Every week in the 2021/22 season, Football-Oranje’s Michael Statham gives you his previews and predictions for each Dutch Eredivisie round.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike
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Friday, 18th February

Fortuna Sittard v Sparta Rotterdam

What a massive game this is at the bottom of the Eredivisie! Sparta earnt only their third win of the season last weekend. Two of those three wins have come against Willem II; the other was against this weekend’s opposition. They worked hard back in front of their home supporters to secure a rare three points. Many fans feel as though this is also a make-or-break fixture for their survival hopes, so we may see another tenacious performance here.

Sparta sit seventeenth, four points from safety in fifteenth. Fortuna are sixteenth, two points better off. All three sides in the bottom three won last weekend, and the three teams above them all lost, so the Eredivisie bottom half is getting really tight. The Sittard side play PEC Zwolle and Willem II at home after this.

The pressure is on both sides then going into this. Fortuna, for me, have the extra attacking quality. I think they might cancel each other out. 1-1

Saturday, 19th February

NEC Nijmegen v RKC Waalwijk

NEC continue to show themselves to be a tight unit who can score a goal or two on the counter attack. Surprisingly, they have not won at home since October.

Manager Joseph Oosting is fully aware of RKC’s precarious position in the bottom half of the Eredivisie despite some encouraging results at the start of 2022. They’ve lost the last three but that won’t induce panic amongst their experienced squad. 1-0

Willem II v Ajax

Anything other than an Ajax win here would be easily one of the shocks of the season. Even though Willem II have beaten PSV already at home this season, that was a freak result on the balance of play, and they have gone on to have a wretched season. A shocking run of eleven defeats was ended with a win over RKC, before another shocking display at Sparta last time out.

Ajax’s record of over 100 goals scored and only 10 goals conceded in all competitions this season is incredible and not something the Tilburgers can compete with. So it is a question of how many. I think that the Champions League tie on Wednesday will mean Erik Ten Hag will be seeking an early goal to deflate their hosts before changing some of his team by the hour mark, which might lead to a boring game for the neutral, but Ajax want to get the job done without overexerting themselves. 0-3

AZ Alkmaar v Heracles Almelo

AZ are on a phenomenal run of form: 16 unbeaten, into the Dutch Cup semi-final, and they are set to continue their excellent European campaign next month. This game should therefore be a given that they win, but throughout their excellent form, they have occasionally found it hard to break down opposition; I’m thinking about the goalless draws with Cambuur and Vitesse, plus the narrow win over Groningen, where they had lots of possession but sometimes lacked the cutting edge.

On the whole though, this AZ side have made great strides since October. Vangelis Pavlidis has a goal involvement every 118 minutes in all competitions, and whilst Jesper Karlsson is going through a relatively ‘quiet’ spell, it’s encouraging that AZ have goals coming from elsewhere in the team to make up for it.

After some poor results, Heracles edged past Utrecht 1-0 last Friday. It was a dire first half, but they managed to create openings in the second, and they relied on a little bit of luck keeping them out at the other end.

I don’t see Heracles surprising AZ. The only way AZ would drop points is if they have an off-day. I’m going to go with a narrow home win, which maintains AZ’s excellent run. 2-0

Sunday, 20th February

PEC Zwolle v FC Groningen

Ten points from a possible twelve is an incredible return from PEC Zwolle. They will need to keep this run up if they want to survive though. Daishawn Redan is a striker coming into form; it’s great to see the young Dutch striker properly breaking through now because it was seeming like he wouldn’t make it after all of his early promise in the Chelsea and Netherlands youth teams.

Groningen lost to Fortuna Sittard last weekend, which was a poor defeat, especially at home. Striker Jorgen Strand Larsen had chances yet couldn’t take them, showing he has potential but he is far from the finished product as a young player. Larsen likes the ball played over the top where he can either use his close control to create a chance with his feet, or a header using his height. PEC Zwolle’s deep five-man defence might stem that tide.

I correctly predicted an over 2.5 goals involving Zwolle last week, but this time I think they’ll have a tighter game with Groningen, who like to defend first. 1-1

FC Twente v Go Ahead Eagles

FC Twente would have suffered a blow to their confidence in their heavy 5-0 defeat at Ajax. They’ve been flying, but they were totally played off the park by the Dutch giants. They couldn’t get the ball to stick at all up front. Ricky van Wolfswinkel is a poacher and not someone who can help with build-up play.

Focus for Twente is on finishing fourth or fifth, with fourth potentially bringing a Europa Conference League qualifying spot without having to go through the Eredivisie play-offs.

