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 Jeroen Thijssen, who is the Netherlands’ Head Researcher for popular videogame Football Manager.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Jeroen on Twitter @FM_Nederland
Live in the UK or Ireland? Subscribe to Premier Sports now for multiple live Dutch Eredivisie games on your TV + weekly highlights shows!

Friday, 9th August

Sparta Rotterdam v VVV-Venlo

Michael’s prediction: Sparta looked great upon their return to the Eredivisie, holding Feyenoord to a draw in De Kuip. I tipped VVV to struggle this season and they faced some real problems against RKC, in a game they eventually won 3-1. Against another eager – and higher quality – promoted side in Sparta, VVV may be outbattled, and the visitors don’t have much pace on the counter-attack. Sparta’s top scorer from last season, Lars Veldwijk, should start this one. 2-0 | Tip: Sparta winning at half-time and full-time.

Jeroen’s prediction: A difficult game to predict. Sparta have promoted and I believe they have a reasonable squad. They won’t have an easy season but they should stay clear of the drop, while VVV in my opinion have an excellent squad available and could actually wind up in the top half of the division if all new signings gel well and manager Maaskant can get and keep them going. 1-1

Saturday, 10th August

FC Groningen v FC Twente

Michael’s prediction: Groningen looked solid (yet unspectacular) in their 0-1 win at Emmen last weekend, whilst Twente impressed by holding PSV to a draw, with Keito Nakamura standing out. I hope we get a good game between two sides who I think will be competing in the top half this campaign. I reckon Twente will try to continue their defensive tactics we saw against PSV, with the hosts struggling to break them down. 1-1 | Tip: Under 2.5 goals.

Jeroen’s prediction: Groningen managed to beat Twente last time around for just the first time in their last 10 meetings on home soil, however Groningen seem to have a good squad available and started out with a decent 1-0 away win over Emmen. Twente will be one of the surprise packages and I expect the promoted side to stay up easily. I expect decent things from the Enschede men, however I do feel FC Groningen may just have the edge with good players such as Ritsu Doan. 1-0


Michael’s prediction: I was in Amsterdam the last time Emmen faced Ajax; they lost 5-0 that day as they looked well out of their depth in the Eredivisie. They survived and have strengthened their squad, in my opinion. I still think this is a comfortable Ajax win, but Emmen will give this a bigger shot than they did a year ago. 4-0 | Tip: Ajax -2.5 Asian handicap.

Jeroen’s prediction: I believe FC Emmen will receive a heavy loss here. Their complete overhaul is not for the better and they have signed several poor players. Having said that, they have also just signed Sergio Pena who I believe will be integral to the side and Filip Ugrinic did well in the first game. Still, I believe they will finish in the relegation zone whereas Ajax will be champions without much hassle – unless they do poorly against PAOK and this results in several players leaving that might stay if they fare well. 6-0

Willem II v Vitesse

Michael’s prediction: As you can see from my tweet attached below, Willem II surprised me in their win over PEC – Pavlidis and Nunnely standing out. Vitesse’s star men decided to show up against Ajax, and what a way for Bazoer to make his debut against his former club – a goal and a red card! Vitesse were fortunate to get a draw from Ajax though and I suspect this will also be a difficult game for the Arnhem side – an open one too. 2-2 | Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Jeroen’s prediction: This is a tough one. I’m not impressed at all by Willem II’s wheelings and dealings, but they can field a decent stating eleven which they proved via beating PEC Zwolle 3-1 away from home. Pavlidis looks a good player scoring 2 in the opening round and Samuel Holmén is a good signing. Still, I feel they need to sign at least 2 or 3 more good players. Vitesse are also a bit underwhelming and seem statusquo as compared to last season and were fortunate to draw with Ajax. 1-1

Sunday, 11th August

Fortuna Sittard v Heracles Almelo

Michael’s prediction: Both teams suffered 4-0 defeats in their opening games. Fortuna are in for a difficult campaign, but their drubbing at AZ was less surprising than Heracles’ awful performance against Heerenveen. This match will be crucial to see who can rebound and quickly turn fortunes around – making this match very tough to predict. I’ll take a punt on Heracles to recover first in a close battle (despite their usually horrific away form) – netither side looks solid defensively. 1-2 | Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Jeroen’s prediction: Thank you, Michael, you’ve really given me a tough round! Two teams that I thought would do better on the opening weekend. I think Fortuna actually have a decent squad. They won’t perform miracles but should steer clear from relegation while Heracles should be mid-table. All the callings for a draw looking at the strength of the sides. Surprisingly the sides have only met twice historically though, both of them saw Fortuna winning, including last season’s 3-0. My gut tells me it will be a draw though. 1-1

Heerenveen v Feyenoord – LIVE ON PREMIER SPORTS 2

Michael’s prediction: I’m looking forward to this match on Sunday. Heerenveen look fresh and full of verve in attack, whilst Feyenoord have some exciting young talents emerging such as Wouter Burger, Orkun Kokcu and Luis Sinisterra. It could be another mistake-ridden thriller like last season’s 3-5 win for Feyenoord. Feyenoord’s defence though was much more rigid in their 4-0 Europa League win over Dinamo Tbilisi. 1-3 | Tip: Over 2.5 goals [over 3.5 goals if you’re feeling brave!]

