It’s round four of the Eredivisie this weekend and Michael Statham continues to provide his preview and predictions for each match.

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Friday, August 28

Willem II v NEC

I think Willem II will have been happy to earn a clean sheet in Alkmaar last weekend but they can’t be so impressed with their goalscoring exploits. The Tilburgers have only mustered one goal so far this campaign and Richairo Zivkovic has yet to find the net. Perhaps this is less on Zivkovic and more on his lack of service, as the Ajax-loanee has only had 4 attempts on goal in his three games so far (according to whoscored.com). It’s quite clear that once Zivkovic does start finding the net, Willem II will start hitting some form.

Considering NEC scored over 100 goals last season in the Jupiler League, their form in front of goal has been disappointing. Like Willem II they have only scored one goal up to now and Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s departure won’t have helped the situation.

Due to the early lack of form from both sides this campaign, I can see this being a low-scoring affair. I think Willem II will edge it.

Prediction: 1-0

Saturday, August 29

Utrecht v Groningen

Hedwiges Maduro is a very good signing for Groningen. He’s an experienced head whose defensive stability will be useful both in midfield and central defence. Although at the moment Groningen have one or two problems going forward. Despite scoring twice against Excelsior last Friday I thought the KNVB Beker winners were lacking a cutting edge. They struggled to create as many chances as they would have liked given their domination of possession. I put that down to the form of Albert Rusnak who has been off the boil since the start of the season, and as a result he has been substituted in all four of his side’s games.

I still think Groningen will become a very strong side in the Eredivisie this season, once new signings gel and forward players hit form.

Utrecht are still looking for their first win of the season but that won’t be their main concern right now. The whole club just want the transfer window to shut so they can keep hold of Sebastien Haller.

Prediction: 1-2

Excelsior v De Graafschap

Excelsior must see this game as a perfect opportunity to pick up their first three points of the season. Their forward line of Nigel Hasselbaink, Tom van Weert and Jordan Botaka has potential but has yet to bare fruit.

De Graafschap have lost all three games so far and their game against Roda showed how much they have to do to work their way up to a more competitive level in the Eredivisie. Roda are also a newly promoted side but have been much more pragmatic than De Superboeren. I still think they will improve though as manager Jan Vreman is currently beavering away trying to find reinforcements for their squad before Tuesday’s window closure.

Prediction: 2-1

Heerenveen v PEC Zwolle

Heerenveen did well to create as many chances as they did against PSV last weekend which carries promise coming into their next home game against PEC.

PEC have lost player after player this summer and are down to the bare bones in their squad. Their midfield is depleted due to Ben Rienstra leaving this week, on top of already departed Jesper Drost and injured Mustafa Saymak. Replacements could come in the form of Brazilian Gustavo Hebbling and former player Mateusz Klich.

Although as is common now for Zwolle, they go against the odds and find good results.

Prediction: 1-1

Heracles v Twente

After putting six goals past Cambuur last weekend, Heracles are the early top scorers in the Eredivisie. The way they play could well see them continuing in that vein throughout the season.

Oussama Tannane is a player looking to step up this campaign and become a key influence for Heracles after they lost Bryan Linssen. He will need to keep scoring and providing for Wout Weghorst.

Twente find themselves on the opposite side of the coin to their rivals. They have had an abysmal start. Their ‘pass it to Ziyech and hope for the best’ method is not good enough for a team which is severely under performing. I don’t see it getting any better for the Tukkers in this derby match which Twente have not lost away from home since 2006. Times have changed for both sides, as Heracles are arguably the stronger side currently.

Prediction: 3-1

Sunday, August 30

Ajax v ADO Den Haag

Ajax survived a scare to qualify for the Europa League group stage yesterday evening. Their defence was strong, Jasper Cillessen in particular had a fantastic game, but the midfield still looks very ordinary despite its huge potential.

The early pace setters of the league haven’t conceded a goal in five games now, however attacking wise a lot has to improve. Anwar El Ghazi can’t do it all on his own.

ADO are ticking along nicely, five points from three games is a good return. Ajax won’t give much away in defence but I fancy den Haag to grab a point in the Amsterdam ArenA. Their frontline could do some damage against a potentially jaded Ajax side.

Prediction: 1-1

Vitesse v Cambuur

Vitesse can be understandably aggrieved not to have had a penalty in De Kuip. Had they scored that, it would have been a completely different game.

They will hope to return to home comforts against Cambuur who showed comedic defending against Heracles. The promise displayed in their opening two games has been undone and I can’t see them picking anything up in Arnhem.

Prediction: 2-0

AZ v Roda JC

AZ finally banged the door down on Thursday when they saw off Astra in the Europa League. Qualifying for the group stage for the fourth time in five seasons is a great achievement for the club and for Dutch football. The club have a real knack in European competition.

AZ will now hope to take this form into the Eredivisie where they have only earned two points from three games. Ben Rienstra should be the last piece of the puzzle for an exciting midfield, adding the strength that has been missed since Gudelj’s departure.

Roda have been looking at adding to their squad before the transfer window closes too. Tomi Juric and Daniel De Silva being the two latest additions to a squad that is settling nicely in the Eredivisie.

I think AZ will have too much for the visitors, especially if the Alkmaarers can reproduce the energy of the performance from last night.

Prediction: 2-0

PSV v Feyenoord

The first match involving the traditional top three comes this Sunday.

PSV have been a little unlucky so far. They have already dropped four points behind Ajax and Feyenoord but their new team should start bringing in the wins very soon. Hopefully we will get to see Hector Moreno make his debut in the heart of PSV’s defence.

However they may be playing Feyenoord at the wrong time as the Rotterdammers have started the season brightly, despite having some key refereeing decisions go their way. Bilal Basacikoglu finally looks to be performing. He was key in Feyenoord’s win last week, although there is much more to come from the 20-year-old.

This game could produce a lot of goals as both sides look to dent each other’s title hopes. I’m going for a 1-1 draw.

Prediction: 1-1

 

How have I done so far?

Week 1: 4 results

Week 2: 3 results, 1 correct score

Week 3: 7 results, 1 correct score

Think you can better my predictions? Comment below or tweet @EredivisieMike or @football_oranje with yours…




Michael Statham (470 Posts)

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