Go Ahead Eagles will be worried that by two week’s time they could be in the bottom three once they’ve faced Twente away and Ajax at home. They defended poorly some moments agianst AZ that make me think they won’t be able to keep a clean sheet in Enschede either. Iñigo Córdoba and Giannis-Fivos Botos offer their greatest attacking quality, but AZ mostly nullified them on the counter attack. 2-0

Feyenoord v Cambuur

After their thrilling match with PEC Zwolle (which they were on the wrong end of), Cambuur now travel to Feyenoord. The hosts will be licking their lips at the prospect of playing the second worst defence in the Eredivisie. Normally, they struggle finding the goals against sides that play a defensive back five, but this will feel like a treat for their attacking quartet of Luis Sinisterra, Guus Til, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, and Bryan Linssen.

Cambuur have now gone seven without a win in all competitions and I don’t see this match being the place where they get back on track. They are quite open defensively so this does suit the home side. 3-1

FC Utrecht v Vitesse Arnhem

If Utrecht really harboured ambitions of finishing in the top five this season, they really could have done with following up two good wins with a result away at Heracles. They didn’t and as it stands they will finish either sixth or seventh this campaign. They’re unlikely to slip any lower and a win over Vitesse, who sit sixth, would see them leapfrog their opponents in the table. Utrecht have some good quality players, but they are just not consistent enough to push for a higher league position.

Vitesse, meanwhile, play only three days after their game with Rapid Vienna. In the Eredivisie, they have lost four in a row, conceding sixteen times and scoring only once. The league campaign is rather collapsing. Players such as Max Wittek, who have been key for many months this season, look out of inspiration, and defender Jacob Rasmussen looks really out of form. The goalkeeper problem also persists for manager Thomas Letsch, with Markus Schubert dropped for Jeroen Houwen, but he also has been making a few big mistakes.

For this Sunday, I don’t see Vitesse turning things around to keep a clean sheet. Utrecht will be hungrier to go for the win, so we’ll see more desire from the home side and I believe goals aplenty. 2-1

PSV v Heerenveen

Could things get much worse for Heerenveen supporters? Six defeats in a row without scoring any goals, and now they have a trip to PSV. Things could get even worse, but the Frisians are now only six points above the bottom three.

New midfielder Thom Haye stood out for the right reasons in their latest loss to NEC. He was busy with six completed tackles, five successful dribbles, and 87% pass completion. Haye is also the set-piece taker, which lessens to loss of Joey Veerman who departed for PSV last month.

As expected, Veerman is not the main man at PSV, instead having to settle for three starts from six games so far. The Eindhoven side looked so much better with Noni Madueke and Eran Zahavi back in the eleven to put five past Vitesse. I think this is another good win for them, and the excitement of the beginning of the season might start to creep back. PSV beat Ajax 0-4 in the JC Schaal back in August and injuries have stalled Roger Schmidt’s men to lose out in the top matches this season and ultimately fall five points behind Ajax. 3-0

How has Michael done so far?

Week 1: 4/9 results | 5/9 betting tips

Week 2: 4/8 results | 6/8 betting tips

Week 3: 5/9 results | 6/9 betting tips

Week 4: 4/8 results | 5/8 betting tips

Week 5: 5/9 results | 7/9 betting tips

Week 6: 4/9 results and 1 correct score | 8/9 betting tips

Week 7: 5/9 results and 1 correct score | 7/9 betting tips

Week 8: 6/9 results and 1 correct score | 6/9 betting tips

Week 9: 2/9 results | 3/8* betting tips *-one void

Week 10: 4/9 results and 1 correct score | 6/9 betting tips

Week 11: 5/9 results | 4/9 betting tips

Week 12: 4/9 results | 4/9 betting tips

Week 13: 5/9 results and 2 correct scores | 5/9 betting tips

Week 14: 5/9 results | 5/9 betting tips

Week 15: 4/9 results | 6/9 betting tips

Week 16: 2/9 results and 1 correct score | 5/9 betting tips

Week 17: 5/9 results | 7/9 betting tips

Week 18: 6/9 results and 2 correct scores | 8/9 betting tips

Week 19: 3/9 results and 2 correct scores | 5/9 betting tips

Week 20: 3/9 results and 1 correct score | 2/9 betting tips

Week 21: 7/9 results and 2 correct scores | 6/9 betting tips

Week 22: 4/9 results | 4/9 betting tips

Michael Statham (821 Posts)

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