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, 22nd April

FC Twente v Sparta Rotterdam

Twente are chasing a sixth win in seven. Manager Ron Jans has had a superb season in charge, and he even had to swat away rumours of leaving for Ajax in the summer. Jans is busy on his project with Twente to try and get them competing in Europe again. Having seen Vitesse’s success this season on a European stage, there will be confidence amongst the squad of finishing the job and finishing in the top four, which will guarantee a European ticket. If Twente finish between 5th and 8th, then they will compete in the play-offs. Given how they have been playing though, I can see them continuing their good run.

Sparta – in their last full game – were terrible at Fortuna, losing 3-0 to a direct opponent in the table. Maduka Okoye looked particularly suspect. For a goalkeeper getting a step up to Watford in the summer, he is playing like one of the league’s worst goalkeepers, not impressing everyone like he once was.

In the final six minutes of the suspended game against Vitesse, Sparta held out their slim one-goal lead. It was a bizarre six minutes watching a team sit back and pump everything out of their own box! That will have helped Sparta players put the terrible performance at Fortuna behind them. I think they will be typically defensive and Twente will find a way through eventually. 1-0

Saturday, 23rd April

NEC Nijmegen v Ajax

It’s no home win since the end of October for NEC. Their six month struggle in Nijmegen has been mainly down to a lack of goal-scoring; they have only scored three in last their last seven at De Goffertstadion in 2022. Head coach Rogier Meijer could be criticised for not changing up much of his tactics since the beginning of the season. At the end of the day, they are totally safe from relegation, something which, having come up from the promotion play-offs last season, should please NEC supporters.

Ajax come into this fresh from losing the Dutch Cup final 2-1 to PSV. Erik Ten Hag – who has become Manchester United manager – seemed to blame divine intervention as the reason why his side weren’t successful: “We were up against more than 11 players.” When Ten Hag was pressed on whether he was referring to the referee he said no!

The fact of the matter is that change is needed this summer at the Amsterdam club. I’m not sure they have convinced any Dutch football fan since February. They are now conceding far too many soft goals; they aren’t as ruthless with their goal-scoring (there seems to be too much reliance on crosses into the box now); and there are goalkeeping issues with Pasveer injured, Onana out of sorts, and Maarten Stekelenburg aging. However, they should still win the league – even with AZ and Vitesse away to come – because they have a four-point cushion with only five games left. I think they will find NEC quite easy to beat too. 0-2

AZ Alkmaar v Heerenveen

AZ’s last game was a fortnight ago: a poor 2-1 defeat at PEC Zwolle. They are running out of steam as the season comes to an end. Undoubtedly, they already have an eye on next season, signing left-back Mees de Wit as a replacement for the inevitable departure of Owen Wijndal. The Alkmaar side are still targeting a top three finish; although it is likely to be a tussle with Twente for fourth, Feyenoord’s European commitments mean they will have focus elsewhere.

The gap to third is six points with only five matches remaining, and I don’t think a win over mid-table Heerenveen will be easy to claim. The visitors are five unbeaten – their best form all season. There’s a bit more togetherness being shown in performances. I have also noted Amin Sarr and Syndey van Hooijdonk’s improved contribution – four goals between the two of them in the last three matches; the two strikers are growing more confident in the Eredivisie. 2-1

RKC Waalwijk v PEC Zwolle

RKC could take a massive step towards Eredivisie safety with a win over direct relegation rivals PEC Zwolle. I’m sure that they will doing their best to avoid defeat at least, so they can keep that small cushion to the bottom three that they seem to have had for months now.

After four narrow defeats, PEC came storming back with an important victory against AZ. They are still fighting, but they have Ajax and PSV to come, so points in a game like this may become necessary with teams around them looking likely to pick up two or three wins before the end of the season. 1-0

Cambuur v PSV

Now it’s seven defeats from the last eight for Cambuur – the newly promoted side who were threatening to qualify for Europe in the first half of the season. What’s noticeable for me is that they are really struggling to create opportunities in games; several times lately they can’t even get a shot on target, but they have had occasional good performances thrown in the mix too.

