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, 25th February

RKC Waalwijk v FC Twente

Last weekend, RKC only had 27% possession in their plucky draw away at NEC. At home, Joseph Oosting’s side have the lowest average possession stat in the Eredivisie. As for Twente, they created plenty of chances against Go Ahead Eagles last time out, but due to two sucker-punch goals, they could only draw 2-2. So I foresee a similar pattern of play here, with Waalwijk hoping for more defensive mistakes from Twente as the majority of chance creation will be from the visitors on Friday. Therefore, I would back Twente to come away with a positive result. 1-2

Saturday, 26th February

Heracles Almelo v PEC Zwolle

Heracles’ form continues to be patchy. On the whole, they look a good-enough team to avoid relegation. Frank Wormuth is a good manager (hence his upwards step to become Groningen manager next season). Last time out they were defeated by AZ, which is no disgrace, and I thought in the first half they showed some good quality for a side battling relegation. Some might look at this game and straight away think that Heracles will win because they are at home to the bottom club, but anyone who has watched PEC Zwolle recently knows they are pulling out some good results on a consistent basis; an impressive turn around considering how low the club felt around November. PEC are unbeaten in five Eredivisie games in 2022 and they have scored in each of those. Therefore this is a tough game to call. If the Eredivisie were based on home games alone, Heracles would be seventh – you can see how their astroturf pitch benefits their players. I think this will be a draw or a narrow home victory with both teams to score a decent bet. 2-1

FC Groningen v Willem II

Groningen manager Danny Buijs said that by playing some younger players at the moment, they will make mistakes. That will explain their inconsistent form. They were winning at Zwolle in their previous game but couldn’t see out the win, conceding a last equaliser. Predicting under 3.5 goals in Groningen games would have won you six out of the last seven bets. Buijs seems to have finally got his players to be more solid defensively (albeit at the expense of much excitement in attack). Meanwhile, Willem II are confusing us all. They broke their long losing streak with a convincing home win over RKC, then went back to square one in an uninspiring defeat away to Sparta, followed by a hard-working narrow defeat to Ajax in front of their fans. Maybe it’s part of being the home team? Unfortunately they are away in this one, and I can see Groningen dominating the game. There are good odds if you back the home win. 2-0

Cambuur v Fortuna Sittard

Cambuur’s winless run extended to eight games last weekend. After the loss to Feyenoord, Cambuur’s assistant head coach thought that his side weren’t too far away from claiming a result given the chances they created. That sounds like Cambuur, always making opportunities but then conceding too many because of their willingness to attack. Fortuna had their last match postponed, so it is tricky to judge how the last two weeks of no game will have impacted them in their fight for survival. This remains a tough fixture for them, travelling to ninth-placed Cambuur who could be a dangerous team to play considering Fortuna’s defensive frailties. Looking at Fortuna’s recent results, you could suggest that whenever they’ve played a team who is cautious, they have picked up wins (such as Groningen, Heerenveen and PEC Zwolle), but against sides who are more open, the Sittard side have taken part in a good game but struggled for wins (for instance, AZ, Utrecht and Heracles). So backing over 2.5 goals would be my pick, and points for Cambuur. 3-1

Sunday, 27th February

AZ Alkmaar v Feyenoord

AZ’s unbeaten run has now stretched to 18 games. Pascal Jansen will be feeling justified in his actions in the last couple of transfer windows – putting faith largely in his current, younger players to replace outgoing key players. They are still improving with each week, which is exciting when you look at their upcoming fixtures. Each time they face a more difficult domestic opponent, they are at home, just in time for the return of full stadiums in the Netherlands: Ajax at home in the cup semi-final, and Eredivisie matches in Alkmaar to come against Twente, Vitesse, Ajax, and this one against Feyenoord. Exciting times could be ahead for AZ as they chase second and third place, plus a run in the Europa Conference League is possible too. What a game this could be against Feyenoord, who will feel AZ breathing down their necks in the league table, but will be quietly confident of continuing their own good form. Arne Slot is Feyenoord head coach, who famously sacked by AZ during last season once his head was turned by the Rotterdam side wanting him to become their manager. I think that AZ will get a positive result from what has the potential to be a high-scoring game. I would back both teams to score because of the attacking nature of these sides. 1-1

