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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Saturday, 1st October

Cambuur v PSV

Cambuur are one of three sides at the bottom of the table with one win, one draw and five defeats in their opening seven. They now welcome the new league leaders to Leeuwarden following an entertaining victory for PSV two weeks ago versus Feyenoord (and a surprise loss for Ajax).

PSV have scored lots of goals against the league’s struggling teams, and I would suggest that the same will happen again here, even if the likes of Luuk de Jong are not yet fit.


FC Groningen v AZ Alkmaar

Groningen were poor again as they lost to Sparta two weeks ago. Even though it was a close game only lost in injury time, they did not play much good football. Their goal came from their only piece of decent football, and their goal-scorer – Ricardo Pepi – didn’t do a lot right until his goal.

Groningen fans have certainly been critical of Frank Wormuth in his early tenure as manager, but not a lot has changed since Danny Buijs left, so it is hard to expect much different from a medicore-looking side. They have created the fewest opportunities of any team in the league, and Cyriel Ngonge has now been discarded by Wormuth because of his attitude in training sessions. Wormuth has explained that he wants less “angst” football, and more self-confidence. Sounds like rocky times for the Northern team.

The home side will need to play five in defence again to be tough to break down if they want to get the better of AZ. They like the counter attack as shown by their excellent win over Ajax. They may have played full-backs on the wings, but their tactic worked.

To add to my reasons in favour of another good result for AZ, Jesper Karlsson is expected to return from injury, which will give them a spark in games where the opposition will try to frustrate.


Ajax v Go Ahead Eagles

Ajax players have had two weeks to stew on their poor defeat to AZ. Despite controlling possession and creating a number of opportunities (two of which were cleared off the line), Alfred Schreuder didn’t get the best out of his players. The prime example of this has been Dusan Tadic this season. After some below par performances, Schreuder still hasn’t dropped the captain, who has been played in a relatively uncomfortable right-wing position, and it hasn’t worked against the top sides he has faced so far.

Go Ahead are enjoying the quality of summer signing Oliver Edvardsen, who scored twice in his last game and treated fans to his acrobatic celebrations. From the wide position, he could be somebody who causes a few problems for Ajax, but these are the games that the home side find very comfortable. Bigger tests await.


FC Twente v Vitesse Arnhem

The last few weeks have displayed the level Twente are at. At home, they defeated PSV in a fantastic performance, but they met their match in an away defeat to Heerenveen – a match they enjoyed more possession in yet lost. The Tukkers are very much part of a strong top five this season, and they should expect more teams to be defensive against them, with a particularly strong home record.

The latest in Arnhem is that Thomas Letsch has departed as head coach. A successful reign began with qualification for Europe and then a memorable Conference League campaign. This season has been several steps back in terms of player quality, but Letsch has failed to arrest a slide of boring football and poor results.

A tactical change is needed now to suit the new players at the club. Phillip Cocu has come in as the new head coach – a long time since his failures with Fenerbache and Derby County. Vitesse’s 1-1 draw with Volendam showed just how competitive sides at the bottom of the table can be with the Arnhem club now, so Cocu has a lot of work to do.

The odds are very much in favour of a Twente win. There isn’t much that can be changed immediately about Vitesse; it is going to take time to change the playing style and for the younger players to adapt and develop into better ones than they are now. Home win.


Sunday, 2nd October

Fortuna Sittard v FC Volendam

Fortuna finally picked up their first win of the season with a grafted three points against Excelsior a fortnight ago. The team now needs togetherness to continue upward momentum under new coach Julio Velázquez, who was very animated on the touch line on his debut.

This is another tough-to-call match at the bottom of the table as the early table begins to take shape. It is a match which Fortuna will be keen to win if they really harbour ambitions of a top-half finish this season. Volendam have tried to compete in each game they have been in so far on their Eredivisie return, and at times it has led to too many goals being conceded. Fortuna will likely play again with a back five to keep things tight, so a mistake from the visitors could be costly with the forward players that the Sittard side possess.


Excelsior v FC Utrecht

I wouldn’t have expected these two teams to be on the same number of points after seven games, but Utrecht’s disappointing start has yet to end, and Excelsior have notched a few impressive wins upon their Eredivisie return.

Yassin Ayoub could come up against his former club, and even with Excelsior trying to out-battle their more illustrious visitors off the park, I think quality will tell this time. Bas Dost has a couple of other strikers around him who have also been grabbing the goals.


NEC Nijmegen v Feyenoord

A tale of two Netherlands goalkeepers will be the story ahead of kick off. Jasper Cillessen of NEC was selected for international duty recently, and Justin Bijlow was not, with head coach Louis van Gaal stating clearly that Bijlow is out of form. More sloppy goals were conceded in the 4-3 loss to PSV.

Feyenoord have very good qualities through the spine of the pitch, but they are coming undone with individual errors. The new-look team will no doubt forge stronger relationships and new players will come into form, but for the moment errors may persist.

NEC are looking solid so far this season, and I think this could be a close one.


RKC Waalwijk v Sparta Rotterdam

RKC’s two wins so far this season have come with goals. Meanwhile, two weeks ago, Sparta won a dire game with Groningen 2-1.

Having watched both of these sides this season, I actually think that both of these sides have the potential to battle it out for a top-half position. They won’t be battling it out for Europe, but there are some good quality players on display here that perhaps some bigger sides in the bottom half would love to have.


FC Emmen v Heerenveen

This is a tough game for Emmen to try and lift themselves off the foot of the Eredivisie table. As for Heerenveen, they are going strong; their defence looks good and their attack is improving with each week.

An away win would be a statement that Heerenveen will be one of those teams striving for Europe this season, and so it is a big test for them. They will be favourites for a result, but Emmen are desperate for the points.


How has Michael got on so far?

Week 1: 6/9 results + 8/9 bets

Week 2: 2/9 results + 6/9 bets

Week 3: 4/6 results + 3/4 bets

Week 4: 4/9 results + 2/4 bets

Week 5: 4/9 results and 1 correct score + 3/4 bets

Week 6: 5/9 results and 1 correct score + 2/4 bets

Week 7: 2/9 results and 1 correct score + 1/4 bets

Michael Statham (782 Posts)

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