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, 29th April

FC Utrecht v NEC Nijmegen

For Utrecht, it’s one win in nine, and no clean sheet since January. Interim coach Rick Kruys has not been able to make a great impact since René Hake was asked to move on by the club. I think they are a few quality players short of disturbing the teams above them in the table, which could be a goalkeeper or a quality attacking midfielder who can open play from wide areas. To compound current defensive woes, centre-back Tommy St Jago has suffered another long-term injury.

Lately, Utrecht played host to Fortuna – a side lower in the table and on paper a ‘weaker’ side. Fortuna completed more passes and created arguably the better opportunities at the Stadion Galgenwaard. Utrecht are not playing that well ahead of the end of season Europa Conference League play-offs.

NEC haven’t scored in three of their last four games, but they did manage to perform above their normal levels to give Ajax a tough game last time out. Can they continue Utrecht’s run of no shut-out in three months? If they do, it will be up to the likes of Elayis Tavsan to come up with the goods – he seems to be at the centre of everything good with NEC’s attacks. I don’t see a high-scoring game because of the flaws from both teams – it should be quite closely matched. 1-0

Saturday, 30th April

Ajax v PEC Zwolle

Ajax lacked inspiration again in their late 0-1 win at NEC. This one is another very winnable game as they look to keep the gap to PSV at four points. Much has been said about Ajax’s season since February and Erik Ten Hag’s departure to Manchester United, and it has all culminated in Ajax losing their style and relying upon winners in the last ten minutes of games – five of the last nine included goals to win games after the 80th minute. Their performances are flat and uninspiring. When you add AZ and Vitesse to come away from home, there is still a chance of a major upset in the Eredivisie title race.

It may sound ridiculous, but it would be disrespectful to rule out PEC Zwolle also taking points off the Amsterdam giants. Long the league’s bottom club, Zwolle are fighting relegation in one of the tightest Eredivisie battles in years. Right now they are sixteenth in a bottom five separated by only four points. Last weekend they picked up an important three points at RKC Waalwijk.

I am going to predict an Ajax win but without the thrills and spills. 2-0

Heracles Almelo v FC Twente

Time for a derby! Heracles are mid-table, but with a proud record of six clean sheets from their 12 Eredivisie matches in 2022. Twente sit fourth, with six wins from seven, and the third best defence in the Dutch top flight.

For Twente to achieve something special this season, they will need to keep winning, though this is a tough one. They are three points behind Feyenoord and three ahead of AZ, knowing that third or fourth would secure European football for next season.

I think the Enschede outfit have more homegrown players in their team which give them some extra bite. Plus there’s returning centre-back Robin Propper to Almelo after making the switch in the summer.

I am going to go with an entertaining yet low-scoring game here. Frank Wormuth (Heracles head coach) is a clever tactician, and he knows that Twente don’t thrash teams. Ricky van Wolfswinkel – one of the Eredivisie top scorers – is not only deadly in the box but is showing some good work just outside of it too (as demonstrated by a wonderful goal outside the area last weekend), so Wormuth will need to plan for him. The stats suggest both sides will look to be difficult to beat. 1-1

Sparta Rotterdam v AZ Alkmaar

Henk Fraser has departed Sparta, right before the end of the season! There ws some doubt earlier in the campaign that he would leave the club due to poor results, but they picked up around the turn of the year. Fraser was tipped over the edge when his assistant, Aleksandar Rankovic, was dismissed from the club by the board. Technical director Gerard Nijkamp took the decision because he thought the technical staff were underperforming. “I couldn’t just sit on my backside, do nothing and hope that we avoided relegation.”

Maurice Steijn – who was already scheduled to become Sparta manager at the end of the season – agreed to start his new role earlier. His new side were ultra defensive at Twente and it simply didn’t work. You can’t always sit back and hope for the best.

I do think that the home side may be able to take advantage of AZ’s huffing a puffing. The Alkmaar side are still lacking a cutting edge. They are set to lose Jesper Karlsson and Vangelis Pavlidis this summer, so they could be looking at recruiting an entirely new front three (again). Ultimately though, Karlsson has the individual quality to bag AZ the three points. I don’t think Sparta are strong enough defensively in the wide areas, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Swede earn some joy down the left. 1-2

Sunday, 1st May

Heerenveen v Cambuur

Heerenveen are getting better all the time, and they look more than ready to play this derby with Cambuur. The visitors are now up to nine defeats from the last ten, but they did give PSV a good game last time out. 2-1

Go Ahead Eagles v Vitesse Arnhem

I was surprised that Go Ahead were unable to score in their last match at Fortuna given how often their attacking players have scored lately. Four league defeats from the last five will concern Vitesse supporters, and I think the Eagles will put them under some pressure once more. 2-1

PSV v Willem II

I have no doubts in my mind that PSV will take the three points on Sunday. Willem II picked up a rare win last weekend at home to Vitesse, but even hitting those same levels won’t help a dodgy defence keep out the host’s talent. 3-0

Fortuna Sittard v Feyenoord

Fortuna have back-to-back home wins under their belt as they welcome Feyenoord to Sittard. I thought Feyenoord were excellent in their Europa Conference League semi-final first leg win over Marseille (3-2) – a typical European night in De Kuip. The pressing from Arne Slot’s side was really effective and they were rewarded with yet another three goals in a European performance, having now scored three for five Conference League games in a row. They will have the tools and confidence to harm Fortuna even with the huge second leg coming on Thursday. 1-2

RKC Waalwijk v FC Groningen

RKC lost to PEC Zwolle last time out, which means this fixture with top-half Groningen is now ever so important to take points from. I am unsure whether the Waalwijk outfit will get three points here even with Groningen being so poor at home to Heracles the previous weekend. This could be a bit of a drab occasion, but the points would be massive for RKC. 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

Week 30: ?/9 results | ?/9 betting tips

Michael Statham (807 Posts)

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