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, 6th May

Cambuur v RKC Waalwijk

Before their 3-3 draw with Heerenveen, Cambuur enjoyed a lift from supporters, who appeared at their last training before the Friesland derby. I think the magnitude of the derby helped them to look revitalised.

Lately, Cambuur have struggled to create many opportunities in games, mustering only one shot on target in their three matches previous to scoring three goals (from only three shots on target) last Sunday. They caused their opponents lots of trouble with Roberts Uldrikis’s height from crosses.

RKC have been tough to beat away from home and they will be full of confidence after their 3-1 win over Groningen, effectively sealing their safety for another season. Will it mean they are as focussed now they are five points clear with three games to go?

I think Cambuur will certainly score as they look to play on the front foot, but they won’t find it easy to beat Joseph Oosting’s side. 2-1

Saturday, 7th May

FC Twente v Fortuna Sittard

Twente survived a feisty atmosphere at Heracles with a point. The draw keeps their great run going but they needed to win to stay in touch with Feyenoord for third. I would have thought fourth place would now be their aim, which still gives them Europa Conference League football next season.

Fortuna gave their all at home to Feyenoord last time out. The quality difference between those at the bottom at the ones chasing European football is big. Twente will create a lot of opportunities against Fortuna. I fancy Fortuna to score as they chase their own ambitions at the business end of the season, so Twente will need to take their chances.

Predicting a home win isn’t straight forward here. Twente might wobble with Fortuna also desperate for points. Both teams to score or over 2.5 goals would be good choices here, and the mix of Fortuna’s leaky defence with difference-makers in attack makes me want to go for the former. 1-1

Willem II v Heracles Almelo

Willem II had tonnes of endeavour in their 4-2 defeat away at PSV. The players are definitely trying their best to get out of the bottom three, but I have long doubted the quality of some of their squad, which is why they have only won two from their last 25.

This is a massively winnable home game; however, Heracles went from not winning away from home at all, to winning their last two back to back on the road. Frank Wormuth’s team even have an outside chance of the end-of-season play-offs.

I reckon the Tilburgers will put on a fantastic showing and grab a goal or two, which will put pressure on Heracles to find the same fight that got them a point with only ten men last weekend. A home win is great odds at 2.2, but a double chance for Willem II seems to be quite expected at 1.3. Therefore a draw no bet seems the best option which denies Heracles an unlikely third win in a row away from home, and gives the most likely outcome that Willem II pull out a victory at such a crucial time. 2-1

PEC Zwolle v FC Utrecht

PEC Zwolle did their best at Ajax last time out, something which manager Dick Schreuder pointed out at the end of the match. They couldn’t expect to get any points at Ajax. Before that 3-0 defeat, PEC had won their previous two matches, and they will be eyeing up a good home crowd and a battling performance to beat middling Utrecht, who did at least win only their second game in ten last time at home to NEC.

De Blauwvingers have lacked attacking quality for much of the campaign – that would be my worry for them against a relatively strong Utrecht defence. Do they have enough to win the battles at both ends?

Utrecht fans will be delighted to see youth players Fabian de Keijzer (goalkeeper) and Djevencio van der Kust (left-back) given opportunities in the first team. I think it’s fair to say that they have both impressed.

I think this will be a hard-fought game, which low on goals and with Utrecht providing a stern test. 1-1

FC Groningen v Sparta Rotterdam

There is a bizarre lack of ambition amongst the clubs fighting it out for eighth spot in the Eredivisie, which provides the final Europa Conference League play-off ticket. We’re on course for the lowest points tally for eighth place in many years in the Dutch top flight. Groningen, who currently occupy that spot, have lost their last four games! They have a good opportunity to put that right against Sparta, but it seems that the sides who are fighting relegation are winning all of those points from the mid-table bunch.

Groningen forward Jorgen Strand Larsen was animated after his side’s 3-1 loss at RKC, saying that “all was terrible” in their first-half performance that saw them go three goals down. They need a response.