Vitesse Arnhem v NEC Nijmegen

In this Gelderse derby, tensions will run high. Already, both sides will be missing players due to suspension, with tall striker Adrian Grbic out for Vitesse and influential midfielder Lasse Schone suspended for NEC. Sometimes, Vitesse play with a rugged style that will match the occasion on Sunday; their inability to keep the ball on the ground and dominate home games may explain why they have only won four out of eleven home games this season. Coupled with the fact their slim squad already had to play on Thursday in Europe, this will be far from easy for Vitesse. Wilfried Bony, who recently signed for NEC Nijmegen, received some criticism for signing a contract with the Arnhem side’s rivals – Bony was Eredivisie top goal-scorer whilst with Vitesse in 2012/13. It is unlikely once more that Bony will feature though because of his hamstring injury since signing. We’ve seen already this season that Vitesse can struggle in home games they’re expected to win after playing in Europe, which has lead to the league’s third worst defence whilst playing at home. Of course, Vitesse were brilliant in beating Rapid Vienna on Thursday, but they rose to the occasion then, can they do the same three days later? NEC don’t score many, so a tight game with a at least a point for NEC is probable. 1-1

Sparta Rotterdam v PSV

Like Vitesse, PSV also played on Thursday, but their bigger squad has been rotated by Roger Schmidt throughout the season. Sparta didn’t play last week, and I really cannot see them being sharp enough to get a result out of PSV. This is one of those games in the Eredivisie where the gap in quality is too great (even with Sparta’s decent January signings) to reasonably expect a surprise result. If Sparta get a goal, or are clinging onto a draw late on, they will sit back in a shell, which I think doesn’t do enough to restrict PSV. The Eindhoven club seem motivated at the moment with players coming back from injury, and not particularly worried by Ajax stretching their lead at the top of the table. 0-2

Go Ahead Eagles v Ajax

After their mid-week meeting with Benfica, Ajax return to domestic matters, and this’ll be another game of breaking down a tough wall of defence like against Willem II, where I was surprised Ajax only won 0-1. Earlier in the season, you may remember that Go Ahead Eagles triumphantly returned to Deventer with a goalless draw. At times this season, you could say that Erik Ten Hag’s men have been unlucky not to score more, and I don’t think you can say they have been wasteful with their chances because the Eredivisie’s expected points table has Ajax way out in front of PSV. Last weekend, Go Ahead Eagles manager Kees van Wonderen remarked that letting a two-goal lead at Twente was hard to take but when you looked at the second half as a whole, they were in fact very fortunate to get a point out of the game. Having watched the Eagles let in so many goals against AZ the other week, I think Ajax will find it easier to score this time. 0-3

Heerenveen v FC Utrecht

The final match of this weekend sees Heerenveen, who have lost their last seven, take on Utrecht. This is an opportunity for the Frisians to turn their form around. Their new players have settled in OK despite the poor results; in future, I think they will be a top-half team again. I don’t think we will see many goals in this game when you consider that Heerenveen have only scored once in their last seven, and are still figuring out how to grow as an attacking unit without their two top goal-scorers Henk Veerman and Joey Veerman. So getting a positive result relies upon them being tight defensively, with regular starters returning from injury in defence and in goal. I also think that Amin Sarr needs to introduce himself at some point after his relatively big money move from Sweden – this could be the game. The visitors have averaged a point per game away from home this season, which has kept them below the top five in the league. Apart from Adam Maher – an underrated gem of a midfielder – they don’t have much quality on the ball, so they choose instead to play long to the strikers. This is a game that could go either way. 1-0 (click Eredivisie on here to see my betting tips)

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 (click Eredivisie on here to see my betting tips)

Week 22: 4/9 results | 4/9 betting tips (click Eredivisie on here to see my betting tips)

Week 23: 5/8* results and 2 correct scores | 5/8* betting tips *game postponed (click Eredivisie on here to see my betting tips)

Michael Statham (795 Posts)

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