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 March

Heerenveen v Heracles Almelo

Both of these sides sit in lower mid-table with exactly the same win, loss, draw records. Heerenveen’s run without a win is now into double figures – 10 games – and sacking Jonny Jansen six games ago has clearly had no impact.

What’s disappointing from a Heerenveen perspective is the lack of goals – 22 from 26 league fixtures. In the past, Heerenveen were always a go-to for over 2.5 goals. However, despite all this, I think they will get either a win or a draw here. Heracles have ony won two points from twelve on the road.

It was an emotional return for Joost van Aken last Saturday; he completed his first 90 minutes for almost two years. He was the extra centre-back as Heerenveen became the latest Eredivisie outfit to turn to a back five. It does keep them solid enough, but they lose even more in an attacking sense. Sydney van Hooijdonk looks isolated, and winger Anthony Musaba looks like he has been one of the flops of the season. If Heerenveen can find a goal from somewhere, this might be an important three points before relegation worries become more severe. 1-0

Saturday, 19th March

Go Ahead Eagles v Cambuur

Go Ahead come into this still looking down the table. Can they keep it tight against the league’s fifth-highest scorers? On the other hand, Cambuur’s open style will suit the Eagles’ forward players (because of the space they leave), and you have to fancy them to score at home to what is also the league’s worst defence.

Cambuur played a high press on Ajax in the second half of last Friday’s encounter, which they ultimately lost in the last minute when they dropped deep to cling on to a point that their second-half performance deserved. They went direct to Tom Boere’s physicality. That won’t work as well against Go Ahead’s low-lying defence since there will be too many defenders to win the second balls.

Cambuur also have to contend with the fact their manager Henk de Jong is not able to lead the team out until next season due to ill health. He has been in and out of the dug-out at matches for a while now, and you could suggest that Cambuur’s early-season form has dropped off since de Jong’s limited involvement with the side. Let’s hope de Jong can re-gain his health in time for the next campaign. 1-1

FC Twente v PEC Zwolle

This will be a really tough match to PEC Zwolle, who go away to high-flying Twente. As I have been mentioning recently, Twente have been improving as the season has gone on. They have been creating many opportunities against the league’s lesser sides, and last weekend they notched a very different kind of victory away to fourth-placed AZ – Ron Jans’s men now sit level on points with the Alkmaar side.

Had this game been in Zwolle, I would have backed Joseph Oosting’s side to get something. Oosting has transformed PEC’s season – going from adrift at the bottom to being back in the mix for survival. Under old manager Art Langeler, the players averaged 8.1 sprints per match compared to 9.6 under Oosting; not only is the squad trying harder, but they are also creating more: 1.18 expected goals per game now compared to 0.93 at the beginning of the campaign.

We all know that surprises can happen in football, but Twente have only lost to Ajax in their last fifteen league fixtures. Another home win keeps them on course to gatecrash the top four whilst AZ still contend with European matches in their busy schedule. 2-0

NEC Nijmegen v Sparta Rotterdam

Despite being down to ten men for much of their last game, NEC were the better side away at Groningen, where they ended up losing 4-3 thanks to two late goals. Whilst I’m not expected another high-scoring encounter here, the Nijmegen side showed some good football at times and looked more dangerous than they had been in weeks previous.

Sparta ground out a 1-0 win over Go Ahead, using all their grit and determination to stay in the game for long periods and scoring from a free-kick. If you include the suspended match with Vitesse, then Sparta have kept three clean sheets in their last four.

I believe that Sparta could edge another result in Nijmegen. Whilst you could argue that Sparta have the second worst away record in the Eredivisie, NEC have the second poorest at home. Even if NEC get a win, they’re going to find it hard to play against a rejuvenated Sparta, so a handicap is a safe way of backing the visitors to show once again that they are up for the relegation fight and that outgoing manager Henk Fraser still has some of that magic that led the Rotterdam side to an impressive top half finish last season. 1-1

Sunday, 20th March

FC Utrecht v FC Groningen

This is a big test to see how far Groningen have come recently. They have risen to eighth in the table after only one defeat in seven. For long periods this season, they were in a relegation battle and it looked as though outgoing manager Danny Buijs wouldn’t reach the end of his contract with the club because of how poor they were compared to previous years under his tutlelage. In reality, it took longer than anticipated for Buijs to bed in some of the new players into his squad. Now there’s the likes of teenager Bjorn Meijer starting at full-back and Jorgen Strand Larsen finally showing his potential up front.

Utrecht are in seventh and will want to use the final eight games of the campaign to prepare for the Europa Conference League play-offs, in which Groningen may also contend. Last weekend they were a touch unfortunate not to score against PSV. 1-0

Ajax v Feyenoord

Whilst Ajax were knocked out of Europe in mid-week, Feyenoord marched on. On one hand, confidence may play a part in this Klassieker, but on the other, Feyenoord have had less time to prepare for this monster clash, and they are without some key players.

Feyenoord missed manager Arne Slot on Thursday as well as defenders Gernot Trauner, Tyrell Malacia, and Marcus Pedersen – all due to Covid – they still easily marched to victory over Partizan; however, this is a more difficult game to be without your starting defenders. What’s more, Justin Bijlow is now out for the season through injury – undoubtedly the biggest loss of them all given his influence on his side. In my view, Bijlow is the best goalkeeper in the league.

Ajax, from keeping clean sheets galore, have gone to still controlling matches, but conceding sloppy goals, and I think this will continue here. More dropped points really will put the pressure on the title race. 1-1

Vitesse Arnhem v RKC Waalwijk

Vitesse battled so well yet again in Europe but were edged out of the competition by Roma. Returning from Italy, I don’t expect a sterling performance, plus RKC’s away record has been quite impressive this season for a team in the bottom half. 1-2

PSV v Fortuna Sittard

PSV scored another four goals against Copenhagen in their last game (but this time keeping a clean sheet to see them through to the last eight), and the weekend before they showed a different kind of performance to edge past Utrecht. A home win here is expected against Fortuna because of their difficulties of keeping clean sheets against sides in the top half of the Eredivisie. 3-0

Willem II v AZ Alkmaar

Kevin Hofland is the new manager of Willem II; can he turn around the terrible season they are enduring? I thought AZ played quite well against Bodo/Glimt on Thursday, but they tired towards the end and they couldn’t push for the third goal they needed. A bigger selection would ease that headache next season as without Vangelis Pavlidis up top they don’t have a focal point. Against this weekend’s opponents, I will predict AZ to drop points because it looks like a good time to play them. 1-1

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)

Week 24: 5/9 results and 1 correct score | 6/9 betting tips (click Eredivisie on here to see my betting tips)

Week 25: 7/8* results and 1 correct score | 5/8* betting tips *game suspended (click Eredivisie on here to see my betting tips)

Week 26: 7/9 results and 2 correct scores | 8/9 betting tips

Michael Statham (812 Posts)

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