Every week in the 2019/20 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 week, it’s IMG Media commentator Richard Connelly, who commentates on Dutch Eredivisie matches. He can sometimes be heard in the UK via Premier Sports.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Richard on Twitter @RichConnelly

Friday, 17th January

PEC Zwolle v FC Utrecht

Michael’s prediction: Predicting the games in this match round will be more difficult than usual given the three-week break and start to the January transfer window. I think PEC Zwolle will continue to hover above the bottom three in the coming months, but they can use their better home form to produce points from tougher games such as this one. Utrecht are certainly a step above in quality; but despite an impressive 4-3 friendly win over Bayer Leverkusen last Friday, key players Willem Janssen, Adam Maher, Maarten Paes and Leon Guwara were substituted with injuries. A draw for the visitors may be an acceptable result. 1-1 | Tip: Both teams to score.

Richard’s prediction: It will be odd to see Jeroen Zoet in goal for Utrecht, if that is what transpires on Friday night. It’s a gamble on his behalf, but an honourable one and he’ll be a fine addition to John van den Brom’s squad. If PEC can keep their frontline fit, they can still end mid-table. I think an entertaining start to the year. 2-2

Saturday, 18th December

Fortuna Sittard v Vitesse Arnhem

Michael’s prediction: Fortuna hold an exceptional record of seven home wins in a row; it’s really the reason why they sit above the pack of relegation candidates in thirteenth at the moment rather than rock bottom with RKC (and why they’re in the last 16 of the Dutch Cup too). Vitesse haven’t changed too much since Leonid Slutsky left, but they have notably achieved four successive clean sheets. I think this’ll be an entertaining match with Vitesse’s experienced strikers, under the tutelage of new manager Edward Sturing, earning them a win. 1-3 | Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Richard’s prediction: For Fortuna to end the year having won their last seven home games in league & Cup is quite fantastic. Wessel Dammers in good health should make them defensively more solid. It seems Edward Sturing wants more intensity from Vitesse and has worked them hard over the winter. Let’s see what that brings. 2-1

Feyenoord v HeerenveenLIVE on Premier Sports 2

Michael’s prediction: I think Feyenoord will continue to toil for the rest of the campaign rather than improve. They hold a realistic chance of finishing in a very respectable third place though, over PSV, but you’re more likely to see the Rotterdam side flitting around between third and seventh in the coming weeks. Heerenveen will present a good challenge to this sub-standard Feyenoord team – always dangerous in the final third, but flakey in defence when put under heavy pressure. Feyenoord need to keep the ball and play direct, using the strengths of Danish striker Nicolai Jorgensen, or else the Frisians will make the most of loose passes and hit their slow defence on the counter-attack. 3-1 | Tip: Feyenoord +1.5 goals.

Richard’s prediction: I expect Feyenoord to finish strongly – probably ending third this season. The time over the winter with Dick Advocaat will surely have been beneficial. Heerenveen are a good side, but I’m expecting the home side to start the year strongly. 4-0

FC Twente v FC Groningen

Michael’s prediction: A match between two sizeable Eredivisie clubs languishing in mid-table. Twente are nearer to the relegation zone, Groningen the Europa League play-offs. Truthfully, in my opinion at least, neither of these teams will pull any closer to these areas, and they will remain in mid-table. Twente really needed the winter break and I think they will return revitalised. 2-0 | Tip: Home win.

Richard’s prediction: Twente have some serious talent – Nakamura and Roemeratoe impressed me most when I’ve seen them – but I wonder if they’re knitting together. Groningen are better keeping goals out than scoring them, so might nick this. 0-1

AZ Alkmaar v Willem II

Michael’s prediction: Two teams who certainly needed a good rest after spectacular first halves to the season. I would be very impressed – and surprised – if AZ and Willem II could finish in their current respective positions at the end of the season (2nd and 4th). For AZ, it should all be about winning games with their exceptionally talented and motivated squad that they have. Signing Ramon Leeuwin as back-up centre-back is a wise (and cheap) option. They may even cause a couple of shocks in the Europa League too. Willem II may be powerless against such exciting opposition – notably only the second game back in the fixed AZ home stadium too. 3-0 | Tip: AZ -1.5 Asian handicap.

Richard’s prediction: The two conquerors of Ajax – although the final round before Christmas didn’t go to plan for either side. Marco Bizot’s suspension may be a problem for AZ here, against a side that attacks with skill and pace. So, despite AZ’s fine home record, I’m going to call a surprise result here. 1-2

Sunday, 19th January

VVV-Venlo v PSVDelayed airing on Premier Sports 2

Michael’s prediction: VVV will be pleased to have signed Vitesse striker Oussama Darfalou on loan and have midfielder Lee Cattermole back from injury. It’ll be very close as to whether they can avoid relegation this season. PSV, in my view, will continue to suffer with patchy form. I think they will win this game, but suffer in tougher away matches. In the winter break friendlies, Bruma was experimented with as a striker – he scored, but PSV lost to Belgian sides Club Brugge and Eupen. I have yet to hear of any transfer rumours for PSV obtaining a new striker; a loan move would be wise. 0-2 | Tip: PSV -1.5 Asian handicap.