After sacking assistant coach Aleksandar Rankovic, Henk Fraser left the club in dramatic fashion as well, which ushered in Maurice Steijn’s early appointment as manager before he was due to start next season. Steijn provided supporters with a slightly more attacking approach as they got a last-minute draw with AZ last weekend.

Sparta should stick to what they’re good at, which is stifling opponents’ attacking play. Groningen don’t have much of a Plan B. 0-0

Sunday, 8th May

NEC Nijmegen v Go Ahead Eagles

I have mentioned that mid-table sides in the Eredivisie are failing to pick up much rhythm in the battle for eighth place; NEC are another of the sides who could be earning themselves a European play-off berth, but have lost their last three on the bounce. I don’t think they have played that badly though; they are just lacking a bit of oomph in attack. They have failed to score in four of their last five now.

Goalkeeper Mattijs Branderhorst kept them in the game at Utrecht. It’s not the first time that he has been so valuable this season. Defensively they are still fairly resolute.

Go Ahead Eagles boss Kees van Wonderen said after his side’s home defeat to Vitesse: “It is difficult to accept that we cannot always be at the high level we have been playing at recently.” I too was surprised that the Eagles were unable to keep playing at the levels that they had escalated to following their marvellous cup run.

Unless some end-of-season freedom comes out, I see this being another low-scoring game this weekend (in a league of lots of goals). 0-0

AZ Alkmaar v Ajax

AZ disappointed fans by dropping two points at Sparta last Saturday. Their fans demand more of a club that has been up the top echelons of the Eredivisie in recent years, though they have realised that recruitment last summer and in January meant that they wouldn’t be able to pip Feyenoord to third place. Although, at the moment, they won’t even make fourth, and a play-off battle for the Europa Conference League looks likely.

Ajax changed formation to a narrow-looking 4-2-2-2 against PEC, and it worked as they showed something slightly different to score three and keep the game well within their control. Three points here would go a long way to confirming their title win. There isn’t much difference between a draw or a loss, and I can see Erik Ten Hag having one more tactical card up his sleeve to nullify AZ and get the goals ‘at good times’. We saw that already this season with Ajax beating AZ 0-2 in the Dutch Cup just when AZ were on the ascendancy. An open game suits Ajax and, whilst a clean sheet for Ajax won’t be easy, and the fact they are missing Ryan Gravenberch, Lisandro Martinez and Antony, they will turn it on for this game to win another impressive championship under Ten Hag. 1-3

Vitesse Arnhem v Heerenveen

Vitesse showed some good quality to score twice at Go Ahead last time out and some resilience to see out the result. Manager Thomas Letsch pushed Riechedly Bazoer into midfield because of injuries to Sondre Tronstad and Matus Bero; it worked with a beautiful assist onto Lois Openda’s head!

Heerenveen still seem to be much improved with their squad beginning to gel – exciting ahead of next season. I am sure that Amin Sarr and Sydney van Hooijdonk will cause Vitesse’s centre-backs some issues, but Openda is a dangerous striker to handle at the other end. With both sides having pacey forwards, surely whoever can handle their counter-attacks better will get the important goals to win.

I am going to go with a refreshed Vitesse to get a positive result and both teams to score given that both sides have found clean sheets harder to come by in recent weeks. 2-1

Feyenoord v PSV

Feyenoord produced a very ugly but effective defensive performance to see off Marseille. They are into the Europa Conference League final! they have been in good form in the league too as attentions now turn to this ‘topper’ less than 72 hours after ecstasy in France.

PSV could be seven points behind Ajax before kick-off, that is before the Amsterdam giants travel to play tricky opponents AZ earlier in the day. I think how PSV play could depend on whether Ajax win or drop points.

PSV had to play Erik Gutierrez in defence the previous Sunday, which doesn’t help tighten up a defence which may well have cost them the title. Injuries have been unkind to Roger Schmidt.

I think this will be a game of goals, especially when you consider Feyenoord’s energy levels going late into the game. What’s more, Schmidt has still not won against the Rotterdam club in the Eredivisie, and PSV have not beaten Feyenoord in the Dutch top flight since 2018. 2-2

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

Week 31: 5/9 results and 2 correct scores | 6/9 betting tips (+ 1 void)

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.