Jeroen’s prediction: I’m absolutely dreading Heerenveen’s season. They were poor last season and saw the great combination of Sam Lammers and Michel Vlap depart. I’m expecting an absolutely woeful season, much was my surprise when they beat Heracles 4-0. Feyenoord are a big question mark. They’ve not done too well on the transfer market, although I prefer Leroy Fer over Jordy Clasie. At the time of writing, Feyenoord are selling Jeremiah St Juste and looking at new players including Ricky van Wolfswinkel. That will sort out their issues and should see them finish 3rd for sure. But to the here and now, Feyenoord do have some injury struggles. Jorgensen is out, defensively it’s a bit of a struggle and it seems Vente is doubtful. Still 8 of the last 10 games in Heerenveen went Feyenoord’s way, scoring 15 goals in the past four, all of which were wins. Sorry Heerenveen, I’m giving Feyenoord the edge here as Steven Berghuis got into plenty of opportunities against Sparta and Sam Larsson, Luciano Narsingh and even Orkan Kokcu should be a threat. 2-3

RKC Waalwijk v AZ Alkmaar

Michael’s prediction: If RKC had been more fortunate with their golden first-half chances against VVV, I’m sure they’d have seen out a win in Venlo. It’ll be a much more difficult game though against AZ, who, in the early weeks of this season, look a terrific side to watch; young players Myron Boadu and Calvin Stengs look set for an outstanding year. Europa League fatigue may be the only barrier to AZ, but with it being so early in the season, I don’t see it being an issue here. 1-3 | Tip: AZ -1.5 Asian handicap.

Jeroen’s prediction: I will go on record that RKC will challenge the absolute worst ever record in the Eredivisie. Whilst RKC obviously had some quality in the Eerste Divisie, it’s just not enough to get by in the Eredivisie. AZ are decent, although I’m curious to see how they will handle Guus Til’s departure. Myron Boadu will challenge for the top goalscorer’s title and I think he will bag one against RKC too. AZ will add a few more and win this comfortably. 0-3

FC Utrecht v PEC Zwolle

Michael’s prediction: Utrecht took advantage of some poor mistakes from ADO to win 2-4 last weekend, despite going 2-0 down. That comeback may spur on the squad for a good campaign, after surrendering hard-earned Europa League football at the first hurdle to Bosnians Mostar. PEC Zwolle are missing some key players due to injury at the moment and their squad is full of talent, but may need time to settle and develop as a group. 2-1 | Tip: Home win.

Jeroen’s prediction: Utrecht have a good squad, Zwolle not so much. Utrecht to finish in the top five, Zwolle somewhere mid-table. This is my more comfortable home win prediction. I like the versatility of the Utrecht squad altogether, but at the moment they have been performing rather poorly. They weren’t great against ADO, but a 4-2 away win is a win of course and the result against Zrinjski wasn’t good either, despite having the better of the game. If they can get their performance up to par I can see them finish 4th. PEC Zwolle have lost a few decent players, but have seemed to do well in replacing them. They’ll be mid-table mediocrity. But they will start with two losses, with so many current injuries. 2-0

PSV v ADO Den Haag

Michael’s prediction: I think PSV will find this a simple task on Sunday evening. ADO need to tighten up their defence for this one, but I also don’t see how they can harm PSV on the counter-attack either; their best chances will come from set-pieces against a PSV defence that is far from settled at the moment. 3-0 | Tip: PSV winning half-time and full-time.

Jeroen’s prediction: Two teams that are struggling. Mark van Bommel seems to have no clue what he’s doing and ADO as a whole seem to have no clue what they are doing. This will be a snoozefest. I don’t see PSV booking a gigantic victory, which would have been possible if they were playing well. But if you put Sadilek left back, Pereiro right wing and if you just keep on rotating and rotating it’s not going to work. ADO are without El Khayati (not sold, but not with team at time of predictions) and will need to do really well to get at least an adequate replacement. If they do, and if they can sell Kanon for a few million as well, then they should be able to strengthen their squad and finish around the 12th spot. If not, then they better hope to finish 16th. PSV have beaten ADO in Eindhoven 21 of the last 22 times so it does not bode well for the Residentieclub. 2-0

How has Michael done so far?

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