It is round nine of the Eredivisie this weekend as we turn our attentions back to league action. Michael Statham continues to provide his preview and predictions for each match.

eredSaturday, October 17

Cambuur v AZ

Three successive draws have helped stopped the rot for Cambuur. They look a much more competitive side now than when they began the season, when they conceded far too many goals.

AZ are on the back of four wins in a row in all competitions, scoring 12 goals in the process. Their attacking flair has returned as well as the form of striker Vincent Janssen, who netted twice in the win over Twente a fortnight ago.

I feel that AZ will have too much for Cambuur and record their fifth straight win. The international break will have been a welcome rest to some tired legs.

Prediction: 1-2

Groningen v Willem II

It’s unbelievable to me how Groningen lost 5-0 in Arnhem last time out. They hit the frame of the goal several times and should have gone in at least two goals up at half-time. In the end, confidence in Erwin van de Looi’s side was destroyed and ultimately they fell to pieces in the closing stages of the game.

Supporters were already calling for van de Looi’s head and that defeat will not have helped at all.

They will hope to return to winning ways against Willem II who are the second lowest goalscorers in the Eredivisie after De Graafschap, despite having the best defensive record outside of the top eight. So it’s pretty clear to see where Jurgen Streppel’s problems lie.

I think Richairo Zivkovic, on loan from Ajax, has not been given enough of a chance and was in my opinion dropped too quickly from the team after a poor start to the season.

Although if Groningen’s defence ends up as generous as it was two weeks ago, Willem II will be laughing.

Prediction: 2-1

Heracles v Ajax

From one top of the table clash one weekend to another this weekend too! Ajax now face Heracles who sit third following a very bright start to the campaign.

Heracles’ win over Heerenveen a fortnight ago represented a good response to the thorough defeat John Stegeman’s men suffered in Alkmaar the week before. It showed that they may not be one of those sides to have a good start to the season, only for them to quickly fade away.

In the opposite dugout will be Frank De Boer this weekend, who has a lot of work to do yet for his club and also for his future as a manager.

By that, I’m not suggesting that De Boer will be given the sack anytime soon, but what I am suggesting is that if his side do not improve over the coming weeks they will end up out of Europe and out of the title race by Christmas.

He has not proven to me over the last two seasons why he should be moving on to the Premier League as his side has gone stale, along with the exciting, attacking style that Ajax teams over the years usually provide.

In the match against PSV, De Boer’s side were dominated in a home match for long periods of time by a better side.

Back to this weekend and this is the kind of game that Ajax might want to win in order to palm away PSV who are closing in on the top of the table along with Feyenoord.

Prediction: 0-1

PSV v Excelsior

The return of Andres Guardado is a huge boost to PSV. Luuk De Jong and Jetro Willems are also nearing a return at a time where the champions need their key players back.

I don’t think PSV will require a fully fit squad to beat Excelsior however. The Rotterdammers worked very hard to earn a win against Utrecht. Alfons Groenendijk is beginning to find the knack of picking up points in matches that his side need in order to stave off relegation. This match doesn’t come under that category.

Prediction: 4-0

Utrecht v Roda JC

Whilst I said above about how Excelsior vindicated their win against Utrecht, I also thought that Utrecht were unlucky not to take anything from the game. They created numerous chances and sustained pressure on the home penalty area for much of the second half.

Both teams look like solid mid-table sides at the moment, but on a good day Utrecht can be a fine team to watch, especially since they have the likes of Sebastien Haller and Yassin Ayoub.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunday, October 18

Twente v NEC Nijmegen

The Tukkers are still a side that are trying to find their feet this season after a troubling start. Still no permanent manager has been appointed.

NEC look to have finally found their shooting boots after they demolished ADO two weeks ago. Christian Santos in particular is on fire, scoring six goals in his last four games for NEC as well as a goal for Venezuela on Wednesday in their World Cup qualifying match versus Brazil.

I’ll back Twente to record back-to-back home wins.

Prediction: 3-1

ADO den Haag v De Graafschap

ADO’s defence is giving too many cheap goals away, as was emphasised in their defeat in Nijmegen. Henk Fraser must get his team climbing the table soon or fans will start to turn.

The owners are backing Fraser. They even tied the manager down to a new contract recently to show their commitment.

Meanwhile De Graafschap were painfully denied a second goal against Feyenoord two weeks ago that surely would have made for a different game. It’s only a matter of time before they earn their first win. Although for me they are still in for a long, hard season.

Prediction: 2-2

Heerenveen v Feyenoord

Heerenveen are currently struggling for goals. The quality of their strikers is playing a major part in this. Henk Veerman and Mitchell te Vrede are poachers and also target men. The Frisians have scored only one header this term, which was a goal from Simon Thern. According to whoscored.com, Veerman has not even attempted a shot with his head yet at all. My point is, the team must begin playing to their strengths.

The other route to take is to play 19-year-old Luka Zahovic, who may fit in better with Heerenveen’s pacy style of play.

I accurately described Feyenoord’s match against De Graafschap last time out in my predictions. They did labour to victory despite having a clear quality advantage.

They must be on the ball right away from home from kick-off, not after a poor first half and a rollicking from their manager.

Michiel Kramer has hit form in recent weeks too. His physical presence and poaching ability allowed to cause problems to defences. Heerenveen should take a leaf from Feyenoord’s book and play to their strikers’ strengths.

Prediction: 0-2

PEC Zwolle v Vitesse

Fifth plays sixth in this sub-top match to close out the weekend. A match which for me is between two of the Eredivisie’s finest managers.

Ron Jans guided Zwolle to another good win away from home a fortnight ago whilst Peter Bosz’s men put five past Groningen.

I think both managers will happily take a point from this one.

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

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

Think you can better my predictions? Please continue to comment below or tweet @EredivisieMike or @football_oranje with yours…

 




Michael Statham (679 Posts)

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