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 commentator Phil Blacker, commonly heard on Sky Sports, IMG, Talksport and more. In the UK, Phil can be heard via Premier Sports’ Eredivisie coverage.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
  • Follow Phil on Twitter @PhilBlacker

Friday, 30th August

FC Emmen v PEC Zwolle

Michael’s prediction: PEC Zwolle will be relieved to have earnt their first point of the season last weekend; but even though they did look more fluent in attack, they’ll be worried to have conceded more shots (22) than they created themselves (17), despite having more possession than newly promoted Sparta. Emmen are an OK side that will get enough results to stay up this season, in my opinion. Another draw for both sides wouldn’t be a bad thing. Lennart Thy has been in great form for Zwolle, which could make the difference. 1-2 | Tip: PEC Zwolle draw no bet.

Phil’s prediction: Although I expect Zwolle to improve on their poor start under John Stegeman before long, I’m not convinced it will happen here.  Emmen were impressive at home late last season and again against Heerenveen last time out in front of their own fans so I think they might just edge this one on Friday. 2-1

Saturday, 31st August

Heerenveen v Fortuna Sittard

Michael’s prediction: Heerenveen created plenty of chances against Twente in their 0-0 draw to suggest to me that they can score a couple against Fortuna. However, in their stalemate disappointment, they quickly became frustrated and you could see on the pitch that they were running out of ideas and lacking a leader to drive the team on towards victory – losing Ben Rienstra could really affect their season’s fortunes. 1-0 | Tip: Under 2.5 goals.

Phil’s prediction: It’s looking like Heerenveen may have flattered to deceive in that opening win at Heracles, they haven’t backed it up and may struggle for goals this season, not scoring in their last two. But I still think they’ll have enough at home to Fortuna who’ll be competitive after a couple of weeks off but possibly not sharp enough. 2-0

FC Groningen v Heracles Almelo

Michael’s prediction: Groningen are one of the league’s stronger sides and I think they will exercise that muscle against Heracles. Even though they’ve lost Ritsu Doan, I think shedding a player who wanted to leave the club can only boost morale. Heracles will, as usual, pick up their vast majority of points in home games this season. Groningen don’t score lots of goals, but if Kaj Sierhuis is having a good day (for a change), so will his team. 2-1 | Tip: Groningen team goals +1.5.

Phil’s prediction: Quite a mixed bag for Groningen so far but I like the look of the squad and rate the job Danny Buijs has done since the second half of last season. Heracles were improved in holding Vitesse last weekend after a tough start but I can’t see their wait for a first win ending on Saturday. 3-1

ADO Den Haag v VVV-Venlo

Michael’s prediction: The stage is set for someone such as Evert Linthorst to shine again; I think this will be a low quality match in terms of attacking viewing – hence this is hard to predict and one where a mistake may decide the result. Lee Cattermole had a great impact last Sunday, and yes, whilst VVV were fortunate to leave with three points from Utrecht, his leadership and defensive qualities were very useful. I can’t wait to see him square up with ‘Eredivisie henchman’: ADO’s Tom Beugelsdijk! 1-1 | Tip: Under 2.5 goals.

Phil’s prediction: ADO will surely take confidence from picking up their first points last time out and the margin of that win at RKC, but so will VVV having ended Utrecht’s unbeaten start. I think the visitors have made some astute signings this summer and predict goals in this one, but with honours even. 2-2

Sunday, 1st September

FC Twente v FC Utrecht

Michael’s prediction: Utrecht were unlucky not to beat VVV last weekend even if their performance wasn’t their strongest. Adrian Dalmau returning to fitness is great news for the visitors and I expect him to be unleashed on Sunday. Twente may look to expose young goalkeeper Maarten Paes, which looks the weak position at the moment for Utrecht, with a back four that is relatively stable, a creative midfield and an attack that is full of options if one player doesn’t perform. 2-2 | Tip: Both teams to score.

Phil’s prediction: Twente’s unbeaten return to the top flight remains intact so there’s every reason to expect them to be tough to beat again. But I’m expecting a response from Utrecht to that home defeat against VVV and believe they may be too strong here – if they’re near their best they’ll be too strong. 1-2

Sparta Rotterdam v AjaxLIVE ON PREMIER SPORTS 1

Michael’s prediction: What a start to the season it has been for Sparta, with two wins and two draws to open their return to the Eredivisie. Their young players will be full of confidence for the visit of Ajax. Unless it is a bad day for the Amsterdammers, they should really have no problem here. The problem for Sparta is, whilst Ajax do have weaknesses at the moment – given they have not started the same eleven players in any of their matches this season – the Rotterdam side are far too open; it is brave and great to watch but it won’t help them on Sunday. 1-3 | Tip: Over 3.5 goals.

Phil’s prediction: Sparta’s start has clearly been very impressive and Henk Fraser’s side will be in the mood to give this a real good go. But Ajax are well adept these days at dealing with their continental commitments and I think are by some margin the strongest squad in the league this year. The side is still settling down again and it might take a while to impose themselves as expected in this one, but I think they’ll get there. 1-3

Vitesse Arnhem v AZ Alkmaar

Michael’s prediction: This fixture is usually a good watch, especially now it’s between two quality teams who are in form. Vitesse have a different bite to their attack this season, which has admittedly surprised me. Bryan Linssen and Tim Matavz are injury free and linking up well with new signing Jay-Roy Grot, whose strength, pace and shooting off the left wing have caused problems to everyone he’s played so far. AZ had to contend with 120 minutes of Europa League action on Thursday. Calvin Stengs will be a problem for Vitesse to contend with seeing as regular left-back Max Clark is ruled out from injury. Stengs was having a poor evening against Antwerp, however, he yet again came up with the critical goal for his side. I think AZ will roll with the wave of confidence and win again. 1-2 | Tip: Over 2.5 goals.

Phil’s prediction: A tough one to call but I’m liking the balance in Leonid Slutsky’s squad this season. I covered their opening draw with Ajax and was impressed so am backing them to come through this, with home advantage and AZ’s midweek trip to Antwerp swinging the balance in Vitesse’s favour. 2-1


Michael’s prediction: Early Eredivisie leaders Willem II will be on a high and motivated for the visit of Feyeoord. Jaap Stam’s men are growing as a team quite quickly given the turnover in key playing staff this summer. I keep saying it, but it won’t be long before this shows in the league. A late winner on Sunday could be just the medicine required to kick-start a good season. 1-2 | Tip: Feyenoord to score after 75 minutes.

Phil’s prediction: It wouldn’t surprise me to see a fourth straight league draw for Feyenoord under Jaap Stam.  I think they’re heading in the right direction but this will be tough. The Tilburgers look for a third straight win having topped the early table and that momentum might be enough to help them earn some reward. 2-2

RKC Waalwijk v PSV

Michael’s prediction: PSV haven’t been at their best so far this season – there’s so much more achievable with this squad of players. Let’s see if Mark van Bommel can change the minds of quite a few doubtful PSV supporters in the coming months. This game won’t tell us a lot though, as RKC present a huge gap in quality, particularly defensively. 1-5 | Tip: PSV -2.5 Asian handicap.

Phil’s prediction: Surely an away win here. I think PSV may run into problems this season, and will certainly miss Hirving Lozano, but this shouldn’t be one of them with RKC still trying to find their feet back at this level. The visitors should make that extra quality count. 0-3

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

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.