Richard’s prediction: PSV certainly begin the year as they ended it: under pressure. But Ernest Faber has Guus Hiddink to call on, that must be a help. Left-back is a problem position – which they’re trying to address as I write – but the star quality of Steven Bergwijn will help them overwhelm most opposition, including this. 0-3

FC Emmen v Heracles Almelo

Michael’s prediction: Emmen are beginning to toughen up as an Eredivisie side. It would be great news for the club if they could avoid relegation again to remain an Eredivisie outfit for only a third season in their history. It would allow them to stabilise themselves in the division. Their way of playing will make it difficult for Heracles to play on the counter, where they usually enjoy the space. I tend to avoid tipping Heracles to win away from home, but I will on this rare occasion. I think Cyriel Dessers has been deadly. 0-2 | Tip: Dessers to score at any time.

Richard’s prediction: Given Emmen’s fine home record, I suspect this will be close. But it’s exactly the kind of game Heracles have to be targeting, if they’re to make a strong bid for the European play-offs. They do have a lot of things right in Almelo – and some fun players to watch in attack. 1-2

Ajax v Sparta RotterdamLIVE on Premier Sports 2

Michael’s prediction: At the start of the season, I would have looked at this match with more intrigue, but the facts are that Sparta are not as dangerous and exciting as they once were. After seven goals in their first four Eredivisie away matches this season, they have scored once in their previous five awaydays. Ajax have Quincy Promes back from injury and Ryan Babel has joined this January. The attacking impetus will have returned to guide Ajax to an easy win. 3-0 | Tip: Ajax -1.5 Asian handicap.

Richard’s prediction: We’re all waiting for news on Daley Blind. I think his speedy recovery is key to the chances of Ajax repeating last season’s domestic double – and without him a deep European run won’t happen. It runs deeper than that, though, of course; so let’s hope for the best. Sparta are a match for anyone in Rotterdam – and Joosten can be a good replacement for Dervisoglu – but in the capital this should be comfortable. 3-0

ADO Den Haag v RKC Waalwijk

Michael’s prediction: Alan Pardew’s first match in charge sees a 17th versus 18th relegation cracker! I can only tip Pardew to lead ADO to win. I spoke on Love Sport Radio and wrote an article about him recently stating all the advantages he brings to the Dutch club and the players have already spoken about a ‘higher intensity’ to training sessions – perfect, that’s what the squad needed. It won’t always be plain sailing for ADO, but they will just get out of trouble. 2-0 | Tip: Home win.

Richard’s prediction: Seeing what impact Alan Pardew makes at ADO Den Haag is going to be fascinating. New players have been brought in, to lift a squad short on confidence. But the group is now a big one, which brings its own difficulties – and the work he’s done in the last fortnight will have been vital. How much can one learn of the league in a short space of time? How much does one need to know? In truth, it’s a kind fixture to start the journey. 2-1

How has Michael done so far?

Week 1: 2 results + 5/9 correct betting tips | Lost versus Derby County goalkeeper Kelle Roos [6 results]

Week 2: 5 results + 3/9 betting tips | Lost versus Football Manager head researcher Jeroen Thijssen [5 results & 1 correct score]

Week 3: 4 results & 1 correct score + 5/9 betting tips | Won versus ED journalist and PSV-watcher Rik Elfrink [4 results]

Week 4: **2 results & 1 correct score + 4/6 betting tips | Lost versus ED journalist Chris Ottens [**3 results] **reduced schedule of only 6 matches

Week 5: 4 results + 6/9 betting tips | Won versus commentator Phil Blacker [3 results & 1 correct score]

Week 6: 6 results & 1 correct score + 7/9 betting tips | Lost versus EiF founder & journalist Marc Gerschwind [8 results & 2 correct scores]

Week 7: 5 results & 1 correct score + 5/9 betting tips | Won versus commentator Jonathan Beck [4 results]

Week 8: 5 results + 5/9 betting tips | Lost versus commentator Paul Thomas Clay [6 results & 1 correct score]

Week 9: 6 results & 1 correct score + 4/9 betting tips | Won versus “Eredivisie Out of Context’s” Yorin Schrader [5 results]

Week 10: 2 results + 2/9 betting tips | Lost versus Eredivisie scout Xander Wilkinson [3 results]

Week 11: 5 results and 1 correct score + 6/9 betting tips | Lost versus VVV-Venlo midfielder Lee Cattermole [6 results and 2 correct scores]

Week 12: 5 results and 1 correct score + 5/9 betting tips | Won versus football graphic designer Joeri Gosens [4 results and 1 correct score]

Week 13: 6 results + 6/9 betting tips | Won versus betting tipster MegaFootyTips [5 results and 1 correct score]

Week 14: 3 results and 1 correct score + 5/9 (+ one void) betting tips | Lost versus betting tipster Crypto [5 results and 3 correct scores]

Week 15: 5 results and 1 correct score + 5/9 betting tips | Won versus author Abdul Al Sayed [5 results]

Week 16: 5 results + 4/9 betting tips | Won versus tactical analyst Thom Bleijerveld [4 results and 1 correct score]

Week 17: 4 results and 1 correct score + 4/8 & 1 void betting tips | Lost versus Groningen podcaster Maarten Siepel [5 results and 1 correct score]

Week 18: 6 results and 2 correct scores + 6/9 betting tips | Won versus journalist Maarten Elst [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.