV victory in Amsterdam back in early October.

I’m going to be a coward and go for a draw.

Michael Statham’s prediction: 1-1

Michael Bell’s prediction: What a game and what a way to end the Eredivisie weekend. Will PSV be tired? Surely after all the effort put in against Atletico, Cocu will have to make changes, and Pereiro, who caused Ajax all sorts of problems in the tie earlier this season, should start. Ajax disappointed last week but they will now that this game is make or break for the title race and surely they won’t be as poor as they were against NEC again?

However I think De Jong v Van der Hoorn could be a mismatch and PSV should take a big step towards retaining their title. 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

Week 24: 7 results, 3 correct scores

Week 25: 3 results

Week 26: 4 results, 1 correct score

Week 27: 3 results, 1 correct score

Think you can better my predictions? Tweet us! @EredivisieMike, @MichaelJBell09 or @football_oranje, or comment below with yours…




Michael Statham (422 Posts)

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