Every week in the 2018/19 season, Football-Oranje’s Michael Statham gives you his predictions and betting tips for each Dutch Eredivisie round. Michael competes against a different special guest each week. This time, it’s Joep Smeets, who is an editor for Dutch sport website ZiggoSport.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Joep on Twitter @joepsmeets1

Friday 21st December

VVV-Venlo v PEC Zwolle

Michael’s prediction: VVV are winless in five and PEC are in a lowly fifteenth place having just sacked John van ‘t Schip. I admit the sacking came as a surprise, since I thought PEC’s board were fully behind the manager, but you cannot deny that it has been an appalling 2018 for Zwolle after a promising first sixth months in charge for van ‘t Schip. I think there’ll be a winner here, but it’s hard to say for which side. VVV will hold much more confidence. 2-1 | Tip: Both score no draw.

Joep’s prediction: Both VVV and PEC must long to the winter break after winning just one league game in two months. PEC are really close to the relegation play-off spots, resulting in John van ‘t Schip being sacked. Normally I would say these teams could compete. Maybe they will in Venlo, but I think VVV will seal a close win.  1-0

Saturday 22nd December

Fortuna Sittard v Groningen

Michael’s prediction: I was really impressed by Fortuna’s showing in De Kuip. They created numerous opportunities. One more big push before the Winter break against Groningen would seal a marvellous first half to the campaign for the newly promoted side. Groningen have quality but I’m still uncertain about their ability to see out matches, as was evident in a dramatic late defeat to Emmen last weekend. 2-2 | Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Joep’s prediction: Fortuna’s next victim will be FC Groningen, who once again will face a very, very tough season after some disappointing results and the straight-out horrible home defeat against rival FC Emmen. No Ritsu Doan or Mimoun Mahi can protect the Groningers from the fight against relegation this year, neither from a defeat down south.  3-1

NAC Breda v Heerenveen

Michael’s prediction: One would expect goals in Heerenveen’s favour here. However, if NAC can produce a battling home performance, I don’t think the visitors will be able to handle it and they will crumble to defeat. There’s little team ethic from the Frisians this season but you can’t overlook the goal threat they have in attack. A clean sheet for either side is unlikely. 3-2 | Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Joep’s prediction: It looks like Heerenveen are slowly crawling up now. They had a difficult start of the season, but in the last two months games are starting to fall in the right direction for the Frisians, actually just like NAC. A home win against power house Vitesse and a draw at PEC Zwolle have given them some air, but this task will be too difficult for them, I’m afraid. Heerenveen have a great away record and they will deliver again. 1-2


Michael’s prediction: AZ’s problems this season have been well-documented which makes this an easier than usual prediction to make. Normally, AZ would be one of the few Eredivisie sides realistically able to take points in Eindhoven but PSV would put them under far too much pressure should they ever be in line for a result during the match. 3-1 | Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Joep’s prediction: A fifth spot for AZ might be a little disappointing for them, especially after the splendid season they had last year. The youthful team of John van den Brom don’t seem to exceed against similar opponents or a presumably better side. Well, PSV away won’t be welcome for them then. The league leaders have recovered excellently after the first league defeat at Feyenoord with ten goals in the two games that followed after. 3-0

Excelsior v Heracles

Michael’s prediction: The enigma that is Heracles’s dismal away form continues through recent history. One win away all season but Excelsior need to go back to basics after shipping far too far many goals lately. A clean sheet should be their target but I think Heracles could cause a few too many problems and steal victory. 1-2 | Tip: Both teams to score.

Joep’s prediction: After a very promising start, Heracles are faltering quite heavily with seven defeats in their last ten games. Excelsior often surprise a lot in the Eredivisie, but this season looks like a tough one for the Rotterdam side. Both struggling teams will share the points after a frustrating match. 1-1

Sunday 23rd December

Utrecht v Ajax

Michael’s prediction: Utrecht have scored fourteen goals in their last four league matches which is an outstanding return. Dick Advocaat first made his team more solid defensively and now there is an increased goal threat to match. They are flush in form then to face Ajax in a classic Eredivisie encounter between these two sides. A B-side had trouble against Eerste Divisie side Roda JC in mid-week, but a fully fit squad always has more quality to win these kinds of matches. A bit of luck could see Utrecht find a result, which I’m tempted to go for! 2-2 | Tip: Both teams to score.