Meanwhile, PSV are high from their victory in the Dutch Cup final. Cody Gakpo was the hero as he scored the second goal in two minutes to put PSV 2-1 up straight after half time. Ajax could have scored more; even though PSV’s effort was there, you could see how open they are defensively. For me, Ibrahim Sangaré was man of the match; surely the defensive midfielder will get a Premier League move in the summer.

As also shown in their Europa Conference League exit to Leicester, PSV are just prone to too many defensive errors. Their fitness was also a concern for me in this tie, but they did go on and lift the Dutch Cup three days after their gruelling second leg with the Premier League side. Can PSV still win the league? I’m not so sure. Will this be a comfortable away win for them? For me, even if Cambuur come racing out of the traps, PSV’s prowess in attack means they won’t be able to keep a clean sheet at all. 1-3

Sunday, 24th April

Willem II v Vitesse Arnhem

Since Kevin Hofland was hired as the new manager of Willem II – in the hope of arresting the tragic slide throughout the season into the relegation zone – has much changed? A fortunate draw with AZ, losing to Feyenoord, and worst of all a 4-0 drubbing with Go Ahead Eagles suggests no.

On Tuesday, Vitesse will have been frustrated they couldn’t even get a good cross into the box during the last six minutes of their previously suspended game with Sparta. They turned up with a game plan to load the box with attackers to try and pinch a point, but in the end they lost 0-1. They have the quality players to harm the Tilburgers, but I’ve seen far too often this season Vitesse buckle under pressure from their opponents if they are desperate for a result. 1-1

FC Groningen v Heracles Almelo

Danny Buijs has a reputation for keeping his sides quite tight defensively, but Groningen have scored in each of their last seven games. There are some promising signs for the club which Frank Wormuth inherits when he switches Heracles for the northern club this summer. I wonder how Wormuth will be received by the home supporters in light of his summer swap.

Heracles lost 1-4 to Feyenoord last time out. They had an encouraging start but found the Rotterdammers too much. I think Groningen will have a bit too much in attack for them too. 2-0

Feyenoord v FC Utrecht

Feyenoord begin a tough run of seven games in 22 days. Their Europa Conference League semi-final double header with Marseille is in there, and they will be trying to keep their grip on third place. The first leg is on Thursday, but given that it is at home, and Arne Slot’s reluctance to rest his players before their last European game with Slavia, suggests to me that he will go full strength to keep the rhythm going.

Only one win in eight for Utrecht means they sit only six points above the mid-table mess. They have looked like finishing in the Europa Conference League play-offs for most of the season in all honesty, but they have not kicked on at all. An Eredivisie head coach pointed out this week that the gap between sides like Utrecht and the rest of the table is very small in terms of player strength. I disagree with that; I think that they have some very good players who have not been coached to get their full potential out.

Because of the way they have been playing for much of the second half of the season, I will not predict a positive result for Utrecht, but I do think they will keep the score down. They will be competitive but lack a cutting edge against a side that will not be 100% full gas to get a win. 1-0

Fortuna Sittard v Go Ahead Eagles

Despite a terrible home performance to Heracles (0-2) where they created next to nothing, Fortuna Sittard came back strong with a 3-0 success over Sparta last time out. The next vital home game is against Go Ahead, who currently sit pretty just inside the top half of the Eredivisie table because of three successive wins and clean sheets.

Fortuna need to play with the relaxed and offensive style of play they enjoyed in their last game rather than trying to be overly cautious. Go Ahead will also be relaxed with expectations surpassed for their season.

Part of me thinks that Fortuna won’t win this one and that we’ll see once more the reason why they are in this precarious position in the first place. 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

Week 27: 6/9 results and 1 correct score | 7/9 betting tips

Week 28: 4/9 results and 2 correct scores | 6/9 betting tips

Week 29: 4/9 results and 1 correct score | 4/9 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.