Joep’s prediction: FC Utrecht have found their spirits again since Dick Advocaat took charge of the first team. They have been performing pretty well and have won their must-win games with good football, but Ajax are a level too high for them. Next to Ajax’s impressive displays in the Champions League, no-one in the Eredivisie (except the rare defeat at PSV) seems to be able to stop them. They score goals with a great ease and barely concede them. Games between Utrecht and Ajax are often quite entertaining, but this will be an easy one for the team from Amsterdam. 1-3

ADO Den Haag v Feyenoord

Michael’s prediction: Feyenoord are currently bridging the gap between the top two and the rest of the Eredivisie. They are too good (most of the time) for most teams in the league but also too inconsistent to win game after game. ADO have the potential to upset Feyenoord but they are even more inconsistent; they tend to perform better away from home though. I expect a boring match in the Hague with a narrow Feyenoord victory as the outcome. 1-2 | Tip: Both teams to score.

Joep’s prediction: I don’t know what to think about these two sides. It’s hard to estimate them. ADO haven’t been very impressive this season, but had a surprising 3-0 win over Willem II last weekend. Feyenoord have proven not to be ready for the title race and totally screwed it against Fortuna at home. 1-4

De Graafschap v Vitesse

Michael’s prediction: One part of me wants to predict an unexpected home win but Vitesse should still be far too strong for De Graafschap despite recent wobbles in form. I can see Bryan Linssen and the ever-improving Martin Odegaard stealing the show for the visitors. It won’t be a happy Christmas for De Superboeren. 0-2 | Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Joep’s prediction: Although I have a lot of sympathy for De Graafschap, I don’t think they will make it in the Eredivisie. They weekly show their struggles with the level in this competition. And now they will face Vitesse, a team with a great potential, but that often struggles reaching it. I don’t expect any difficulties for Leonid Slutsky’s side in Doetinchem though. 0-2

Emmen v Willem II

Michael’s prediction: This one is tricky to predict. Emmen will be confident following a late comback win at Groningen and Willem II will be peeved after back to back defeats – conceding eight goals along the way. A draw is the easy way out but I have been wrong in the past about predicting a Willem II win because I think their attack is one of the best in the league on its day…only for me to get it wrong on a few occasions! 1-1 | Tip: Both teams to score.

Joep’s prediction: A very important match for both Emmen (17 points) and Willem II (16). The Tricolores seem to feel better on the road, since they have taken most of their points in away games. Emmen as well aren’t at their best at home. This one could go either way, but I think Willem II will be the lucky winner. 0-1

How has Michael done so far?

Week 1: 4 results and 1 correct score | 6/9 betting tips won (WON versus author Ferdi Delies [2 results])

Week 2: 5 results | 2/9 betting tips won (LOST versus writer Alex Dieker [6 results])

Week 3: 3 results and 1 correct score | 4/9 betting tips won (DRAW versus author Abdul Al Sayed [4 results])

Week 4: 2 results | 5/9 betting tips won (LOST versus IMG UK’s Eredivisie Highlights Show expert Jonathan Beck [5 results and 2 correct scores])

Week 5: 4 results | 5/9 betting tips won (WON versus Notts County winger Enzio Boldewijn [3 results])

Week 6: 6 results and 2 correct scores | 7/9 betting tips won (WON versus Football-Oranje writer Charlie Pritchard [5 results and 1 correct score])

Week 7: 6 results and 2 correct scores | 7/9 betting tips won (WON versus Willem II graphic designer FootyGraphic [3 results])

Week 8: 6 results | 6/9 betting tips won (LOST versus commentator Paul Thomas Clay [7 results and 2 correct scores])

Week 9: 8 results and 4 correct scores | 7/9 betting tips won (WON versus Football Manager researcher Jeroen Thijssen [7 results and 1 correct score])

Week 10: 6 results and 3 correct scores | 5/9 betting tips won (WON versus PSV-watcher and Eindhovens Dagblad journalist Rik Elfrink [4 results and 1 correct score])

Week 11: 5 results* and 1 correct score | 4/8* betting tips won (WON versus secretary of England’s eighth division Matt Jones [4* results]) *=Feyenoord v VVV cancelled

Week 12: 6 results | 4/9 betting tips won (WON versus Sky Sports journalist Joshua Hayward [4 results])

Week 13: 5 results and 1 correct score | 6/9 betting tips won (LOST versus Northampton Town’s Dutch striker Kevin van Veen [6 results and 1 correct score])

Week 14: 4 results | 7/9 betting tips won (DRAW versus Football-Oranje.com editor Michael Bell [4 results])

Week 15: 5 results | 8/9 betting tips won (WON versus writer Alex Moretto)

Week 16: 5 results and 1 correct score | 5/9 betting tips won (WON versus Football-Oranje.com writer James Rowe [4 results])

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.